How Does Arc Welding Work

How Does Arc Welding Work? Get to Know in Details

Welding is, by far, one of the most important tasks when it comes to construction. There are many metals that need to be worked with, and that is exactly when welding is the most useful. One type of welding is arc welding, which is a very common method used to weld metals together using electricity.

Now, the question here might be how do arc welding works or how we can do it properly in order to get the best result. Here I am going to go over the answers to these questions, so everything is crystal clear. And when the time comes for you to use it, you have an easy time with this.

Supplies Required for Arc Welding

In order for the welding process to be done properly, one can use a number of different power supplies. Each has its own pros and cons, which you will have to figure out to find the right one for yourself. Yes, this is not a part where we talk about simple items like the welding table.

Most people tend to use constant current power supplies, and the other one is constant voltage power supplies. Each of these is essential to complete the task at hand as the voltage works with the length of the arc and the current works with the heat produced to complete the task. Constant current and constant voltage have significant differences that you need to be aware of.

And in most cases, people use constant current power supplies when they are using the manual welding process. This is a difficult form of welding for which you would want the current to be constant and have differences and variances in voltage.

On the other hand, the constant voltage power supplies keep the voltage constant, but there will be variances in the current passed. And this is most commonly used in automated welding processes.

Type of Current

When it comes to arc welding, the direction of the current is very important. Here you have two options. One is alternating current, where the current moves in two different directions. And the other is direct current – here, there is only a one-way movement.

1. Direct Current

Direct current is typically used for gas welding and shielding metals arc welding, where the electrode can either be negatively charged or positively charged. If it is positively charged, then it will have a higher heat concentration than the negatively charged one.

However, the negatively charged ones might have lower penetration, but they have a much greater melt-off rate than the DC+ polarity, which is why one of its most common use is on sheet metal.

2. Alternating Current

Now, for the alternating current, the movement of the current is two ways. So you will not get a very shallow well because of the positively charged electrodes or a very deep well with the negatively charged electrodes. Rather with the alternating currents, you will find yourself with a medium penetration weld.

Even though there are many advantages to having alternating currents, there are also some problems. And the main one being how it needs to be reignited once you go through every zero crossings.


Rods are used as a medium which is used to join the metals together. They melt and help the two other pieces of metals to bond together. The metal from the rod drips off, and that is what bonds the other two. You have to learn the types of rods and what the numbers of a welding rod mean.

Now, there are two types of rods. The first one being the fast freeze ones, and the other is the filler rods, each of which has its own uses.

1. Fast Freeze Rods

The fast freeze ones are very good at clearing off all types of impurities on the surface. With them, you can use either a circular or a side to side motion while building up the well as it will lead to the best result. In most cases, you will also be able to get maximum penetration using these rods.

These are a very common choice for welders as they can be used for different purposes and end up giving you the best result. Like they are used for fix-up jobs, for rusted metals, to fill in any gaps, and they are also used for base-level penetration.

2. Filler Rods

The main use of the filler rod is not penetration as they are not the best for the job. However, they are very good at building up. And the 6013 is possibly the best option for you if you are completely new to welding as it is very simple to use.

With these, you should be able to run both uphill or downhill if you are using vertical welding. It leaves a very smooth finish and makes the output look more professionally done. The best option for you would be to have both fast freeze rods as well as filler rods with you, as they can both be of great importance while welding different joints.

How Does Arc Welding Work?

If you are a beginner, then you should know that you should have your safety gear on like the welding respirator before you start welding. Along with that, you need to be as comfortable as possible in your seat because you will be there for a while.

Now, start the weld and watch the molten puddle form. You need to keep an eye on the movement of the puddle, the direction you are moving the rod, and how big the puddle is. The size of the puddle is controlled by the amperage. If it is set at a lower setting, then the puddle will be small and gets bigger as the setting gets higher.

The angle you hold the metal rod will determine how fast the heating will be. And the more perpendicular the rod, the lesser time it needs to heat and has greater travel speed. When moving the rod, you have to move at a speed where the molten puddle remains the same size.


There are many things to keep in mind when doing arc welding. The current, amperage, speed, and angles all play a very big role in how the weld is going to end up being. Now, you have more knowledge of how arc welding works.

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