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Gas Metal Arc Welding ( GMAW )
Gas-Metal Arc Welding
Gas–metal arc welding (GMAW) is a process that melts and joins metals by heating them with an arc established between a continuously fed filler wire electrode and the metals, as shown in Figure aside. Shielding of the arc and the molten weld pool is often obtained by using inert gases such as argon and helium, and this is why GMAW is also called the metal–inert gas (MIG) welding process. Since noninert gases, particularly CO2, are also used, GMAW seems a more appropriate name. This is the most widely used arc welding process for aluminum alloys.
Figure: Gas–metal arc welding:
- (a) overall process
- (b) welding area enlarged.
Argon, helium, and their mixtures are used for nonferrous metals as well as stainless and alloy steels. The arc energy is less uniformly dispersed in an Ar arc than in a He arc because of the lower thermal conductivity of Ar. Consequently, the Ar arc plasma has a very high energy core and an outer mantle of lesser thermal energy. This helps produce a stable, axial transfer of metal droplets through an Ar arc plasma.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Like GTAW,GMAW can be very clean when using an inert shielding gas.The main advantage of GMAW over GTAW is the much higher deposition rate, which allows thicker workpieces to be welded at higher welding speeds. The dual-torch and twin-wire processes further increase the deposition rate of GMAW (12). The skill to maintain a very short and yet stable arc in GTAW is not required. However, GMAW guns can be bulky and difficult-to-reach small areas or corners.
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