Exhaust Clamps VS Welding: Key Differences Explained

exhaust clamps vs welding

Using exhaust clamps vs. exhaust welding is a matter of debate.

You won’t regret it after implementing any one of those.

However, you have to do things properly. Otherwise, it will do more harm than good.

To make your life easy, I’ve prepared this guide where I will teach you what exhaust clamp is and the different types of clamps. I will also describe what welding is and the different kinds of welding.

Not to mention, I will also give my opinion on the exhaust clamps vs welding debate.

Sounds good?

Then, let’s get to the business. Shall we?

Exhaust Clamps VS Welding

First, let me talk about exhaust clamps.

What is Exhaust Clamps?

What is Exhaust Clamps

In the purest form, an exhaust clamp is nothing but a metal object that is used to hold and firmly fasten the exhaust, muffler parts. You fit an exhaust clamp around the exhaust pipe.

You can go for multiple clamp types like – band clamp, U-bolt clamp, V-band clamp, etc.

Band Clamp

Band Clamp

A band clamp is considered to be the most useful type of exhaust clamp. It can be either a flat metal strap or ring-shaped. In terms of usability and sizes, the band clamp offers the most versatility among all other types.

You have both aluminum and stainless steel versions of band clamps available to choose from.

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Roadformer 2.5' Lap Joint Exhaust Band Clamp - Preformed Stainless Steel for 2.5' ID to 2.5' OD Exhaust Pipe Connection
237 Reviews
Roadformer 2.5" Lap Joint Exhaust Band Clamp - Preformed Stainless Steel for 2.5" ID to 2.5" OD Exhaust Pipe Connection
  • The 2.5" exhaust clamp is Made in 304 series Stainless Steel
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U-bolt Clamp

U-bolt Clamp

U-bolt clamp is the most commonly used exhaust clamp among the users. A lot of factory exhaust systems and aftermarket exhaust systems use this type of clamp.

You can adjust this clamp to various sizes of pipes. One of the drawbacks of this clamp is, you will be troubled when you will try to apart the exhaust parts later.

National Hardware N222-448 2193BC U Bolt in Stainless Steel
58 Reviews
National Hardware N222-448 2193BC U Bolt in Stainless Steel
  • Authorized Replacement for Stanley Hardware Stock #N222-448
  • Designed for fastening products to pipe, wood, etc
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V-band Clamp

V-band Clamp

V-band clamp is the most expensive type of clamps and mostly used by the high-end car owners for their turbo exhaust systems. That’s why it is also called a ‘turbo clamp.’

This type of clamp consists of two interlocking rings that you will weld to the pipe. Then the outer ring is put on those two rings to let them stay together and make an excellent leak-free seal.

Vibrant 1491 3' Stainless Steel V-Band Flange Assembly
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Vibrant 1491 3" Stainless Steel V-Band Flange Assembly
  • V-Band Flange Assemblies are a popular and effective alternative to traditional flanged or slip fit tube connections. They work very well in operating conditions involving stress, vibration and extreme temperature fluctuations.
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Now I’m going to give you an insight into welding and its types.

Let’s know more about the Exhaust Clamps in the below video. 

What is Welding?

What is Welding

In the purest form, welding is a procedure of joining two pieces of metals with each other to make them a single part.

While it’s pretty easy to define welding, at the same time, some sophisticated processes go on behind the scenes when you do welding.

You basically heat two metals to their melting points, and you add a filler metal in between the two metals. Adding this filler metal helps to make a strong bond between the two pieces together.

You will want to use a welding machine to do all these (apply the heat and adding filler metal).

Without making things too complicated, let’s get to know some of the commonly used welding methods in short.

TIG Welding

TIG Welding

TIG is the short form of Tungsten Inert Gas. This type of welding is also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW).

So, basically, TIG welding is an arc welding process. Here it uses a tungsten electrode as an electrode, which is non-consumable, meaning it gets hot but doesn’t melt when you do TIG welding.

Let me explain the TIG welding process in the purest form.

Here, you need a gas supply, a DC power supply, a tungsten electrode with an electrode holder, and the workpiece.

First, connect the workpiece with the positive end of the DC power supply, and then connect the negative power supply with the tungsten electrode holder handle. Connect the gas supply with the electrode holder handle too.

Now, when you turn on the DC power supply, the tungsten electrode will get a negative charge, and the workpiece will get a positive charge.

So, once the electrode comes into contact with the workpiece, it will create an arc.

The inert gas supply then passes the gas at the tip of the electrode to seal the arc from the outside air. Eventually, it will help to make a strong welding joint.

You can use an inert gas like Argon, Helium, etc.

