There are many different types of welding, some modern and some traditional. From Forge Welding with hammers in the Middle Age, to the discovery of Carbon Arc Welding in the 1800s, welding has evolved significantly over the years. In this guide, Taylor Studwelding has rounded up the different types of welding and what they’re used for.

  • Arc Welding
    • Stick Welding
    • MIG Welding
    • TIG Welding
    • Submerged Arc Welding
    • Electroslag Welding
    • Atomic Hydrogen Welding
    • Carbon Arc Welding
  • Resistance Welding
    • Spot Welding
    • Projection Welding
    • Butt Welding
    • Seam Welding
    • Flash Welding
  • Oxyacetylene Welding
  • Solid State Welding
    • Forge Welding
    • Cold Welding
    • Hot Pressure Welding
    • Roll Welding
    • Friction Welding
    • Ultrasonic Welding
    • Magnetic Pulse Welding
    • Explosion Welding
    • Diffusion Welding
  • Electron Beam Welding
    • Laser Beam Welding
  • Stud Welding
    • Drawn Arc Stud Welding
    • Short Cycle Stud Welding
    • Capacitor Discharge Stud Welding

What is Welding?

Welding is a type of fabrication process that uses heat and pressure to fuse two or more materials together. Once the parts are cooled, the welding joint is formed to bond the two workpieces together. The completed joint is referred to as a weldment. 

Welding is a process typically used on metals, but can also be used on wood. Most welding processes require a form of shielding to protect the filler and materials from being oxidised. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the different types of welding.

What are the Different Types of Welding?

Arc Welding

MIG Welding

Arc welding is one of the most prominent types of welding. Arc processes involve using the concentrated heat of an electric arc to join metal materials together. These processes fall broadly into two categories: consumable electrode methods and non-consumable electrode methods. This distinction dictates whether the process involves the electrode melting and becoming part of the welded joint or not melting and only acting as an arc conductor.

Another arc welding variable is the use of current; some methods require a specific type of current, whereas others are more versatile. Furthermore, some arc welding processes require shielding gas, whereas others do not. Find out more about some of the most prominent types of arc welding:

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (Stick Welding)

Developed in the 1950s, Shielded Metal Arc Welding, also known as Stick Welding, uses a flux-coated consumable electrode with an AC or DC power source to create an electric arc. The arc then melts the workpiece and electrode into a molten pool to form a bond when cooled.

Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG Welding)

Gas Metal Arc Welding is used to create an electric arc between the consumable wire electrode and the workpiece material. 

In this process, the welding gun is fed through the electrode with a shielding gas to protect against contaminants. The workpiece then melts and the materials form a bond. 

The subtypes of Gas Metal Arc Welding are MIG welding (metal inert gas) and MAG welding (metal active gas). The processes were originally developed for non-ferrous metals, such as aluminium, but eventually became the most common welding process for hard materials including steel.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG Welding)

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, also known as TIG welding (TIG standing for tungsten inert gas), requires a non-consumable tungsten electrode, a constant current power source, and an inert shielding gas which creates a plasma arc. 

This process allows for more operator control than Stick or MIG welding, making it suitable for welding thin sections of non-ferrous metals. However, this welding process can be slower and more technically demanding.

Flux-Cored Arc Welding

Flux-Cored Arc Welding is similar to MIG welding, but instead of shielding gas, it uses a flux-filled hollow electrode wire. 

Flux-Cored Arc Welding is ideal for thicker joints due to the high weld-metal deposition rate and strong penetration.

Plasma Arc Welding

Plasma Arc Welding uses ionised gases and electrodes to form hot plasma jets.

This type of welding is ideal for narrow and deep welds as the jets are hot, enabling increased weld speeds.

Submerged Arc Welding

Submerged Arc Welding creates an electric arc beneath a bed of flux powder. The flux layer offers a shielding effect and drastically reduces heat loss. The hopper recycles the excess flux and the slag layers are removed after welding.

Electroslag Welding

In Electroslag Welding, a wire is fed into the welding area and flux is added to the electrical arc until the molten slag reaches the tip of the electrode and extinguishes the arc. 

Electroslag Welding operators use a DC power source and tend to work with thick materials, such as low carbon steel plates or aluminium busbars.

Atomic Hydrogen Welding

Developed in 1926, Atomic Hydrogen Welding creates an arc between two tungsten electrodes with hydrogen as a shielding gas. The resulting arc maintains independently from the workpiece. This welding process is rarely used as MIG welding has become the preferred alternative.

Carbon Arc Welding

Carbon Arc Welding was one of the first Arc Welding processes, founded in 1881. In this method, an electrical arc forms between a carbon electrode and the workpiece.

This process produces significant heat, whereas more modern techniques are much safer and produce the correct level of heat for welders.

To learn more about the different types of arc welding, visit our handy guide. 

Resistance Welding

Spot Welding

Resistance welding processes involve applying force upon and conducting a current through metal workpieces to heat up and melt them in areas predetermined by the electrodes and/or workpieces. Resistance types of welding include:

Spot Welding

Welders use spot welding for joining overlapping sheet metals in projects where strength and durability are not pressing concerns. Copper electrodes hold the workpieces together with force and an electrical current heats them to welding temperature. This process is more cost-effective than most arc welding methods. However, it has fewer applications and tends to harden and warp workpiece materials. We cover the differences between spot welding and stud welding here.

