Frequently Asked Questions

We've received thousands of welding questions over the years from people just like you. Here are answers to the most popular ones.
  1. What is Arc Welding?
  2. What is a Stick Electrode?
  3. What is a MIG Wire?
  4. What is a Cored Wire (Flux-Cored Wire)?
  5. What is Submerged Arc?
  6. What is a Stick Welder?
  7. What is a TIG Welder?
  8. What are MIG and Multi-Process Welders?
  9. What is a Wire Feeder?
  10. What is a Semiautomatic Wire Feeder?
  11. What is an Automatic Wire Feeder?
1.What is Arc Welding? TOP
Arc welding is a method of joining two pieces of metal into one solid piece. To do this, the heat of an electric arc is concentrated on the edges of two pieces of metal to be joined. The metal melts, while the edges are still molten, additional melted metal is added. This molten mass then cools and solidifies into one solid piece.
2.What is a Stick Electrode? TOP

A short stick of welding filler metal consisting of a core of bare electrode covered by chemical or metallic materials that provide shielding of the welding arc against the surrounding air. It also completes the electrical circuit, thereby creating the arc. (Also known as SMAW, or Stick Metal Arc Welding.)

3.What is a MIG Wire? TOP
Like a stick electrode, MIG wire completes the electrical circuit creating the arc, but it is continually fed through a welding gun from a spool or drum. MIG wire is a solid, non-coated wire and receives shielding from a mixture of gases. (Process is also known as GMAW, or Gas Metal Arc Welding.)
4.What is a Cored Wire (Flux-Cored Wire)? TOP

Cored wire is similar to MIG wire in that it is spooled filler metal for continuous welding. However, Cored wire is not solid, but contains flux internally (chemical & metallic materials) that provides shielding. Gas is often not required for shielding. (Process is also known as FCAW, or Flux-Cored Arc Welding.)

5.What is Submerged Arc? TOP

A bare metal wire is used in conjunction with a separate flux. Flux is a granular composition of chemical and metallic materials that shields the arc. The actual point of metal fusion, and the arc, is submerged within the flux. (Process is also known as SAW, or Submerged Arc Welding.)

6.What is a Stick Welder? TOP

Heating the coated stick electrode and the base metal with an arc creates fusion of metals. An AC and/or DC electrical current is produced by this machine to create the heat needed. An electrode holder handles stick electrodes and a ground clamp completes the circuit.

7.What is a TIG Welder? TOP
A less intense current produces a finer, more aesthetically pleasing weld appearance. A tungsten electrode (non-consumable) is used to carry the arc to the workpiece. Filler metals are sometimes supplied with a separate electrode. Gas is used for shielding. (Process is also known as GTAW, or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding.)
8.What are MIG and Multi-Process Welders? TOP
Constant Voltage and Constant Current welders are used for MIG welding and are a semi-automated process when used in conjunction with a wire feeder. Wire is fed through a gun to the weld-joint as long as the trigger is depressed. This process is easier to operate than stick welding and provides higher productivity levels. CC/CV welders operate similarily to CC (MIG) welders except that they possess multi-process capabilities - meaning that they are capable of performing flux-cored, stick and even TIG processes as well as MIG.
9.What is a Wire Feeder? TOP

For MIG welding or Flux-Cored wire welding, wire feeder welders are usually complete and portable welding kits. A small built in wire feeder guides wire through the gun to the piece.

10.What is a Semiautomatic Wire Feeder? TOP

For MIG welding or Flux-Cored welding, semiautomatic wire feeders are connected to a welding power source and are used to feed a spool of wire through the welding gun. Wire is only fed when the trigger is depressed. These units are portable.

11.What is an Automatic Wire Feeder? TOP
For MIG, Flux-Cored, or submerged arc welding, automatic wire feeders feed a spool of wire at a constant rate to the weld joint. They are usually mounted onto a fixture in a factory/industrial setting and are used in conjunction with a separate power source
  1. Where is Lincoln Electric's U.S. Headquarters located?
  2. How do I figure out what type of equipment I need?
  3. How do I figure out which type of welding wire I need?
  4. How do I buy Lincoln Electric merchandise?
  5. How do I learn more about weld fume control?
1.Where is Lincoln Electric's U.S. Headquarters located? TOP

Lincoln Electric's U.S. headquarters is located at:
22801 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44117

2.How do I figure out what type of equipment I need? TOP

Lincoln Electric's new Equipment Selector can help you decide which type of equipment you need:
Go to the Equipment Selector

3.How do I figure out which type of welding wire I need? TOP

Lincoln Electric's new Consumable Product Selector can help you figure out which type of consumable you need:
Go to the Consumable Product Selector

4.How do I buy Lincoln Electric merchandise? TOP
Lincoln Electric merchandise can be ordered through our Logo Merchandise Store
5.How do I learn more about weld fume control? TOP
Check out Lincoln Electric's Weld Fume Control section for product recommendations, literature and more:
Go to Weld Fume Control