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mig welding process


MIG welding

Advantage Fabricated Metals performs a number of welding processes. The two most common welding processes we use include TIG, an acronym for Tungsten Inert Gas welding and MIG, an acronym for Metal Inert Gas welding. TIG is also referred to as GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) and Heliarc®. MIG also is referred to as GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding). We also provide oxy-acetylene welding.

The “Metal” in Gas Metal Arc Welding refers to the wire that is used to start the arc. It is shielded by inert gas and the feeding wire also acts as the filler rod. MIG is fairly easy to learn and use as it is a semi-automatic welding process.
Characteristics of the MIG welding process


    Uses a consumable wire electrode during the welding process that is fed from a spool,
    Provides a uniform weld bead,
    Produces a slag-free weld bead,
    Uses a shielding gas, usually – argon, argon – 1 to 5% oxygen, argon – 3 to 25% CO2 and a combination argon/helium gas,
    Is considered a semi-automatic welding process,
    Allows welding in all positions,
    Requires less operator skill than TIG welding,
    Allows long welds to be made without starts or stops,
    Needs little cleanup.

The illustration that follows provides a look at a typical MIG welding process showing an arc that is formed between the wire electrode and the workpiece. During the MIG welding process, the electrode melts within the arc and becomes deposited as filler material. The shielding gas that is used prevents atmospheric contamination from atmospheric contamination and protects the weld during solidification. The shielding gas also assists with stabilizing the arc which provides a smooth transfer of metal from the weld wire to the molten weld pool.

MIG welding process – illustration

Versatility is the major benefit of the MIG welding process. It is capable of joining most types of metals and it can be performed in most positions, even though flat horizontal is most optimum.

The most common welds are illustrated below. They include the:

  •     lap joint
  •     butt joint
  •     T-joint, and the
  •     edge joint

MIG weld joints – illustration

MIG is used to weld many materials, and different gases are used to form the arc depending on the materials to be welded together. An argon CO2 blend is normally used to weld mild steel, aluminum, titanium, and alloy metals. Helium is used to weld mild steel and titanium in high speed process and also copper and stainless steel. Carbon dioxide is most often used to weld carbon and low alloy steels. Magnesium and cast iron are other metals commonly welded used the MIG process.

View an overview of our welding services and any of the metal forming processes offered by Advantage Fabricated Metals by clicking on the links above.

For more information about Advantage Fabricated Metals and the metal forming, metal fabricating, and welding services we provide, please fill out our contact form or call us at 1-815-323-1310.
Related metal fabricating services, tips and facts:
MIG Welding

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) is frequently referred to as MIG welding.  MIG welding is a commonly used high deposition rate welding process.  Wire is continuously fed from a spool.  MIG welding is therefore referred to as a semiautomatic welding process.

Mig Weld
MIG Welding Benefits

     All position capability
     Higher deposition rates than SMAW
     Less operator skill required
     Long welds can be made without starts and stops
     Minimal post weld cleaning is required

MIG Welding Shielding Gas

The shielding gas, forms the arc plasma, stabilizes the arc on the metal being welded, shields the arc and molten weld pool, and allows smooth transfer of metal from the weld wire to the molten weld pool.  There are three primary metal transfer modes:

     Spray transfer (MP3 Audio)
     Globular transfer (MP3 Audio)
     Short circuiting transfer (MP3 Audio)

The primary shielding gasses used are:

     Argon – 1 to 5% Oxygen
     Argon – 3 to 25% CO2

CO2 is also used in its pure form in some MIG welding processes.  However, in some applications the presence of CO2 in the shielding gas may adversely affect the mechanical properties of the weld.


Mig weld of Pipe

Close up of Mig Weld
Common MIG Welding Concerns

We can help optimize your MIG welding process variables. Evaluate your current welding parameters and techniques.  Help eliminate common welding problems and discontinuities such as those listed below:
Weld Discontinuities

     Excessive melt-through
     Incomplete fusion
     Incomplete joint penetration
     Weld metal cracks
     Heat affected zone cracks


MIG Welding Problems

     Heavily oxidized weld deposit
     Irregular wire feed
     Unstable arc
     Difficult arc starting

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