Welding is basically the art of "gluing" metal with molten metal. One way to generate the required heat is to use an electric arc (arc welding), a very common approach with several variants:
- SMAW (shielded metal arc welding/"stick welding")
- TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding
- MIG (metal inert gas) welding
As you might expect from an activity including high electric current, extremely bright light and molten metal, welding comes with many dangers! Do your part so nothing bad will happen.
When welding, always wear
- properly shaded welding helmet
- safety glasses for when the helmet is up
- welding gloves
- welding jacket
- cotton clothing (you don't want synthetic fibers to melt on you!)
- solid, closed shoes
Not all metals can be welded, and some only with certain welding techniques! Your introduction by a tutor will cover the basics, but you may have to do some research yourself in case of more exotic metals.
In any case, do NOT weld galvanized steel! The zinc in the surface coating produces a highly unhealthy gas when burned.
Due to the smoke and less visible gases involved, we ask you to weld outside or at least within the open double doors of the metal workshop. Put up welding curtains around yourself so others can not look into the arc!
- video introduction to many welding risks and good practices
- Lincoln Electric on welding safety
- Engelmann Schweißtechnik: Fachwissen (DE) - good summaries on safety and different techniques