Welding Glossary

Term Definition
Abrasion A condition of wear most often caused by rubbing together of two surfaces.
Abrasion resistance The property of a material that allows it to resist abrasive wear.
AC The accepted abbreviation for alternating current.
Active gases Gases that will combine with the weld metal if given the chance. Carbon dioxide and oxygen are active gases.
Actuator A device used to move part of a machine.Robots use electric and hydraulic actuators.
Air Carbon Arc Cutting (CAC-A) This cutting process uses the heat of a carbon electrode arc to melt the metal, and uses forced air to remove the molten metal from the cut. For large cuts, use a welder that can use carbons of at least 3/8ä in diameter.
Air cooled torch/gun A MIG (GMAW) or TIG (GTAW) torch used for light duty work.These torches do not utilize water for cooling like heavy-duty torches.Air cooled TIG torches are generally limited to 200 amps at 60% duty cycle.Air cooled MIG guns are generally limited to 400 amps at 60% duty cycle.
Air pressure leak test An inspection method used for pipelines and storage tanks.Welds are coated with a soap solution, then the vessel is filled with gas under pressure.Bubbles show any leaks due to defective welds.
Alloy A mixture of two or more metals to achieve specific qualities such as hardness, ductility, etc.
Alternating Current (AC) Electrical charges which flows in one direction then the other at regular intervals such as 60 cycles per second (50 cycles per second in Europe).
Ammeter An instrument used to measure electrical current flow in amperes.
Ampere A unit of measure of electrical current.One ampere of current will flow through a conductor of one ohm at a potential (electrical pressure) of one volt.
Amperage Also referred to as current, it is the amount of electricity flowing per second, past a particular point in a conductor.
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Annealing The softening of metals by heat treatment.This process typically involves heating the metals up to critical temperature and then cooling them slowly.
Anode The positive terminal of an electrical circuit.
ANSI An abbreviation for the American National Standards Institute.
Arc The flow of electricity through a gaseous space or gap.
Arc blow The wandering of an electric arc from its normal path due to magnetic forces.
Arc Cutting A group of cutting processes wherein the severing or removal of metals is accomplished by melting with the heat from an arc between an electrode and the parent material.
Arc Force Provides variable additional amperage to a power source during low voltage conditions. This avoids ãstickingä when a short arc is used.
Arc length The distance between the electrode and the base metal.In SMAW, this distance should be approximately equal to the electrode diameter.
Arc-seam weld A weld bead with an arc welding unit.
Arc-spot weld A spot weld made by an arc welding process.
Arc spraying A surfacing process using an electric arc between two electrodes of surfacing material and a pressurized gas to propel the vaporized material onto the base surface.
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Arc voltage The electrical potential across an arc.The pressure or voltage of an arc.
AWS The abbreviation for the American Welding Society.
AWS electrode specifications Strict manufacturing specifications developed by the American Welding Society for electrodes.AWS electrode specifications are published and revised every five years.
Arc welding A group of welding processes used to melt and weld metal using the heat of an electric arc, with or without filler metal.
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Argon An inert gas found in the atmosphere and used as a shielding gas in some welding operations, primarily TIG.
Automatic Welding Equipment which uses sensing devices to control joint alignment.Most commonly some type of arc welding wherein all welding operations are controlled and initiated by automated means.
Axis of weld An imaginary line along the center of gravity of the weld metal and perpendicular to a cross section of the weld metal from the beginning to the end of the weld.
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