News

Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Published Friday, October 11, 2019

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) is one of the world’s most popular welding techniques, capable of producing complex small welds to huge welding projects. Because the technique is relatively simple but able to produce versatile results with low equipment costs, SMAW welding accounts for over half of all welding production in certain countries.

SMAW is used to weld different kinds of steel and iron. It can also be used on nickel, copper, nickel/copper alloys, and aluminum. SMAW’s form of arc welding involves using a covered metal electrode that is covered in flux coating. As the weld is laid, the coating melts, releasing a vapor that shields the weld from outside contamination. The nature of SMAW means that many materials of different thicknesses can be joined, producing parts that have applications essential to everyday life – they can be used in the construction of steel structures, industrial fabrication and for bridges and canopies. The technique also applies well to maintenance and repair jobs.

There are many benefits of SMAW. These include:

  • Simple and relatively inexpensive equipment
  • Suited for many different commonly used metals and alloys
  • Able to be used in many environments both indoor and outdoor; outdoors, in shops, on pipelines, ships, bridges, and refineries, etc. 
  • The process is largely unaffected by winds and drafts, making it ideal for outdoor welding 
  • One of the most portable welding processes (can be powered by gas and diesel rather than electrical connections), which allows the welder to be versatile in their welding locations and positions
  • Separate gas shielding is unnecessary 

Depending on the welder’s skill, SMAW can be used in any position and does not always require the use of large tools or worktables, ensuring that it remains a popular technique among amateur welders and small businesses. SMAW welding requires welder-fitters who are certified to the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) Level 2 welding standards. High quality welding ensures that these parts are strong and will hold to their intended applications.

SMAW requires precision and attention to detail, which VeriForm is more than capable of providing in every weld. VeriForm only employs CWB CSA w47.1 and W59 certified welders, as well as retaining qualified CWB certified welding engineers to ensure all specifications are met for client projects. Because SMAW has such a wide range of industrial uses, VeriForm can take on a vast variety of projects for their clients. Projects can be set up with limited time and effort, saving on set up costs, while the simplicity of SMAW tools and equipment means that there are fewer instances of equipment breakdown. This means that projects can be completed quickly and efficiently with the SMAW technique, with savings passed down to the client. The quality of workmanship with VeriForm’s certified welders means that our welds will hold safely, stay strong, and reach the client defect-free.