You are on page 1of 67


1 Welding Inspection

Gas Metal Arc Welding Metal Inert Gas Metal Active Gas
TWI Training & Examination Services
Course Reference WIS 5

Gas Metal Arc Welding
The MIG/MAG welding process was initially developed in the USA in the late 1940s for the welding of aluminum alloys. The latest EN Welding Standards now refer the process by the American term GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding) • The process uses a continuously fed wire electrode • The weld pool is protected by a separately supplied shielding gas • The process is classified as a semi-automatic welding process but may be fully automated • The wire electrode can be either bare/solid wire or flux cored hollow wire

MIG/MAG - Principle of operation

wire feeder. welding torch/gun and ‘hose package’ • Wire is fed continuously through the conduit and is burnt-off at a rate that maintains a constant arc length/arc voltage • Wire feed speed is directly related to burn-off rate • Wire burn-off rate is directly related to current • When the welder holds the welding gun the process is said to be a semi-automatic process • The process can be mechanised and also automated • In Europe the process is usually called MIG or MAG .Gas Metal Arc Welding PROCESS CHARACTERISTICS • Requires a constant voltage power source. gas supply.

Equipment for MIG/MAG External wire feed unit Internal wire feed system Transformer/ Rectifier Power control panel 15kg wire spool Power cable & hose assembly Liner for wire Power return cable Welding gun assembly .

MIG/MAG wire drive system Internal wire drive system Plain top roller Half grooved bottom roller Wire guide .

MIG/MAG wire drive system
Types of wire drive systems:

2 roll wire drive

4 roll wire drive

MIG/MAG wire drive system
Types of drive rolls
•recommended for steel wires

•recommended for softer wires (aluminium)

MIG/MAG wire drive system

Close wound stainless steel spring wire liner

Teflon liner

MIG/MAG welding gun types Goose neck type Push-pull type .

MIG/MAG welding gun assembly Welding gun assembly (less nozzle) Spatter protection Welding gun body On/Off switch Hose port Nozzles or shrouds Gas diffuser Spot welding spacer Contact tips .

MIG/MAG welding gun assembly The Push-Pull gun Gas Contact diffuser tip Union nut Gas nozzle Trigger Handle WFS remote control potentiometer .

ARC CHARACTERISTICS Constant Voltage Characteristic OCV Large arc gap Small arc gap Small change in voltage = large change in amperage Volts The self adjusting arc. Amps .

ESW & SAW < 1000 amps O. 33 32 31 Small Voltage Voltage Change. Arc Voltage Virtually no Change.C.Flat or Constant Voltage Characteristic Flat or Constant Voltage Characteristic Used With MIG/MAG.V. Large Current Change 100 Amperage 200 300 .

MAG Welding Variable Parameters Wire feed speed: Increasing the wire feed speed automatically increases the current in the wire Voltage: The voltage is the most important setting in the spray transfer mode. In dip transfer it controls the rise in current Current: The current is automatically increased as the wire feed is increased. Current mainly affects penetration . as it controls the arc length.

MAG Welding Variable Parameters Inductance: • Applicable to MIG/MAG process in dip transfer mode. at this point the output from the power supply is short circuited and a very high current flows through the electrode. the wire would melt and eject excessive amounts of spatter. • The inclusion or the choke in the welding circuit controls the rate at which the current rises so that the electrode tip is melted uniformly without excessive spatter . If this was allowed to continue. • The electrode is fed slowly through the arc until it touches the weld pool.

MAG Welding Variable Parameters Shielding Gases: The gasses used in MIG/MAG welding can be either 100% CO2 or Argon + CO2 mixes. • 100% CO2: Can not sustain true spray transfer. • Argon + CO2 mixes: Argon can sustain spray transfer above 24 volts. Argon being a cooler gas produces less penetration than CO2. Argon in normally mixed with CO2 at a mixture of between 5-25% . and gives a very stable arc with a reduction in spatter. The arc is unstable which produces a lot of spatter and a coarse weld profile. but gives very good penetration.

namely •dip transfer (short-circuiting) •spray transfer •pulsed transfer .Gas Metal Arc Welding MODES OF METAL TRANSFER The current and voltage settings determine the way molten droplets of weld metal transfer from the tip of the wire to the weld pool There are 3 principle modes of droplet transfer.

high deposition Pulse Transfer: Both spray and dip transfer in • one mode of operation. frequency range 50-300 pulses/second • Positional welding and root runs .Gas Metal Arc Welding Dip Transfer: (Voltage < 22) / (Amperage < 200) • Thin materials positional welding Globular Transfer: Between Dip & Spray Transfer • Limited commercial. limited to flat welding positions. Used only in some mechanised MAG process using CO2 shielding gas Spray Transfer: (Voltage > 27) / (Amperage > 220) • Thicker materials.

