Advantages and Disadvantages of Commonly Used Industrial Welding Processes

For efficient and economical fabrication, the choice of welding processes should primarily be based on productivity and cost factors, together with material and weld position considerations.

Industrial Welding Process

Image Credits |

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)


        Versatility - readily applied to a variety of applications and a wide choice of electrodes

        Relative simplicity and portability of equipment

        Low cost

        Adaptable to confined spaces and remote locations

        Suitable for out-of-position welding


        Not as productive as continuous wire processes

        Likely to be more costly to deposit a given quantity of metal

        Frequent stop/starts to change electrode

        Relatively high metal wastage (electrode stubs)

        Current limits are lower than for continuous or automatic processes (reduces deposition rate)

Submerged Arc Welding (SAW)


        Lends itself to the production of consistently high quality welds with minimum operator skills.

        Minimum of welding fume and of arc visibility (radiation).

        Well suited to welding thick sections.

        Suitable for welding carbon, low alloy and alloy steels.

        Relatively high metal deposition rates


        Flat or horizontal position welding only

        Care required to preserve correct electrode alignment, as electrode

        Tip and weld pool are underneath solid flux cover

Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)


        Versatility - suitable for a variety of positions and applications

        Capable of relatively high deposition rates

        Enables “one process” operation for individual projects – simplifies training, supervision and logistics


        Incorrect selection of consumables and parameters may lead to lower weld toughness

        Potential for lack-of-fusion type defects if welding parameters are incorrect or misalignment occurs

        Fume extraction may be required

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)


        Applicable to a very wide range of materials.

        Especially good for welding thin sections and delicate workpieces

        Capable of producing welds of high quality and appearance


        Generally restricted to flat or horizontal welding

Source: The Institute of Materials Engineering Australasia.

For more information on this source please visit The Institute of Materials Engineering Australasia.


  1. keir petcher keir petcher United Kingdom says:


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this article?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type