As cars become increasingly complex, the welding technologies used to put them together must also advance. In the US alone, an estimated 195 million vehicles were produced in 2018 — that’s
5 million more cars than the year before! And the type of welding used for car frames is increasingly sophisticated.
Many modern cars now use spot welding for car frames, a process which utilizes electrical current to rapidly weld multiple pieces of steel together — creating stronger, more durable cars in the process. Developed in the 1920s by International Harvester, spot welding is now used in more than 85% of car manufacture — and is far more efficient than traditional arc welding, which can take up to four minutes to complete a joint. So what other welding methods are used to make car frames, and how have they advanced in recent years?
Read on to learn more.
What type of welding is used for car frames?Welding is widely used in the automotive industry for a range of applications.
One of the most common uses for welding in car frames is arc welding. Arc welding is a quick and powerful approach that can be used to weld most of the materials used in car frames, as well as to reinforce them for improved safety and performance.
What is Arc Welding?
Arc welding is a process through which two or more pieces of metal can be joined together. It involves the use of heat applied at a high temperature to the metals, which causes them to melt and become joined together when they cool.
An electrical energy source supplies the heat. The arc welding process takes place in the presence of a shield which helps to create a protective atmosphere that prevents contamination of the weld. Arc welding is a very popular technique in the automotive industry because of its versatility and its capacity to form strong joints between materials.
It is typically used to weld aluminum, steel, stainless steel, as well as many other metals used in car frames.
Types of Arc WeldingThere are three main types of arc welding that are suited for car frame applications:
- Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
- Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) is a popular choice for car frames due to its ability to provide excellent weld quality and cost effectiveness.
The process uses an electrical current and a shielding gas to create the arc that melts the metal to join the pieces together. The shielding gas is usually a combination of argon and carbon dioxide and helps to create a protective atmosphere that prevents oxidation and warping of the parts. GMAW is a fast and easy to use process that requires minimal setup and can be used on almost any metal.