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5 Types of Welding Used in Ship Building

Welding Used in Ship Building

Welding is a crucial process in shipbuilding, as it forms the basis of the construction of ships. The welding techniques used in shipbuilding are unique and highly specialized, as the structures must be strong enough to withstand the harsh environments found at sea. However, many people may need to be aware of the different types of welding used in this industry. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most commonly used welding techniques in shipbuilding.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)

Also known as stick welding, SMAW is the most basic and versatile form of welding used in shipbuilding. It involves using a consumable electrode with flux to protect the weld pool from atmospheric contamination. SMAW is widely used in shipyards for its simplicity and low cost.

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)

Also referred to as MIG welding, GMAW uses a wire electrode fed through a welding gun and protected by an inert gas such as argon. This technique is widely used to fabricate aluminium structures in shipbuilding since it offers high welding speeds and excellent control over the arc.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)

Commonly known as TIG welding, GTAW uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. This technique is used for welding thin materials like aluminum and stainless steel that require quality finishes and excellent penetration.

Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)

FCAW is a variant of MIG welding that uses a specialized wire filled with flux. The flux shields against atmospheric contamination and produces a slag that covers the weld bead. This technique is used in shipbuilding for its versatility in welding thicker materials that require higher deposition rates.

Submerged Arc Welding (SAW)

SAW involves feeding a consumable electrode through a layer of flux that serves as a shield against atmospheric contamination. The arc is submerged beneath the change, making it suitable for welding large, thick plates. This technique is commonly used in shipyards for its high-quality welds and high productivity.


In conclusion, many different types of welding are used in shipbuilding, each with unique advantages and applications. While SMAW is still the most widely used technique in shipyards, GMAW, GTAW, FCAW, and SAW are becoming more common due to their efficiency, quality, and versatility. Understanding the different types of welding used in shipbuilding is essential for anyone working in this industry, as it plays a critical role in constructing safe, reliable, and long-lasting vessels.

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