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What Is Shielded Metal Arc Welding?

Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) is a form of arc welding where a flux covering electrode is used to weld the two metal pieces together. In 1888, Nikolai Slavyanov invented a consumable metal electrode for welding. Then in 1900, Arthur Percy Strohmenger and Oscar Kjellberg produced the first electrode. It is the most common and most used type of welding and is also called metal arc welding. It uses a consumable electrode that has a flux covering on it that offers shielding gas to protect the weld area from atmospheric contamination and also gives slag that is deposited on the top of the molten metal weld and protects it too.

Purpose of SMAW

SMAW is to deal with arc welding using a covered metal electrode to shield the welding is one of the most popular ways to combine two metal parts into one. Every metal is heated up during this process. Once the pieces have melted enough, they will fuse. The result is an incredibly strong bond. Because it’s so effective, it’s used in many industries, such as:

  1. Shipbuilding.
  2. Automobiles.
  3. Aerospace.
  4. Building Construction.

An important part of SMAW

  1. Power supply- A constant current output power supply is used in the SMAW process that gives constant current during the welding process, even in the case of the arc distance and voltage change.
  2. Electrode- The electrode provides off vapors which are also known as shielding gas and slag during the welding process.
  3. Electrode Holder- Fix the electrode in the position required for welding.
  4. Ground Clamp- These are the cables used to connect the electrode and workpiece with the welding power supply. They are also called leads.
  5. Welding cables or lead- It is clamped to the workpiece and another end of it is connected to the terminal of the welding power supply through welding cables. It completes the circuit and lets the flow of current start.

SMAW Welding, like any other welding method, can be dangerous if proper precaution is not taken. In this process, an electric arc is used, which has a risk of burns that are prevented by personal protective gear in the form of heavy leather gloves and long sleeve jackets. Furthermore, the brightness of the weld region can create arc eye, a disease in which ultraviolet radiation promotes corneal inflammation and can burn the retinas of the eyes.

Welding helmets with dark face plates are worn to prevent this exposure, and in recent years, new helmet models have been produced that feature a faceplate that self-darkens upon exposure to high amounts of UV light. To protect unauthorized personnel, especially in industrial environments, the welding area is usually surrounded by a translucent welding screen.

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