Arc Welding vs. Gas Welding: Key Differences - D&H Secheron

Published on 17 January 2024

5 min


How Arc Welding and Gas Welding are Different

The history of welding dates back to the bronze age. And ever since then, it has evolved into many forms and types. Two broad categories of welding that we will walk through together in this blog are Arc Welding and Gas Welding.
Before we get into the differences, let us define both types of welding.

What is Gas Welding?

Gas welding is a type of welding process that uses a gas flame to heat and melt the metal pieces being joined together. It typically involves the use of a welding torch, which mixes a fuel gas (such as acetylene or propane) with oxygen to create a high-temperature flame.
The heat of the flame is used to melt the metal, and a filler material is added to the joint to help bond the pieces together. Gas welding is a popular choice for many metal fabrication and repair projects due to its versatility, as it can be used on a wide range of metal thicknesses and alloys.

What is Arc Welding?

Arc Welding uses an arc welding electrode to create heat to weld metals. The process creates an electric arc between the arc welding electrode and the base metal.
There are many subtypes of arc welding: Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Submerged Arc Welding (SAW), and Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW), among others.

Arc Welding Vs Gas Welding

Now that we have a basic understanding of the two types, let us understand the major differences between arc welding and gas welding:

Heat Source: Arc welding, such as submerged arc welding or flux-cored arc welding, uses an electric current to create an arc between the metal pieces being welded and a consumable electrode, which melts the metal and creates the weld.
Gas welding, on the other hand, uses a gas flame created by mixing a fuel gas (such as acetylene or propane) with oxygen, and the heat of the flame is used to melt the metal.

Type of Equipments and ASupplies Required:  Arc welding requires a power source (either AC or DC), a welding machine, and an electrode holder and cables.
Alternatively, gas welding requires a welding torch and a gas cylinder.

Efficiency and Speed: Arc welding is generally considered to be a more efficient and faster method of welding, as the electric arc can be sustained for longer periods of time without needing to be re-ignited.
Gas welding requires the flame to be constantly adjusted and can be more time-consuming.

Scope of work: Both types are best suited for different work projects. Arc welding can be easily used for thicker sections and has versatile options like shielded metal arc welding and submerged arc welding.
Gas welding is often used for thin plates and sections.

Type of Metals: Arc welding is more versatile and can be used on a wider range of metals, including steel, aluminium, and stainless steel.
Gas welding is typically limited to softer, thin metals such as copper, brass, and aluminium.

Temperature: When comparing, gas welding generates lower temperatures than arc welding. The heat generated by gas welding stands at around 3500°C and the arc temperatures can go beyond 6000°C. This makes arc welding an ideal choice to weld metals that have high melting points.

Quality of the Weld: Both arc welding and gas welding can produce strong, high-quality welds if performed properly. However, arc welding is generally considered to produce more consistent, aesthetically pleasing welds, as the weld bead is smoother and more uniform.
In summary, while both arc welding and gas welding are effective methods of joining metal pieces together, they differ in the type of heat source used, the equipment and supplies needed, the speed and efficiency of the process, and the types of metals that can be welded.
Get in touch with D&H Sécheron for more information or assistance with choosing the right welding products for your needs.

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