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Define welding. What is the importance of welding process? Explain welding process in the field of manufacturing engineering.
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About welding:

Welding is a process for joining two similar or dissimilar metals by fusion. It joins different metals/alloys, with or without the application of pressure and with or without the use of filler metal. The fusion of metal takes place by means of heat. The heat may be generated either from combustion of gases, electric arc, electric resistance or by chemical reaction. During some type of welding processes, pressure may also be employed, but this is not an essential requirement for all welding processes. Welding provides a permanent joint but it normally affects the metallurgy of the components. It is therefore usually accompanied by post weld heat treatment for most of the critical components. The welding is widely used as a fabrication and repairing process in industries. Some of the typical applications of welding include the fabrication of ships, pressure vessels, automobile bodies, off-shore platform, bridges, welded pipes, sealing of nuclear fuel and explosives, etc.

Most of the metals and alloys can be welded by one type of welding process or the other. However, some are easier to weld than others. To compare this ease in welding term ‘weldability’ is often used. The weldability may be defined as property of a metal which indicates the ease with which it can be welded with other similar or dissimilar metals. Weldability of a material depends upon various factors like the metallurgical changes that occur due to welding, changes in hardness in and around the weld, gas evolution and absorption, extent of oxidation, and the effect on cracking tendency of the joint. Plain low carbon steel (C-0.12%) has the best weldability amongst metals. Generally it is seen that the materials with high castability usually have low weldability.

Terminological elements of welding process:

The terminological elements of welding process used with common welding joints such as base metal, fusion zone, weld face, root face, root opening toe and root are depicted in Figure.

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Terminological elements of welding process

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Butt welding joints edge preparations

1. Edge preparations:

For welding the edges of joining surfaces of metals are prepared first. Different edge preparations may be used for welding butt joints, which are given in figure.

2. Welding joints

Some common welding joints are shown in Fig. Welding joints are of generally of two major kinds namely lap joint and butt joint. The main types are described as under.

2.1 Lap weld joint

Single-Lap Joint:

This joint, made by overlapping the edges of the plate, is not recommended for most work. The single lap has very little resistance to bending. It can be used satisfactorily for joining two cylinders that fit inside one another.

Double-Lap Joint:

This is stronger than the single-lap joint but has the disadvantage that it requires twice as much welding.

Tee Fillet Weld:

This type of joint, although widely used, should not be employed if an alternative design is possible.

2.2 Butt weld joint

Single-Vee Butt Weld:

It is used for plates up to 15.8 mm thick. The angle of the vee depends upon the technique being used, the plates being spaced approximately 3.2 mm.

Double-Vee Butt Weld:

It is used for plates over 13 mm thick when the welding can be performed on both sides of the plate. The top vee angle is either 60° or 80°, while the bottom angle is 80°, depending on the technique being used.

3. Welding Positions

As shown in Figure, there are four types of welding positions, which are given as: 1. Flat or down hand position:

1. Flat or down hand position

2. Horizontal position

3. Vertical position

4. Overhead position

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Kind of welding positions

3.1 Flat or Downhand Welding Position

The flat position or down hand position is one in which the welding is performed from the upper side of the joint and the face of the weld is approximately horizontal. This is the simplest and the most convenient position for welding. Using this technique, excellent welded joints at a fast speed with minimum risk of fatigue to the welders can be obtained.

3.2 Horizontal Welding Position

In horizontal position, the plane of the workpiece is vertical and the deposited weld head is horizontal. The metal deposition rate in horizontal welding is next to that achieved in flat or downhand welding position. This position of welding is most commonly used in welding vessels and reservoirs.

3.3 Veritical Welding Position

In vertical position, the plane of the workpiece is vertical and the weld is deposited upon a vertical surface. It is difficult to produce satisfactory welds in this position due to the effect of the force of gravity on the molten metal. The welder must constantly control the metal so that it does not run or drop from the weld. Vertical welding may be of two types viz., vertical-up and vertical-down. Vertical-up welding is preferred when strength is the major consideration. The vertical-down welding is used for a sealing operation and for welding sheet metal.

3.4 Overhead Welding Position

The overhead position is probably even more difficult to weld than the vertical position. Here the pull of gravity against the molten metal is much greater. The force of the flame against the weld serves to counteract the pull of gravity. In overhead position, the plane of the workpiece is horizontal. But the welding is carried out from the underside. The electrode is held with its welding end upward. It is a good practice to use very short arc and basic coated electrodes for overhead welding.

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Classification of Welding

(A) Oxy-Fuel Gas Welding Processes

    1. Air-acetylene welding
    2. Oxy-acetylene welding
    3. Oxy-hydrogen welding
    4. Pressure gas welding

(B) Arc Welding Processes

    1. Carbon Arc Welding
    2. Shielded Metal Arc Welding
    3. Submerged Arc Welding
    4. Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
    5. Gas Metal Arc Welding
    6. Plasma Arc Welding
    7. Atomic Hydrogen Welding
    8. Electro-slag Welding
    9. Stud Arc Welding
    10. Electro-gas Welding

(C) Resistance Welding

    1. Carbon Arc Welding
    2. Shielded Metal Arc Welding
    3. Submerged Arc Welding
    4. Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
    5. Gas Metal Arc Welding
    6. Plasma Arc Welding
    7. Atomic Hydrogen Welding
    8. Electro-slag Welding
    9. Stud Arc Welding
    10. Electro-gas Welding

(C) Solid-State Welding Processes

    1. Forge Welding
    2. Cold Pressure Welding
    3. Friction Welding
    4. Explosive Welding
    5. Diffusion Welding
    6. Cold Pressure Welding
    7. Thermo-compression Welding

(D) Thermit Welding Processes

    1. Thermit Welding
    2. Pressure Thermit Welding

(E) Radiant Energy Welding Processes

    1. Laser Welding
    2. Electron Beam Welding

(F) Allied Processes

(i) Metal Joining or Metal Depositing Processes
    1. Brazing
    2. Soldering
    3. Braze Welding
    4. Adhesive Bonding
    5. Metal Spraying
    6. Surfacing
(ii) Thermal Cutting Processes
    1. Gas Cutting
    2. Arc Cutting

Advantages of Welding

    1. Welding is more economical and is much faster process as compared to other processes (riveting, bolting, casting etc.)
    2. Welding, if properly controlled results permanent joints having strength equal or sometimes more than base metal.
    3. Large number of metals and alloys both similar and dissimilar can be joined by welding.
    4. General welding equipment is not very costly.
    5. Portable welding equipment can be easily made available.
    6. Welding permits considerable freedom in design.
    7. Welding can join welding jobs through spots, as continuous pressure tight seams, end-to-end and in a number of other configurations.
    8. Welding can also be mechanized.

Disadvantages of Welding

    1. It results in residual stresses and distortion of the work pieces.
    2. Welded joint needs stress relieving and heat treatment.
    3. Welding gives out harmful radiations (light), fumes and spatter.
    4. Jigs, and fixtures may also be needed to hold and position the parts to be welded.
    5. Edges preparation of the welding jobs are required before welding.
    6. Skilled welder is required for production of good welding.
    7. Heat during welding produces metallurgical changes as the structure of the welded joint is not same as that of the parent metal.
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