Shielded metal arc welding, otherwise known as manual metal arc welding or flux shielded arc welding, is a process that uses a flux-coated electrode to form the weld. Its process doesn’t require much in the way of specialized equipment, making it very popular.
How It Works
As electricity passes through the electrode, the flux forms a gas, which shields the electric arc in the space between the electrode and the metal being welded, preventing contamination from atmospheric gasses in the weld.
Advantages of SMAW
The main advantage of SMAW is the large variety of metals and alloys the process is capable of welding. Procedures and electrodes are available to weld carbon and low-alloy steels, high-alloy steels, coated steels, tool and die steels, stainless and heat-resisting steels, cast irons, copper and copper alloys, plus nickel and cobalt alloys.
Other advantages of the process are:
- The dimensions of the SMAW electrodes are ideal for reaching into areas of limited access (electrodes can be bent, and with the aid of mirrors, applied in blind spots).
- Optimum results can be readily and reliably obtained.
- The SMAW electrode provides both the shielding and the filler metal to make a sound weld.
- The process is suitable for most of the commonly used metals and alloys.
- The process is less sensitive to wind and draft than the gas shielded arc welding processes.
- The process is flexible and can be applied to a variety of joint configurations and welding positions.
- Auxiliary gas shielding or granular flux is not required.
- The equipment is relatively simple, inexpensive, and portable.
Ask Us About SMAW
At Industrial Alloy Fabrication, SMAW is just one of the many welding skills and Section IX certifications that our skilled crew of workers holds. Contact us to find out how this welding process can be used during the fabrication of your next product.