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Arc welding utilizes the heat generated by an electric arc to melt base metals and filler metals.To effectively weld one must understand the physics behind the process. In this article I will explore the parts of an Arc welding Circuit, the types of current utilized by arc welders, and the Various issues common to electric Arc welding.Parts of a Welding Circuit. This is the basic list of every single part of a welding Circuit. They all work in Tandem to transmit current.1. Power Source.2. Electrode Lead.3. Electrode holder/Gun/Torch.4. Electrode.5. Arc.6. Work Piece.7. Work Piece Lead/Ground.Below is the circuit as it applies to Shielded Metal Arc Welding.This Circuit Transmits 3 basic types of currentDirect Current Electrode Positive (DCEP, or Dc Reverse Polarity) - In this circuit current flows from the Power source, through the Work Lead, into the workpiece, up the arc, through the electrode and eventually back to the power source.Direct Current Electrode Negative (DCEN, or Dc Straight Polarity) - In this Circuit, the current flows from the power source, to the electrode, across the arc and into the workpiece.Alternating Current (AC) - In this circuit the current will switch polarity back and forth at a set interval every second, referred to as Hertz (cycles per second). Standard machines operate at about 60 Hz or 60 cycles a second.Each of these types of current have different sub-types that we will eventually discuss. For now the important thing to know is that electricity flows from the positive pole, to the negative one, and that we can use this flow to our advantage.Welding Power SourcesThere are two different types of power sources that you'll encounter on a regular basis. They are:Constant Current (CC) - The total welding Current stays the same while the voltage varies.Constant Voltage (CV) - The arc voltage remains constant at the selected setting while the current varies.Different types of Arc welding Utilize each of these power sources.