Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)/ Stick Welding

Shielded Metal Arc Welding or SMAW, sometimes called stick welding, is one of a number of general arc welding technologies. Much like both TIG and MIG welding, SMAW welding works by creating an electric arc between a weld gun and a work material to heat up the material past it’s melting point. SMAW or Stick Welding uses a shielding gas to prevent outside contamination, like oxygen from reaching the weld and creating impurities.

SMAW makes use of a consumable electrode that is jacketed in flux, which heats up and acts like a filler metal much like in MIG welding. However unlike MIG welding, Stick welding is a manual process where the electrode (consumable filler material) is not fed automatically. When both the electrode and the material are heated up they form a pool of molten metal, which when cooled form the weld bead. As the electrode continues to heat up the flux jacket heats up and melts creating a gas which functions as the shielding gas.

SMAW Welding Applications

Arc welding is probably the most commonly used welding technology worldwide. Generally SMAW is used for larger, less precise welding applications. Good example industries are ship building, and large scale steel construction. It is also commonly used in repair industries. Because of its versatility, SMAW covers a very broad range of general industries and applications.

SMAW Welding Applications

Arc welding is probably the most commonly used welding technology worldwide. Generally SMAW is used for larger, less precise welding applications. Good example industries are ship building, and large scale steel construction. It is also commonly used in repair industries. Because of its versatility, SMAW covers a very broad range of general industries and applications.

The Advantages of SMAW Welding

Shielded Metal Arc Welding is generally considered to be an easier technique to learn than other specialized welding types. In addition to it being a very versatile and simple technology it is also very cost-effective, which explains in part some of the popularity. SMAW can also be used to weld virtually any thickness material as long as it is properly prepped. However, SMAW is less controllable than some of the other techniques discussed, and can therefore lead to reduced weld qualities. It is also more inclined to create weld spatter.