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5 Types of Welding Used in Pressure Vessels

Types of Welding Used in Pressure Vessels

Welding is one of the most essential methods used to construct pressure vessels. Pressure vessels are containers used to store compressed gases and liquids, and their safe construction is critical to protecting public safety. Proper welding techniques must be employed to ensure the integrity of pressure vessels. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of welding used in pressure vessel construction and their unique characteristics.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)

One of the most popular welding techniques used in pressure vessel construction is gas tungsten arc welding, commonly known as TIG welding. This method involves using a tungsten electrode to heat and melt the metal. The inert gas is then used to create a shield around the welding area to prevent oxidation. GTAW is a precise and clean welding technique providing high-quality, low-hazard pressure vessel joints.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)

Shielded metal arc welding, or stick welding, is another commonly used method in pressure vessel construction. A stick electrode creates an arc between the electrode and the metal. This creates a weld pool, a molten metal that cools down to form a solid bond. SMAW provides a robust and reliable weld but produces a lot of spatters, making it less efficient than other techniques.

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)

Gas metal arc welding, commonly known as MIG welding, is a welding technique that uses a wire electrode and a shielding gas. The wire is fed through a gun and melts the parent metal, forming a clean weld bead. GMAW is a fast and efficient method, but it is more suitable for thinner materials as it creates a lot of heat that can warp the metal.

Flux-cored Arc Welding (FCAW)

Flux-cored arc welding is similar to MIG welding but with an added flux layer. The flux melts and fuses with the metal to create a protective barrier, preventing oxidation and strengthening the bond. FCAW is an efficient method for welding thick plates, but it produces a lot of smoke and fumes that can be harmful if proper ventilation is not provided.

Submerged Arc Welding (SAW)

Submerged Arc Welding provides a high-quality weld using a granular flux that covers the welding area, preventing oxidation and creating a solid bond. The arc is not visible, as the acceptable change submerges the welding area. It is suitable for large welding joints, such as those used in pressure vessels.


Pressure vessel welding requires excellent precision, expertise, and safety precautions. The choice of welding method depends on the thickness, composition, and other specific requirements of the materials used. The welding techniques discussed above effectively construct pressure vessels with varying levels of consistency and complexity. Ultimately, engaging skilled welding professionals who are well-versed in these techniques and follow safety measures to build pressure vessels that meet industry standards is vital.

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