Manual electric arc welding is a manual welding process that uses an electrode or “stick” that is coated with an encasement that forms a protective shield around the weld. The electrode is consumed during the welding process, and the encasement on the electrode forms a slag that covers the weld and protects it from oxidation. The electrode is held in an electrode holder. The welder holds the holder with one hand and guides the electrode to the metal to be welded with the other hand.
An arc is created between the electrode and the metal, generating heat that melts the metal and the electrode, creating the weld. The welder controls the arc length and the amount of heat by adjusting the distance between the electrode and the metal and the speed at which the electrode is moved. The welder also controls the amount of filler metal added to the weld by controlling the angle at which the electrode is held.
Manual electric welding is a relatively easy process to learn and is commonly used in construction, fabrication and repair work. It is also a relatively inexpensive process because the equipment required is relatively inexpensive. However, manual electric welding is a relatively slow process, and the welds are not as precise as other welding processes such as TIG or MIG. In addition, the slag created by the encapsulation must be knocked off and cleaned after welding, which makes post-weld processing somewhat more time-consuming.
Areas of application
The scope of electric hand welding is very broad and it can be used in many different industries and applications, including
- Construction: SMAW welding is an important process in the construction industry, particularly in the manufacture of steel and metal structures such as bridges, buildings and houses.
- Shipbuilding: SMAW welding is used in the shipbuilding industry to assemble and repair the ship’s structure.
- Mining: Stick welding is used in the mining industry to repair and create tools and equipment.
- Mechanical engineering: SMAW welding is used in the engineering industry to assemble and repair machinery and equipment.
- Repair and maintenance: Stick welding is an important technique for repairing and maintaining equipment and machinery in many industries.
- Offshore and fume work: Stick welding is one of the few methods that can be used in harsh environments such as offshore or outdoors.
E-Hand welding is a very flexible process that can be used in a wide range of industries and applications where a strong and durable joint is required. However, it does require a high level of skill and experience on the part of the welder to produce high quality welds.
Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages of SMAW are:
- Versatility: SMAW can be applied to a wide range of materials, including steel, stainless steel and nickel alloys.
- Ease of use: SMAW does not require complex equipment and can therefore be used in many environments, even without access to electricity or shielding gas.
- High reliability: SMAW welding produces strong and durable joints suitable for many applications.
- High resistance to corrosion: SMAW welding produces welds that are highly resistant to corrosion.
- Use in harsh environments: SMAW is one of the few methods that can be used in harsh environments such as offshore or outdoors.
Disadvantages of SMAW are:
- Slow speed: SMAW welding is slower compared to other methods such as MIG or TIG.
- High skill required: SMAW welding requires high skill and experience of the welder to produce high quality welds.
- Dirty environment: SMAW welding produces a lot of smoke and sparks, which can make it difficult to work indoors or in areas with sensitive equipment.
- High maintenance: SMAW welding requires regular maintenance and renewal of the electrodes to ensure a high quality weld.