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What are the advantages and disadvantages of welding?

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Like all joining processes, welding offers several advantages but has some disadvantages as well. The most significant advantage of welding is undoubted that it provides exceptional structural integrity, product joints with very high efficiencies. The strength of joints that are weld continuously can easily approach or exceed the strength of the base material(s). The latter situation is made possible by selecting a joint design that provides greater cross-sectional than the adjoining joint elements and/or filler that is of higher strength than the base material(s). Another advantage is the wide range of processes and approaches that can be selected and the correspondingly wide variety of materials that can thus be welded.

Advantage of Welding

Almost all metals and alloys, many (thermoplastic) polymers, and some ceramics can be welded, with or without auxiliary filler. Still, other advantages of welding are that -

 (1) Processes that can be performed manually, semi-automatically, or completely automatically;

(2) some processes can be made portable for implementation in the field for the erection of large structures on site or for maintenance and repair of such structures and  equipment;

(3) continuous welds provide fluid tightness that's why welding is the process of choice for fabricating pressure vessels;

(4) welding can be performed remotely in hazardous environments like underwater, in areas of radiation, in outer space using robots;

(5) For most applications, costs can be reasonable. The exceptions to the last statement are where welds are highly critical, with stringent quality requirements or involving specialized applications like very thick section welding.

Disadvantage of welding

(1) The main disadvantage of welding is that it precludes disassembly. While often chosen because it produces permanent joints, consideration of ultimate disposal of a product (or structure) at the end of its useful life is causing modern designers to rethink how they will accomplish joining.

(2) Many welding processes are that the requirement for heat in producing many welds can disrupt the base material microstructure and degrade properties. Unbalanced heat input can also lead to distortion and/or the introduction of residual stresses that can be problematic from several standpoints.

(3) welding requires considerable operator skill, or, in lieu of skilled operators, sophisticated automated welding systems.

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