During the welding process, a welder or machine joins two pieces of metal using heat or pressure. In soldering or brazing, the two pieces stay separate but joined. Meanwhile, welding connects the metal to form a single piece. Welding involves two types of materials:

  • Parent material: A weld’s parent material includes the metal parts that join during the process.
  • Fillers or consumables: During the welding process, added materials called fillers or consumables can help form the final piece.

A weld can count as homogeneous or heterogeneous. In a homogeneous weld, the consumable has a similar composition to the parent material. Heterogeneous welds involve filler materials that have a different composition than the parent material.


The welding process involves a variety of approaches and joint types. Techniques for welding can fall into one of two broad categories:

  • Fusion welding: As the most commonly known form of welding, fusion welding uses extreme heat to join metal pieces. The welder can use an inert gas or filler metal to strengthen the bond.
  • Pressure welding: During the pressure welding process, the welder applies external pressure to the two pieces. Pressure welding can happen at a temperature below the material’s melting point in a process known as solid state welding.

Welders use fusion welding in a wide range of applications for many industries. Pressure welding techniques tend to involve specialized methods that suit more niche applications. Types of joints formed in welding include:

  • Butt joint: 135-180° angle connection between two ends
  • Lap joint: 0-5° angle connection between two overlapping parts
  • T joint: 5-90° angle connection between one part’s edge and the other’s face
  • Corner joint: 30-135° connection between two ends or edges
  • Edge joint: 0-30° degree connection between two edges

Since welding involves multiple techniques and connections, it’s used in numerous applications.


Both humans and machines can perform the process thanks to developments in welding technology. Learn more about each welding technique:

Manual welding: In manual welding, a trained welder uses specialized equipment to join pieces of metal. Welding professionals understand their industry’s best practices for creating high-quality parts and products.

Robotic welding: Automated welding processes involve robotic welding tools that can weld metal to a project’s specifications. Robotic welding can achieve precise, high-quality results at a high level of efficiency.

Many metal fabricators utilize both robotic welding automation techniques and manual welding by humans for the highest level of control.


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