Projection Welding

As a modification of spot welding, projection welding involves locally heating and welding the raised sections (projections) on one or more workpieces.

Butt Welding

Butt Welding is used to join together thick metal bars or plates by clamping electrodes to the workpieces and applying opposing forces. Heating occurs but often no melting, creating a solid-state weld.

Seam Welding

Seam Welding is used for joining sheet metals together at the seam joints by applying opposing forces with electrode wheels. The rotary wheels work to localise the current and generate heat.

Flash Welding

With Flash Welding, the workpieces are placed apart from one another and current is applied, creating resistance in the gap between the materials and an arc for melting. Once the correct temperature is reached, the two workpieces are pressed and forged together.

Oxyacetylene Welding

Oxyacetylene Welding

Also known as oxy-fuel welding, Oxyacetylene Welding uses fuel gases and pure oxygen to increase flame temperature for the local melting of the workpieces. Engineers Edmond Fouché and Charles Picard developed Oxyacetylene Welding in 1903 and it has since become largely obsolete due to the development of Arc Welding. However, this process is still used for artwork applications and home use.

Solid State Welding

Friction Stir Welding

Solid State Welding is characterised by the use of temperatures below the melting points of the base materials. Unlike resistance welding, it doesn’t always require pressure. Depending on the type of Solid State Welding used, it can take anything from milliseconds to hours to complete the weld. There are many different types of Solid State Welding, including:

  • Forge Welding: low carbon steel parts are heated and hammered together.
  • Cold Welding: high pressure at room temperature coalesces very clean metals.
  • Hot Pressure Welding: heat and pressure macro-deform the base material.
  • Roll Welding: rolls induce heat and pressure deformation (instead of hammers).
  • Friction Welding: a mechanical sliding motion rubs the materials together.
  • Ultrasonic Welding: a transducer emits high-frequency vibrations to join materials together.
  • Magnetic Pulse Welding: magnetic forces weld the workpieces together.
  • Explosion Welding: a controlled detonation joins together rapidly moving parts.
  • Diffusion Welding: joining refractory metals without affecting their metallurgical properties.

Electron Beam Welding

types of welding with laser

Electron Beam Welding uses a beam of high-velocity electrons in vacuum conditions to create powerful welds. The electrons transform from kinetic energy to heat when they hit the workpiece materials, melting them together to form the weld.

Laser Beam Welding

Laser Beam Welding uses a highly concentrated laser heat source for narrow and deep welds. Welders can use a continuous or pulsed laser beam, the former for deep welds and the latter for thin materials.

Stud Welding

Stud Welding Materials Guide

Stud welding is a specialised and highly effective method for joining studs and other fasteners to sheet metals. This type of welding avoids the pitfalls of many other welding processes, such as weakening the workpiece, studs working loose, cracking, and staining. Stud welding is quick to complete and creates one of the strongest welds without reverse marking or holes. The different types of stud welding include:

Capacitor Discharge Stud Welding

With Capacitor Discharge Stud Welding, the capacitors charge to a pre-set voltage depending on welding diameter. The stud then makes contact with the sheet and the capacitors trigger their energy to produce an arc and melt the pip. Return pressure forges the stud to the molten surface area for a complete fusion. CD stud welding is one of the most cost-effective welding processes, ideal for thin workpiece materials.

Drawn Arc Stud Welding

The Drawn Arc Welding process involves triggering a pilot arc while the stud lifts to a pre-set height. The arc then melts the weld end of the stud to create a molten pool. Return pressure forges the stud into the pool and the accompanying ferrule shapes the fillet. 

DA stud welding is one of the best welding processes for attaching studs to thicker parent materials of 0.7mm and above.

Short Cycle Stud Welding

The Short Cycle Stud Welding process has similarities to both CD and DA stud welding.

Like CD stud welding, Short Cycle Stud Welding does not require ferrules and like DA stud welding, the Short Cycle method is much more tolerant to uneven surfaces and imperfections. 

Short Cycle Stud Welding achieves a deeper weld than Capacitor Discharge Stud Welding and is a lot less costly than Drawn Arc Stud Welding.


  • How many types of welding are there?

There are around 30 different types of welding that fall into seven main categories: Arc Welding, Resistance Welding, Oxyacetylene Welding, Solid State Welding, Electron Beam Welding and Stud Welding.

  • What is welding slag?

Welding slag is formed when the flux solidifies after the weld is completed. Welding slag is a combination of flux and impurities that are formed during the weld.

  • How hot is a welding arc?

Different metals require different temperatures to perform a weld, so the temperature of the welding arc differs. However, generally Arc welding is performed at around 10,000℉.

  • Who invented welding?

Welding was first discovered in the 1800s, but no single person takes credit for inventing the process. However, Sir Humphry Davy produced the first electric Arc between two carbon electrodes in 1809.

  • Why is welding important?

Welding is an essential process to many industries including the automotive, aviation and construction industry. Welding allows a range of metal structures to be created and without this process, so many things including cars and space travel would not exist.

Looking for a High-Quality Stud Welding Machine?

At Taylor Studwelding, we’re the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of stud welding machines that are capable of the Capacitor Discharge, Drawn Arc, and Short Cycle Stud Welding processes.

We have extensively tested all our equipment to ensure the strongest and most effective welds on a variety of metals. For more information browse our website, or read our ultimate Stud Welding guide here. Got a question? Simply contact us, we’re always happy to help.