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    What's New — Welding Methods

    Welding Respiratory Protection Guide

    We've dug up this welding respiratory protection guide and thought it might come in handy!! Simply identify the material to be welded and the welding process that will be undertaken. The concentration level of the pollutants are affected by the ventilation conditions in the workplace. Choose the appropriate description of the working environment to determine the most suitable type of respiratory protection.

    • P = Powered Air
    • A = Powered Air with a Gas Filter
    • S = Supplied AIr



    Welding Methods


    With MIG (Metal Inert Gas) or MAG (Metal Active Gas) welding also called Gas-shielded Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) an arc is maintained between a continuous solid wire electrode and the work piece.

    The arc and weld pool are shielded by a stream of inert or active gas. The process is suitable for most materials and filler wires are available for a wide range of metals.

    Flux Cored Arc Welding

    Flux Cored Arc Welding is quite similar to MIG/MAG welding as far as operation and equipment are concerned. However, the electrode is not solid but consists of a metal sheath surrounding a flux core.

    As in MIG/MAG welding, the flux cored process depends on a gas shield to protect the weld zone from atmospheric contamination. The gas is either applied separately or it is generated from the decomposition of gas forming ingredients contained in the flux core.

    Stick/MMAW or SMAW

    Welding with stick electrodes is called Manual Metal Arc Welding (MMAW) welding or Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW). It is the oldest and most versatile of the various arc welding processes.

    An electric arc is maintained between the end of a coated metal electrode and the work piece. The molten slag floats to the top of the weld puddle where it protects the weld metal from the atmosphere during solidification.

    Plasma Arc Welding

    Plasma Arc Welding is a process, which is very similar to TIG welding. It is a development of the TIG method, which is designed to increase productivity. In Plasma Arc Welding, there are two separate gas flows, the plasma gas which flows round the tungsten electrode and subsequently forms the core of the plasma arc and the shielding gas which provides protection for the molten pool.

    Plasma Cutting

    This process uses a concentrated electrical arc which melts the material through a high-temperature plasma beam.

    TIG or GTAW

    TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding or Gas-Shielded Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) is a process, which uses a non-consumable solid tungsten electrode.

    The electrode, the arc and the area surrounding the molten weld puddle are protected from the atmosphere by an inert gas shield.

    If a filler metal is necessary, it is added to the leading edge of the molten puddle.

    Welding Methods & Shade Selection

    It's a question often asked by welders - "what shade should I use for my specific welding method". No longer do welders use passive welding helmets that only offer one shade, they now understand the safety and productivity advantages of using auto-darkening welding lens technology. However, auto-darkening lenses do not automatically adjust to visible light (at least yet) so if your desired amperage varies so should your auto darkening welding lens shade. But how do you know what shade to use and won't it change according to the welding method used - Stick, MIG, TIG, Cutting, etc? 

    Below you will find a recommended shade selection table that outlines what shade should be used according to your specific welding method by amperage level. Simply find the welding process to the left of the table, then follow along the top of the table until you find the amperage level you plan to weld with, link the two and you will find the right shade for you. The shade above or below that outlined in the table can be used based on personal preferences. Hope it helps!