Why Do Indoor And Outdoor Structural Welding Use Different Processes?

Posted on: 5 July 2022


For non-welders and non-construction people, all welding looks kind of the same—sparks, a big face shield, and so on. But welding takes several different forms, and if you are trying to find a welder to do some work at your facility, it helps to know why the welding done inside might look different from the welding done outside. Each type of welding has different requirements, uses different materials, and is subject to different issues. When the welder chooses a specific type of welding, chances are the indoor/outdoor aspect will play a major role in why they chose that type.


Some forms of welding are highly portable, such as stick welding; these are appropriate for outdoor locations that might not be convenient for hauling a lot of equipment. In stick welding, the welder heats up something that looks like a stick (hence the name) that is made of the welding material. It is very easy to do anywhere and is often the first choice for welders who need to work outside as the sticks or rods are not that big to begin with.  

How Clean the Weld Looks

You want any weld to look as clean as possible, but some methods are inherently "messier" than others. This messy look is less appropriate for indoor welding, so forms like stick welding, which can often leave splatters and messy welds behind even when done properly, tend not to be the first choice for indoor welding, as easy as they may be. Forms like metal inert gas (MIG) welding, however, have a much cleaner appearance and are good for indoor welding jobs where you need the welding material to be contained and unobtrusive.

Environmental Influences

If the welding uses something called a shielding gas, which acts as a shield around the weld as it's being formed, then it has to be used indoors. Windy conditions would remove the shielding gas quickly. So, MIG welding, which uses the shielding gas, is an indoor welding method, but flux welding, for example, can be used outdoors as there's no gas, so the wind would not be a problem.

There are plenty more types of welding. Once the welder knows whether the welding will be done inside or outside, they'll be able to choose an appropriate form of welding based on the materials that need to be welded together. Cost is another potential issue, as is training, and the welder will be able to navigate through all these choices to find the best welding method for your job. 

For more information, contact a local structural steel welding company.