How it Works

Experts from the welding industry answer your questions and explain 'how it works'.

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What is the difference between weld metal and filler metal?

What is the difference between weld metal and filler metal? In the first instance, filler metal is supplied to the joint to be welded/joined from an electrode that is consumed in the arc by the welding process, typically Shielded Metal Arc welding (SMAW), Gas Metal Arc welding (GMAW) or Flux Cored/Metal Cored welding (FC/MCAW). It can also be supplied to the joint as a simple filler wire that is not electrically connected as in Gas Tungsten Arc welding (GTAW) and Plasma Welding (PAW).

Why is TIG (GTAW) preferred for welding aluminum?

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) is preferred when fabricating and welding thinner gauge aluminum alloys, complicated aluminum alloy joints and for repairing aluminum parts.


What is the difference between TIG and MIG welding?

The older acronyms, TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) and MIG (Metal Inert Gas) are still used today but the correct terminology in North America is Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) and Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) which we will use to explain the differences in the processes.

How is Argon Used in MIG Welding and how do MIG and MAG Welding Differ?

The acronyms MIG (Metal Inert Gas), MAG (Metal Active Gas) and GMAW (Gas Metal Arc welding) all describe the same basic welding process. In this welding process, an arc is struck between a continuously fed consumable electrode and the workpiece as depicted in Figure 1. The consumable electrode is a bare wire. The heat generated by the arc melts the electrode and part of the base metal in the weld area. The arc itself transfers molten metal from the tip of the melting electrode to the workpiece, and here it combines with the melted base metal to form a weld deposit.

How do” Auto Darkening” welding helmets work and how dark should my welding helmet shade be?

Auto-darkening helmets, Figure 1, work basically by sensing the light from the arc and electronically activating a liquid crystal filter within the lens to darken to a preselected shade and protect the welders face and eyes from ultraviolet and infrared radiation (UV/IR).

The information provided is intended for general interest, to educate and inform our audience. The CWB and those providing feedback to the questions do not take any responsibility for any omissions or misstatements that could lead to incorrect applications or possible solutions that industry may be facing.