I am recently learning the theory of Manual Arc Welding. So far I have seen that our electrodes are connected to a machine that outputs hundreds of amps. The work pieces is electrically connected through a clamp connected to the current source, and as we bring the electrode closer and make contact with the work piece then we get a current since the circuit would be complete. My question is: Wouldn't the work piece also get extremely hot due to the huge amounts of current passing through it, or at least wouldn't the area of the work piece connected to the cable that carries the current back to the source get heated up greatly? Does the current dissipate almost completely in the material?
I would think that a lot (most) of the energy of the current is deposited in melting the metal on the electrode and also melting the surface of the work piece to create the weld, and that is why the rest piece stays intact (apart from the welding zone). Is this correct?