Today we are going to be learning about the difference between the drag and push welding technique. Of course, I don’t expect that learning how to properly weld will be an easy walk in the park. There are so many things that you have to know about the craft or profession – mentally and physically. What is welding anyway? Technically, welding is the process of fabricating or joining two types of material – usually metal or thermoplastics. To do this, the welder has to make a fusion. A simpler meaning would be: “to join pieces of metal together by heating the edges until they begin to melt and then pressing them together”, and another would be “to join or bring (people or things) closer together”. This is from Merriam-Webster’s. Did you know that are are different types of welding? These types are commonly used in the industry or at home by engineers. These are:
- GAS OR OXY ACETYLENE WELDING AND CUTTING
– Not widely used in terms of welding mild steel. From the name of the type, you can think that oxygen plays a role in this, and it sure does. It is done by mixing oxygen and acetylene in order to create a flame that is capable of melting steel. Today it is mostly used for maintenance work, metal construction, and gas metal cutting.
- GTWA or TUNGSTEN INERT GAS
Most often referred TIG Welding is almost the same with Oxy Acetylene but a bit different. To do this, you will need a little bit more experience because it’s not so easy to do. TIG welding is usually done when a high quality work is needed that doesn’t need to use an excessive clean-up by sanding or grinding.
- ARC WELDING OR SMAW
More commonly known as “Stick Welding” or simply “Arc Welding”. Take note that this is the most basic of all the types. Unlike TIG welding, the Stick welding is easy to master and can be done at home. Stick Welding is often done when it comes to manufacturing, construction, and repairs. It’s great when you are using heavy metal that are size 4 mm upwards. Thinner metal are better if you use…
- GMAW OR GAS METAL ARC WELDING
… or most commonly referred to as MIG Welding. This is the type that’s widely used because if the Arc Welding was easy to learn, this one is much more easier. You can use this when you work in the industry or even just at home. As I said above, this is great for thin metals, mild steel, stainless steel, and even aluminum.
Whatever type you choose to use or study on, be sure that it suits the material and also your skills as a welder. Now we move on to the difference between the DRAG welding technique and the PUSH welding technique. Of course, there are more welding techniques to know out there but for now, we will be learning about this two.
To do any of the two techniques, you must first be aware about what we call the welding beads. When we say “Welding bead”, we are referring to the result of a welding pass that deposits the filler material. Here’s a picture:
Gravity plays a role on how the molten metal will be deposited between the metal plates or pipe sections. An example of this is when you are doing overhead welding. You have to move quickly and precisely so that the molten metal will not drop to your face instead of staying at the joint. To be able to do the drag and push technique, you need to use a stringer bead. What is a stringer bead? A stringer bead is a sort of straight-forward bead that you can “drag” or sometimes called “pull” or yes, pushed with minimal side to side movement.
To drag means that you are point the electrode back towards the molten metal puddle and then slowly leading it. By using this, you are opening yourself up to maximum penetration and a robust-looking weld. However if the materials you are welding are highly heat sensitive or thin metals, or if you are in a vertical-up position, then you should opt for the “push” technique. This simply means that instead of pointing the eletrode back towards the molten metal, you will push it forward. In the case of the vertical up welding, you would want the molten metal to fall down so you can keep the heat away from the metal puddle which allows it to solidify and not drip.
Good news is because stringer beads are not very wide so this makes them easier to use in any type of welding position. Even if you are going to be moving in a straight line, you will still be able to get some sort of a “tie in” using the toe of the weld on both sides. Keep in mind that the object of welding is not only to fill the joint, but also to create a fusion between the weld and base metal.
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