There are several types of arc welding processes, but the one that is most common is the shielded metal arc welding. This type of welding process is also known as stick welder or manual metal arc welding. During this welding process the electric current strikes an arc connecting the consumable electrode rod with the base material. The filler material (the electrode core) is usually steel and it is covered with a flux which keeps the weld area from contamination and oxidation as it produces the gas carbon dioxide during the welding process.

This welding process is not expensive and can be used in field work. With some training the welder person can become master. The materials that could be used with that type of welding include ferrous materials, but also nickel and cast iron, copper and aluminum.

The gas metal arc welding or the metal inert gas is a process that is semiautomatic or automatic, with a great welding speed. As electrode it uses continuous welding wire feed and a mixture of inert or semi-inert gas in order to keep the weld from contamination. The flux-cored arc welding is related to the gas metal arc welding as it uses similar equipment – a wire with a steel electrode that surrounds the powder fill material. The cored welding wire costs more but allows for high speed of welding.

The gas tungsten arc welding is a manual process which uses non-consumable tungsten electrode, a separate filler material and inert or semi-inert gas mixture. This type of welding is suitable for thin materials as it has stable arc and high quality of the welds. It needs very good operator skills and can be done at low speeds.

The gas tungsten arc welding could be applied to the stainless steel and the light materials. There is also plasma arc welding which uses tungsten electrode and plasma gas in order to make the arc, stable current and different material thickness. Another option of that welding process is the plasma cutting, which is very efficient process of steel cutting.

Another welding process is the submerged arc welding, during which the arc is struck under a layer of flux. With this method the arc quality is increased, the weld deposition is high and the working conditions are improved as no smoke is produced. Other types of welding processes include stud arc welding, atomic hydrogen welding, electro gas welding and electro slag welding.