Spot Welding VS Arc Welding – Get to Know The Difference

Walter once said, ‘You are a welder if you have a sunburn in the winter.’ I didn’t stumble on this when I first read it. However, after joining the welding field, I couldn’t agree with him more! 

Welding is synonymous with playing with fire for an odd number of hours for straight 5 days. This is because of welding’s appetite for relentless dedication, focus, practice, and compassion. You can’t be a welder and sluggish at the same time. 

Either you choose to remain stagnant or become a professional welder. Well, this article is not about professional welders, as they are well accustomed to everything and anything related to welds. 

This writing is exclusively targeting young welders who are curious to explore different dimensions in this gigantic field. By the end of this writing, the reader will for sure have a basic understanding of the difference between Spot Welding VS Arc Welding – the two most popular and frequently used welding methods across the globe. 

Before getting into the subject matter, make sure you have a notebook and pen for noting down essential points! 

Let’s embark on our journey with the simplest definitions of the two welding types – arc welding and spot welding! 

Arc Welding – Basic Introduction 

Arc welding is also known as Robotic Arc Welding. Arc welding is liquid-state welding that involves the temporary melting of metals so that they can be joined together permanently. 

Arc welding has more than 5 different kinds. Each welding type contains unique shielding gas, filler wire, non-consumable electrodes, and consumable electrodes. 

Spot Welding – Basic Introduction 

Spot welding is also known as Resistance Welding. Spot welding is solid-state welding which involves the partial melting of metals to create concentrated welds at explicit points in a workplace. 

Spot welding has not been subdivided into different kinds. Shielding gas, filler wire, and the nature of electrodes remain the same throughout the process. 

Striking Differences Between Spot Welding and Arc Welding

Spotting differences between arc and spot welding is not like passing the sophomore year of high school. Differences are striking and non-obvious, unlike similarities. 

Okay, let’s just break it down into chunks that would be readily understandable and rational enough to be considered viable and factual. 

Even without spending years in this field, one can point out that the most obvious similarity between spot and arc welding is that both processes can be operated with the help of robots and that these two mechanisms are automated. 

However, if someone wants to observe the opposite side of the same coin (attempt to point out the differences between the two), he will surely have a hard time. So much so that he will find himself at the wrong end of a boxing match. 

Don’t worry; I won’t let you feel the same. I won’t let you feel painfully lost in the sea of chaos and uncertainty. I have made a humble effort to pinpoint the most striking differences so that you don’t have a hard time in the future! 

Let’s start with 1st difference! 

1. General Mechanism 

Arc welding is concerned with the generation of an electric arc using electricity to heat and melt good-quality metals. After heating, metals are allowed to cool down. Metallic pieces automatically bind together after they are cooled enough. 

Contrary to that, spot welding is concerned with the partial melting of good-quality metals. Metallic workpieces are joined together to exert pressure. Resistance from these workpieces generates heat which welds the pieces together. 

Arc welding has more than 5 subdivisions. All kinds have separate demands for shielding gas, consumable electrodes, non-consumable electrodes, and filler wire. That said, spot welding has no subdivisions.

Okay, let’s just put it another way. Arc welding appears more like lightning, whereas spot welding appears more like a hot electric plate.   

2. Functionality and Work Range 

Since arc welding has been divided into different kinds, it is more versatile and flexible in comparison to spot welding. Arc welding is the most recommended option when it comes to welding non-ferrous and ferrous metals. 

For instance, one of the robotic devices for arc welding, named FANUC Arcmate 120ic can weld metals of varying thinness and thickness using the robotic plasma welding method. 

Thickness or thinness of a metal matter less when it comes to applications of the automated arc welding method whereas the thickness of a metallic workpiece matters the most when adopting the automated spot welding method. 

Spot welding is the best option for welding stainless steel in bulk amounts. Spot welding can not weld a metal whose thickness is more than 3mm. 

Since arc welding robots are more flexible, lightweight, and versatile, they are widely used for indoor and outdoor welding ventures. This welding method is mostly adopted by farmers and mechanics for repairing worn-out vehicles. 

3. Alternate Names 

Arc welding is also known as Stick Welding or Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW). During this welding mechanism, the filler rod coated with flux is used. Flux is a pure combination of chemicals that heats up when the electric arc is struck. As a result, gases are generated that provide the utmost protection to the weld from atmospheric contamination. 

Here it is important to mention that Stick Welding is one of the types or subdivisions of arc welding. Apart from that, it has other kinds too. Time doesn’t permit me to discuss them all. Who knows, sometime in the future, we might get time to discuss them all. 

Since spot welding uses the flow of current and electric resistance joining metallic pieces without involving a filler rod, it is also known as Resistance Welding. 

4. Precautionary Measures 

Safety comes first, especially when you are a part of an infamously dreadful venture like arc welding. I will tell you why in a moment or two. 

The heat emitted from the weld can cause severe eye infections or loss of eyesight. This is why you need to wear safety goggles and helmets throughout the process. Welding gloves and fireproof clothing are equally important when arc welding. 

Final Statement

Welding is a universal process of joining multiple pieces of metals together by applying increased temperature and pressure. Through this writing, we have tried to help you find out the difference between spot welding vs arc welding! Hopefully, it will be of the essence for you and many others. 

For further details, contact us! 

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