3 m/min Current = 295 A Voltage = 28V Globular transfer Spray transfer Electrode diameter = 1.2 mm WFS = 8.metal transfer modes Voltage Electrode diameter = 1.2 m/min Current = 145 A Dip transfer Voltage = 18-20V Current Current/voltage conditions .2 mm WFS = 3.MIG/MAG .

the arc is re-established and the current falls • This cycle occurs at up to ~ 200 times per second .Gas Metal Arc Welding Dip Transfer • Dip transfer occurs when current & voltage settings are low (typically < ~ 200amps & ~ 22volts) • There is just enough energy to give an arc and cause fusion at the tip of the wire • A droplet grows to a size larger than the wire diameter and eventually extinguishes the arc .causing a short-circuit • The short circuit causes the current rises very quickly giving energy to violently ‘pinch-off’ the droplet • This is akin to ‘blowing a fuse’ and causes spatter • When the droplet detaches.

a low heat input process.CO2 mixtures as shielding gas • Metal transfer occur when arc is extinguished • Requires low welding current/arc voltage. high level of spatter. need inductance control to limit current raise • Can use pure CO2 or Ar.MIG/MAG-methods of metal transfer Dip transfer • Transfer occur due to short circuits between wire and weld pool. Resulting in low residual stress and distortion • Used for thin materials and all position welds .

MIG/MAG .metal transfer modes The pinch effect Current Pinch force P = CSA 2 .

Gas Metal Arc Welding Dip Transfer Transfer-mode advantages • The low energy conditions allow welding in all positions • It can be used for putting in the root run on single-sided welds • It can be used for welding thin materials Transfer-mode disadvantages • It frequently gives lack of fusion and may not be allowed in semi-automatic mode for high-integrity applications • It tends to give spatter (this can be reduced/controlled by having an ‘inductance’ control on the power source) .

MIG/MAG-methods of metal transfer Globular transfer • Transfer occur due to gravity or short circuits between drops and weld pool • Requires CO2 shielding gas • Metal transfer occur in large drops (diameter larger than that of electrode) hence severe spatter • Requires high welding current/arc voltage. a high heat input process. Resulting in high residual stress and distortion • Non desired mode of transfer! .

Gas Metal Arc Welding Spray Transfer When current & voltage are raised together higher energy is available for fusion (typically > ~ 25 volts & ~ 250 amps) This causes a fine droplets of weld metal to be ‘sprayed’ from the tip of the wire into the weld pool Transfer-mode advantages • High energy gives good fusion • High rates of weld metal deposition are given • These characteristics make it suitable for welding thicker joints • Transfer-mode disadvantages • It cannot be used for positional welding .

Resulting in high residual stress and distortion Used for thick materials and flat/horizontal position welds • • • • .MIG/MAG-methods of metal transfer Spray transfer • Transfer occur due to pinch effect NO contact between wire and weld pool! Requires argon-rich shielding gas Metal transfer occur in small droplets. a high heat input process. a large volume weld pool Requires high welding current/arc voltage.

MIG/MAG-methods of metal transfer Pulsed transfer • Controlled metal transfer. one droplet per pulse. Resulting in smaller residual stress and distortion compared to spray transfer • Pulse frequency controls the volume of weld pool. used for root runs and out of position welds . • No transfer between droplet and weld pool! • Requires special power sources • Metal transfer occur in small droplets (diameter equal to that of electrode) • Requires moderate welding current/arc voltage. a reduced heat input .

MIG/MAG .metal transfer modes Pulsed transfer • Controlled metal transfer one droplet per pulse NO transfer during background current! • Requires special power sources • Metal transfer occur in small droplets (diameter equal to that of electrode) • Requires moderate welding current/arc voltage reduced heat input smaller residual stress and distortions compared to spray transfer • Pulse frequency controls the volume of weld pool for root runs and out of position welds used .

