Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
Gas tungsten arc welding, or tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, is a type of arc welding that uses a tungsten electrode to bond metals together. Done properly in a contamination-free environment, it produces an exceptionally strong and small weld. GTAW/TIG welding is typically used on thin strips of stainless steel, aluminum, copper and nonferrous metal alloys.
The main drawback of TIG welding is its degree of difficultly — the process requires focus, time and a skilled hand to perform correctly. Common applications for TIG welding include airplane and aerospace manufacturing, and any other industry in which strength and precision are required.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
SMAW is a manual welding process commonly referred to as stick welding. It is one of the simplest and most straightforward types of welding, and is commonly used in construction, repair and manufacturing applications. The stick welding process is quite versatile and is used to join steel, stainless steel, iron, nickel and copper alloys, and more.
Stick welding is fast and cost-effective, though it does not produce as clean a weld as other processes. Problems commonly associated with SMAW include weld splatter and poor strength. However, when done by a skilled operator, SMAW is an economical choice for a number of custom welding fabrication projects.
Stick Electrode Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
Stick electrode gas metal arc welding is more commonly referred to as MIG (metal inert gas) welding. Its most notable feature involves the use of a gas to shield the workpiece metal. This helps keep out contaminants and speeds up the welding process without compromising quality. MIG welding was originally developed for bonding aluminum alloys, but is currently used on steel, nickel alloys and a range of other metals.
MIG welding is versatile and fast. Its main drawbacks include higher initial costs and low portability. MIG welding is almost always performed indoors, which limits its usefulness in remote repair and maintenance applications.
Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
Flux-cored arc welding is similar to GMAW but involves the use of a flux either in place of, or in addition to, a shielding gas. This flux is continuously fed through the electrode and acts as the main form of protection against atmospheric contamination. Flux-cored arc welding is fast and versatile and, unlike MIG welding, it can be safely performed outdoors.
Materials commonly associated with flux-cored arc welding include stainless steel, low alloy steels, high nickel alloys and other metals. Though FCAW is a relatively straightforward process, inexperienced welders may experience issues such as incomplete fusion, weld cracks or damage to the contact tip.
We work with a number of different materials to meet our clients’ technical specifications. Welding services are available for the following metals:
- Stainless steel: Available in a variety of grades. Stainless steel consists of at least 11 percent chromium in addition to other elements such as nickel, copper and molybdenum. Stainless steel in its various grades enjoys good weldability, making it an excellent choice for custom fabrication projects.
- Nickel alloys: Welding nickel alloys requires additional protection against oxygen and other contaminants, which lead to porousness, cracking and stress corrosion.
- Aluminum: Available in 3003, 5052 and other alloys. All aluminum alloys we work with are easily weldable for custom fabrication purposes. Depending on the thickness of the section, our technicians will typically use GMAW or GTAW to form the bond.
Other materials we work with include carbon steel and galvanized steel. Which is best for your project — and how best to weld it — will depend on a number of different factors.
Working With Marco Specialty Steel
Houston, TX-based Marco Specialty Steel has been providing custom welding and other services since 1992. Our welding abilities complement our extensive wire cloth, expanded metal, bar grating and perforated metal fabrication products and services. In addition to MIG, TIG, SMA and spot welding, we can also provide plasma cutting, custom punching, bending and rolling, and other custom metal fabrication services.
Our clients come to us from various industries, including oil and gas, aerospace, heavy equipment and more. Use the form on this page to get in touch with one of our team members and to request a quote for any upcoming project.