Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest news and events from TWI:

Subscribe >
Skip to content

What is carbon-arc gouging?


Carbon-arc gouging is a melting operation, where metal is removed from the surface by the arc pressure or force. Direct current (DC) is used and the electrode is graphite coated with a layer of copper to assist conductivity. Most materials may be gouged by the process, but the cut is usually wide and ragged. The quality of the surface of the gouge is vastly improved by the addition of oxygen, which also extends the number of materials which may be gouged to include non-ferrous metals. The electrode may also be mounted on a tractor-type cutting machine to produce narrow deep grooves of high quality. Unfortunately, the process is rather noisy with a high intensity arc and tends to produce large quantities of fume.

Further information


What is manual metal arc gouging?
What is flame gouging?

Job knowledge for welders:

Air carbon arc gouging
Thermal gouging
Oxygen-fuel gas flame gouging
Manual metal arc gouging

Questions and Answers on Electric Arc Welding. K Leake and N J Henthorne. Second Edition. Publ: London; Newnes-Butterworths; 1974.

For more information please email: