Welding is a fabrication process that joins materials, generally metals or thermoplastic, by causing coalescence. On the other hand, cutting is a process that is used to cut steel or other metals of different thicknesses using a different cutting equipments. Welding is often done by melting the work pieces and adding a filler material to form a pool of molten material that cools to become a strong joint, with pressure sometimes used and heat together, to produce the weld. Welding can be done by different methods such as gas tungsten arc welding, shielded metal arc welding, submerged arc welding and gas metal arc welding. Shielded metal arc welding is also called stick welding. It uses an electrode that has flux that protects the puddle, around it.
The electrode holder holds the electrode as it slowly melts away and slag protects the weld puddle from atmospheric content. Gas tungsten arc welding is also called as tungsten inert gas and it uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. Inert shielding gas such as agon or helium protects weld area from atmospheric contamination. Gas metal arc welding is also called as metal inert gas and uses a wire feeding gun that feeds wire at an adjustable speed and sprays an argon-based shielding gas and carbon dioxide over the weld puddle to protect it from atmospheric contamination. Submerged arc welding uses an automatically fed consumable electrode and a blanket of granular fusible flux. Welding and cutting equipments are mostly used by energy, automotive and construction industries. Due to the rapid industrialization demand for welding and cutting equipment has increased globally.
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Different energy sources can be used for welding such as electron beam, laser, flame, electric arc and friction. Welding can be performed in different environments such as under water, open air and outer space.
Based on the product type welding and cutting equipment market is divided into five categories: arc welding equipment, gas welding equipment, MIG welders, plasma cutting equipment and others. On the basis of end-user welding and cutting equipment market is divided into five categories: energy industry, shipbuilding industry, construction industry, automobile industry and others.
Asia-Pacific is the largest market for welding and cutting equipment, followed by North America and Europe. China and India hold the key for future market trends in welding and cutting equipment market owing to high industrial growth rate, high growth rate in the construction sector and high growth rate of automotive industry in these regions. China’s economy continues to grow by 7.8%. In 2012, China has emerged as the World’s largest steel nation which may boost the market for joining, cutting and surfacing technology. Countries that are part of the BRIC group (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) are considered to record the fastest market growth in the coming years.
The market of welding and cutting equipment is expected to grow at a substantial rate through 2020. Some of the major drivers contributing the overall market growth of welding and cutting equipment include increasing demand from the energy, automotive and construction industries. Slow growth of the ship building, aerospace and defense industries are expected to pose challenge to the growth of welding and cutting equipment market.
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Some of the major companies operating in the welding and cutting equipment market are
- Illinois Tool Works Inc.
- Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc.
- Victor Technologies International Inc.
- Colfax Corp.
- Panasonic Corp.
- Sonics & Materials Inc.
- Charter International Ltd. and Denyo Co. Ltd.