How does Underwater Welding Work: Wet Welding
Underwater dry welding may theoretically use any welding type that surface welders use.
Underwater wet welding primarily uses shielded metal arc welding (SMAW).
The welder works completely surrounded by water – including their electrode.
Under the Microscope: How Electrons Affect the Process
How does underwater welding work up close?
First, you should understand what’s happening with the electrode at the molecular level.
The heat distribution of the electrode to the weld area is extremely important, and it’s controlled through charged electrons.
There are three primary areas of heat movement:
• Cathode (electrode)
• Anode (weld area)
• Plasma (gaseous cylinder through which the electric arc travels)
The cathode is negatively charged, and the anode is positively charged. Therefore, when the underwater welder strikes an arc, the electrons from the cathode travel down toward opposite polarity (the anode). At the same time, positive ions are moving up toward the cathode.
This massive particle movement generates an enormous amount of energy and heat. The arc heats up plenty: Over 5,000 °C. But the heat is not evenly spread through the work area. About 66% of it goes to the anode. The other portion remains at the tip of the cathode.