Have you ever wondered why GMAW welding, also known as gas metal arc welding, is one of the most popular welding methods around the world? In fact, GMAW welding is suitable for a wide range of applications and is used in a variety of industries, from automotive to aerospace and construction. 98% of welders prefer GMAW for its “well-defined appearance”, precision, and repeatability, with accuracy and quality of the final product being much higher than other welding processes.
Therefore, it is no surprise that GMAW is being used increasingly widely. In this article, we will explore what makes GMAW so successful, and how it works.
What is GMAW Welding?GMAW welding, also known as MIG welding, is a welding process that involves using a consumable wire electrode and inert shielding gas, such as argon and carbon dioxide, to create welds. It is a process that is commonly utilized in many industrial processes, such as steel manufacturing, construction and automotive repair.
Origin of GMAWGMAW welding was initially developed in the early 1940s by the Lincoln Electric Company, and is now utilized around the world. It is known as one of the most popular welding processes due to its fast welding speeds and easy to use operation, as well as its controllability and high quality welds.
Features of GMAW Welding
- GMAW utilizes an electric arc under the protective blanket of an inert shielding gas to create a weld.
- It is a very efficient and neat welding technique, as it requires minimal cleaning after each weld.
- The process also minimizes oxidation, which can lead to porosity in the welds.
- The process is also very versatile, as it is capable of welding various metals, such as aluminum, stainless steel, and cast iron, as well as alloy steels.
- GMAW can be used for both hard and soft steels, with the ability to weld up to 4 inches in thickness.
Advantages of GMAW Welding
- GMAW provides a great level of control over the welding arc, making it an excellent choice for welds with precise details.
- As the job requires less equipment, the process is relatively low-cost.
- GMAW welding is also known as a clean process, as it reduces the amount of smoke and airborne particles when compared to a welding technique that utilizes a flux-cored wire.
- It is highly durable and the welds are of high strength that results in reduced instances of weld cracking.
- It offers excellent corrosion and weather resistance, as the weld is not exposed to the atmosphere.
Disadvantages of GMAW Welding
- The process requires a skillful operator, as there is a higher risk of weld porosity due to the shielding gas being highly reactive.
- Using GMAW welding requires that the environment around the work site must be free of any air movement, strong wind, or unshielded drafts.
- GMAW welding also has a slower welding speed, compared to some other forms of welding.
- The process is also limited when it comes to deeper penetration of thicker metals, as the shielding gas does not reach the bottom of the weld.