What Is Shielded Metal Arc Welding
Shielded metal arc welding is a manually operated welding process in which an electric arc is used to generate the heat required for welding. Shilded metal arc welding (SMAW) also known as stick welding, is a method used to join various material in a variety of applications and job locations. “SMAW is one of the oldest and most popular methods of joining metal. Moderate quality welds can be made at low speed with good uniformity” (“Welding”). It is one of the most basic and versatile welding process. “Companies rely upon its portability while veteran welders trust in its reliability” (Carlson). The basic idea of shielded metal arc welding is to join two pieces of metal by mixing a filler metal with your base metal. It is a very flexible, portable, and versatile welding process. It is very flexible on how thick of materials it can work with. Additionally, it is very portable because it only requires a generator for power. “Finally, it’s quite versatile because it can weld many different types of metals, including cast iron, steel, nickel and aluminum” (“Welding”).
In other welding processes you must use a shielding gas to protect the weld zone from the surrounding atmosphere. When using shielded metal arc welding you use a consumable filler metal rod which is covered with a flux. “SMAW is a welding process that uses a flux covered metal electrode to carry an electrical current. The current forms an arc that jumps a gap from the end of the electrode to the work” (“Welding’). This arc creates enough heat to melt both the electrode and the material(s). As the arc moves, the mix solidifies to become one piece.
The flux is burned off during welding and creates a shield around the weld protect...
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...nd. Some electrodes have a greater diameter than others, therefore weighing more and costing more. The third way is how much of the material is actually deposited into the weld. This is determined by how much you lose between spatter, slag, some of the electrode becoming gas, and bare metal studs that cannot be burnt down.
Electric power cost is one of the last ways in determining your overall price for shielded metal arc welding. This determination is relatively minor, but can become more significant when large amounts of welding are being done. There are different ways of breaking down the electric power cost. One of the first ones is how much welding is being done. Another factor is the amount of current being used during your welding procedures. Also something to think about when pricing your electric power cost is to check the efficiency of your power source.
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