AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

Different Types of Welding in Aircraft

When looking to permanently join two or more pieces of metal, you may choose from a collection of welding methods. Depending on certain specifications of the aircraft, the best style of welding will vary. In fact, welding techniques will likely vary across the different parts of an aircraft as well. For aircraft that are used more frequently or have to meet other high-performance standards, stronger and more durable welding methods are required for the safety and proper functionality of aircraft. For your better knowledge, this blog will examine the many factors that influence welding requirements and how one may choose the best method for their applications.

One of the most obvious factors to consider when welding is the material of the workpieces. Depending on the type of metal you are working with, different welding techniques will work best. Since all metals have different chemical properties, they each react differently when heated during welding. For example, aluminum and iron cannot be welded by the same process because iron melts at a much higher temperature than aluminum. Additionally, if the metal is not in new condition, it might require gentler handling, unless it is extremely worn, such as in a vintage airplane, in which case welding may be useless.

In addition to the individual pieces of metal, the characteristics of the entire aircraft influence the best welding solutions. For example, the size of the aircraft determines the amount of weight and pressure that is placed on certain parts and components, so the welding junctions of the parts of larger aircraft must be very strong to handle the dimensions of the aircraft. Furthermore, the number of flights an aircraft takes provides an indication of the type of support an aircraft needs, as aircraft that frequent the air will be exposed to more wear than those that fly infrequently. To maintain safety, aircraft that fly more frequently will also require stronger welding techniques.

Other factors that influence the strength of the welding techniques required are the seating capacity, the engine design, and the amount of torque your aircraft parts will experience. All of these factors increase wear and tear, so stronger welding techniques should be used for any additional strains on your aircraft’s junctions. Laser-beam welding is gaining popularity in aircraft as a replacement for rivets, as it is more durable and less expensive, but still other options exist.

Welding may be categorized by the way heat is generated for melting the metals. A popular welding technique, known as arc welding, uses electricity to generate heat. This category of welding comprises many subcategories of welding, including electric arc welding (EAW), shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), plasma arc welding (PAW), and various others. Heat for welding may also be generated through the use of flammable gasses in a technique known as gas welding. These and many other techniques exist for aircraft, so be sure to fully understand your applications before deciding on the best style of welding.

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