Electron beam welding (EBW) is a fusion welding process in which a beam of high-velocity electrons is applied to the materials being joined. The workpieces melt as the kinetic energy of the electrons is transformed into heat upon impact, and the filler metal, if used, also melts to form part of the weld. The welding is often done in conditions of a vacuum to prevent dispersion of the electron beam. German physicist Karl-Heinz Steigerwald, who was at the time working on various electron beam applications, perceived and developed the first practical electron beam welding machine which began operation in 1958.
Electroslag welding (ESW) is a highly productive, single pass welding process for thick (greater than 25 mm up to about 300 mm) materials in a vertical or close to vertical position. (ESW) is similar to electrogas welding, but the main difference is the arc starts in a different location. An electric arc is initially struck by wire that is fed into the desired weld location and then flux is added. Additional flux is added until the molten slag, reaching the tip of the electrode, extinguishes the arc. The wire is then continually fed through a consumable guide tube (can oscillate if desired) into the surfaces of the metal workpieces and the filler metal are then melted using the electrical resistance of the molten slag to cause coalescence. The wire and tube then move up along the workpiece while a copper retaining shoe that was put into place before starting (can be water-cooled if desired) is used to keep the weld between the plates that are being welded. Electroslag welding is used mainly to join low carbon steel plates and/or sections that are very thick. It can also be used on structural steel if certain precautions are observed. This process uses a direct current (DC) voltage usually ranging from about 600A and 40-50V, higher currents are needed for thicker materials. Because the arc is extinguished, this is not an arc process.
Induction welding (IW) is a form of welding that uses electromagnetic induction to heat the workpiece. The welding apparatus contains an induction coil that is energised with a radio-frequency electric current. This generates a high-frequency electromagnetic field that acts on either an electrically conductive or a ferromagnetic workpiece. In an electrically conductive workpiece, the main heating effect is resistive heating, which is due to induced currents called eddy currents. In a ferromagnetic workpiece, the heating is caused mainly by hysteresis, as the electromagnetic field repeatedly distorts the magnetic domains of the ferromagnetic material. In practice, most materials undergo a combination of these two effects.
Nonmagnetic materials and electrical insulators such as plastics can be induction-welded by implanting them with metallic or ferromagnetic compounds, called susceptors, that absorb the electromagnetic energy from the induction coil, become hot, and lose their heat to the surrounding material by thermal conduction.
Induction welding is used for long production runs and is a highly automated process, usually used for welding the seams of pipes. It can be a very fast process, as a lot of power can be transferred to a localised area, so the faying surfaces melt very quickly and can be pressed together to form a continuous rolling weld.
The depth that the current, and therefore heating, penetrates from the surface is inversely proportional to the square root of the frequency. The temperature of the metals being welded and their composition will also affect the penetration depth. This process is very similar to resistance welding, except that in the case of resistance welding the current is delivered using contacts to the workpiece instead of using induction.
Laser beam welding (LBW) is a welding technique used to join multiple pieces of metal through the use of a laser. The beam provides a concentrated heat source, allowing for narrow, deep welds and high welding rates. The process is frequently used in high volume applications, such as in the automotive industry.
Laser Hybrid welding is a type of welding process that combines the principles of laser beam welding and arc welding.
The combination of laser light and an electrical arc into an amalgamated welding process has existed since the 1970s, but has only recently been used in industrial applications. There are three main types of hybrid welding process, depending on the arc used: TIG, Plasma arc or MIG augmented laser welding. While TIG-augmented laser welding was the first to be researched, MIG is the first to go into industry and is commonly known as hybrid laser welding.
Whereas in the early days laser sources still had to prove their suitability for industrial use, today they are standard equipment in many manufacturing enterprises. The combination of laser welding with another weld process is called a “hybrid welding process”. This means that a laser beam and an electrical arc act simultaneously in one welding zone, influencing and supporting each other.
Percussion welding (PEW) is a type of resistance welding that blends dissimilar metals together. Percussion welding creates a high temperature arc that is formed from a short quick electrical discharge. Immediately following the electrical discharge, pressure is applied which forges the materials together. This type of joining brings the materials together in a percussive manner.
Percussion welding is similar to flash welding and upset welding but is generally considered to be more complex. It is considered to be more complex because it uses an electric discharge at the joint, followed by pressure being applied to join the materials together. Percussion welding is used to join dissimilar metals together, or used when flash is not required at the joint.
This type of welding is limited to the materials having the same cross sectional areas and geometries. Percussion welding is used on materials that have small cross sectional areas.
Advantages of using percussion welding types include a shallow heat affected zone, and the time cycle involved is very short. Typical times can be found to be less than 16 milliseconds.
Exothermic welding, also known as exothermic bonding, thermite welding (TW), and thermit welding, is a welding process for joining two electrical conductors, that employs superheated copper alloy to permanently join the conductors. The process employs an exothermic reaction of a copper thermite composition to heat the copper, and requires no external source of heat or current. The chemical reaction that produces the heat is an aluminothermic reaction between aluminium powder and a mixture of copper oxides.
Electrogas welding (EGW) is a continuous vertical position arc welding process developed in 1961, in which an arc is struck between a consumable electrode and the workpiece. A shielding gas is sometimes used, but pressure is not applied. A major difference between EGW and its cousin electroslag welding is that the arc in EGW is not extinguished, instead remains struck throughout the welding process. It is used to make square-groove welds for butt and t-joints, especially in the shipbuilding industry and in the construction of storage tanks.
Stud welding is a form of spot welding where a bolt or specially formed nut is welded onto another metal part. The bolts may be automatically fed into the spot welder. Weld nuts generally have a flange with small nubs that melt to form the weld. Studs have a necked down, un-threaded area for the same purpose. Weld studs are used in stud welding systems.