This is the basic concept of TIG welding.

MIG Welding

MIG Welding

MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas. The other name of this kind of welding is Gas Metal Arc Welding.

The components and mechanisms of MIG welding are almost similar to TIG welding. Here are some differences –

  • This time you will use a consumable metal electrode (aka Bare electrode), whereas, for TIG welding, you used a non-consumable tungsten electrode.
  • For MIG welding, you will connect the negative end with the workpiece to make it act as a cathode and connect the positive end of DC power with the welding torch.
  • The bare electrode will go from a wire reel through a drive roll to the welding torch.

Except for those, the procedure and working mechanism of MIG welding are similar to TIG welding. Know more differences here.

Stick Welding

Stick Welding

The other name of this kind of welding is Shielded Metal Arc Welding.

Here a rod-shaped metal electrode covered with a flux material is used as an electrode. It’s a consumable electrode like MIG welding.

This time you don’t need an inert gas supply.

You need a metal table to keep the workpieces on it, a coated electrode with an electrode holder, one DC generator, two electric cables.

You will use a gripper that will be attached to the metal table. You will connect this gripper with the power supply through an electric cable.

The electrode will be connected to the power supply as well with an electric cable.

Consider the electrode is getting a negative charge, and the workpiece is getting a positive charge through the gripper. If you use the AC supply or a rectifier, then you can always change the polarity based on your needs.

Once you turn on the power supply and touch the electrode with the workpiece, it will create an electric arc. The arc melts both metals in the electrode and the metal in the workpieces. The ore from the electrode is called the filler metal here.

The flux coating of the electrode will work as a gas shield protection in this case to make the joint stronger.

Flux-Cored Arc Welding

Flux-Cored Arc Welding

Here a tubular wire with an inner flux core is used as an electrode.

The components you require for this type of welding is pretty similar to the MIG.

A wire reel feeds the wire electrode in this case.

When the wire electrode comes into contact with the workpieces, it creates an arc, and it melts the metal of the wire electrode to form the joint.

Flux-cored arc welding can be of two types – one is self-shielded, where the flux of the electrode act as the protected shield.

The other one is gas-shielded, where the gas acts as the protective cloud-like other welding methods I discussed above.

For both shielded processes, the flux creates a slag which protects the weld once it starts cooling.

Let’s know more about the exhaust welding in the below video

Difference Between Exhaust Clamps and Welding

Well, some people like to weld the exhaust components, and some want to use clamps.

Both have their perks.

Welding seems to make the components joint stronger than a clamp, but in reality, clamps make them equally stronger.

I personally prefer using a clamp to welding.

It gives me the freedom to change the parts whenever I need, like changing the muffler is super easy if I use exhaust clamp rather than welding it.

I can install the clamp myself, whereas welding needs to be done by high professionals. Otherwise, it won’t be anything good for your car.

So, as using clamp provides better results in spending less money, I vote for using exhaust clamp rather than exhaust welding.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question #1. Are exhaust clamps good?

Answer: Yes, without any doubt whatsoever. In fact, I prefer clamping the exhaust parts rather than welding because clamps provide the same stability, strength as welding. On top of that, it allows me to change the exhaust component effortlessly, which is not accessible if I weld the parts.

Question #2.  What are exhaust clamps used for?

Answer: An exhaust clamp is used for holding and sealing the exhaust system. You will find different types of exhaust clamps of varying price ranges. All of them are good. But I like the band clamp most. It’s quite easy to put things together, and any DIY enthusiast can install an exhaust clamp to his car.

Question #3. How do exhaust clamps work?

Answer: Exhaust clamps hold the pipes together and restrict the escape of unhealthy fumes.

Question #4. What are the four types of welding?

Answer: The most common four types of weldings are – TIG welding, MIG welding, Stick welding, and Flux-cored Arc welding. I’ve discussed these types of welding above in this article. I think it would be enough for you to understand the mechanism involved with these welding types.

Question #5. What is the use of welding?

Answer: The primary use of welding is to join two pieces of metal together. As I’ve said, you have different ways to do the welding. They work differently using different kinds of the electrode. But at the end of the day, all join two pieces of metal together.

Final Words

I believe, you are now quite sure about what an exhaust clamp is and what do we mean by exhaust welding.

I’ve given my opinion on exhaust clamps vs welding debate too.

What I’ve not told you yet is always take proper safety measures whenever you deal with either exhaust clamp or welding.

If you prefer welding to clamps, then I would suggest taking the service from a professional welder. Don’t go cheap.

On the other hand, if you prefer using exhaust clamps, then wear gloves and other safety gear to avoid any injury.


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