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Reference Tables -- Welding Processes & Letter Designations


Welding Processes

The AWS definition for a welding process is "a materials joining process which produces coalescence of materials by heating them to suitable temperatures with or without the application of pressure or by the application of pressure alone and with or without the use of filler material".

AWS has grouped the processes together according to the "mode of energy transfer" as the primary consideration. A secondary factor is the "influence of capillary attraction in effecting distribution of filler metal" in the joint. Capillary attraction distinguishes the welding processes grouped under "Brazing" and "Soldering" from "Arc Welding", "Gas Welding", "Resistance Welding", "Solid State Welding", and "Other Processes."

This table shows the official groupings and also shows the letter designation for each process. The letter designation assigned to the process can be used for identification on drawings, tables, etc.

Welding Processes and Letter Designations
Welding Process
Letter Designation
Arc welding Carbon Arc CAW
Flux Cored Arc FCAW
Gas Metal Arc GMAW
Gas Tungsten Arc GTAW
Plasma Arc PAW
Shielded Metal Arc SMAW
Stud Arc SW
Submerged Arc SAW
Brazing Diffusion Brazing DFB
Dip Brazing DB
Furnace Brazing FB
Induction Brazing IB
Infrared Brazing IRB
Resistance Brazing RB
Torch Brazing TB
Oxyfuel Gas Welding Oxyacetylene Welding OAW
Oxyhydrogen Welding OHW
Pressure Gas Welding PGW
Resistance Welding Flash Welding FW
High Frequency Resistance HFRW
Percussion Welding PEW
Projection Welding RPW
Resistance-Seam Welding RSEW
Resistance-Spot Welding RSW
Upset Welding UW
Solid State Welding Cold Welding CW
Diffusion Welding DFW
Explosion Welding EXW
Forge Welding FOW
Friction Welding FRW
Hot Pressure Welding HPW
Roll Welding ROW
Ultrasonic Welding USW
Soldering Dip Soldering DS
Furnace Soldering FS
Induction Soldering IS
Infrared Soldering IRS
Iron Soldering INS
Resistance Soldering RS
Torch Soldering TS
Wave Soldering WS
Other Welding Processes Electron Beam EBW
Electroslag ESW
Induction IW
Laser Beam LBW
Thermit TW








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