MIG/MAG .metal transfer modes Pulse current parameters Current (A) Peak current Transition current Average current (ammeter reading) Background current Time (sec) .

Gas Metal Arc Welding Pulsed Transfer Current Ip = peak current Ib = background current (spray transfer) (continuous arc but little or no fusion) Ip Ib Tp Tb Tp = peak time Tb = background time Time .

2 mm) Electrode extension 6-13 mm Contact tip recessed (3-5 mm) Electrode extension 19-25 mm Set-up for dip transfer Set-up for spray transfer .MIG/MAG .metal transfer modes Contact tip extension (0-3.

4 m/min Sudden change in gun position Arc length L’ L’ = 12.4 mm Arc voltage = 24V Welding current = 250A WFS = 6.MIG / MAG .4 m/min Melt off rate = 6.4 m/min Melt off rate = 5.7 mm Arc voltage = 29V Welding current = 220A WFS = 6.6 m/min L 19 mm L’ 25 mm Voltage (V) Current (A) .self-regulating arc Stable condition Arc length L = 6.

4 m/min Melt off rate = 6.6 m/min Re-established stable condition Arc length L = 6.self-regulating arc Sudden change in gun position Arc length L’ L’ = 12.4 mm Arc voltage = 24V Welding current = 250A WFS = 6.MIG/MAG .4 m/min L’ 25 mm L 25 mm Voltage (V) Current (A) .4 m/min Melt off rate = 5.7 mm Arc voltage = 29V Welding current = 220A WFS = 6.

The effect of inductance Controls the rate of current rise Current (A) Short circuit current Excessive current. high spatter No inductance adde e c n a t Induc d Desired current for good stability. low spatter Time (sec) .

more spatter •Improved weld pool control •Recommended on thin materials .The effect of inductance Maximum inductance •reduced spatter •Hotter arc more penetration •More fluid weld pool flatter and smoother weld •Recommended on thicker materials and stainless steels Minimum inductance •Colder arc used only for arc stability when welding wide gaps •Convex weld.

15 sec Current .1.Ar+18%CO2 .8 m/min Wire diam.05 sec Workpiece 0. .Terminating the arc • Crater fill • Burnback time – delayed current cut-off to prevent wire freeze in the weld end crater – depends on WFS (set as short as possible!) Contact tip 3 mm 8 mm 14 mm Insulating slag Burnback time 0.10 sec 0.7.27V WFS .2 mm Shielding gas .250A Voltage .

MIG/MAG process variables • Welding current •Increasing welding current •Increase in depth and width •Increase in deposition rate • Polarity .

MIG/MAG process variables • Arc voltage •Increasing arc voltage •Reduced penetration. spatter and undercut • Travel speed •Increasing travel speed •Reduced penetration and width. increased width •Excessive voltage can cause porosity. undercut .

MIG/MAG process variables Electrode orientation Penetration Undercut Deep Moderate Shallow Excess weld metal Maximum Moderate Minimum Severe Moderate Minimum • Electrode extension •Increased extension .

Gas Metal Arc Welding Types of Shielding Gas MIG (Metal Inert Gas) • Inert Gas is required for all non-ferrous alloys (Al.better for thicker joints and alloys with higher thermal conductivity . Ni) • Most common inert gas is Argon • Argon + Helium used to give a ‘hotter’ arc . Cu.

steels .Gas Metal Arc Welding Types of Shielding Gas MAG (Metal Active Gas) • Active gases used are Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide • Argon with a small % of active gas is required for all steels (including stainless steels) to ensure a stable arc & good droplet wetting into the weld pool • Typical active gases are Ar + 20% CO2 Ar + 2% O2 100% CO2 for C-Mn & low alloy steels for stainless steels can be used for C .

Ar+(5-20)%CO2 Stainless steel Ar+2%O2 Aluminium Ar .MIG/MAG – shielding gases Type of material Carbon steel Shielding gas CO2 .

and type of gas .Gas Metal Arc Welding Pulsed Transfer Transfer-mode advantages • Good fusion • Small weld pool allows all-position welding Transfer-mode disadvantages • More complex & expensive power source • Difficult to set parameters . dia.requires power source manufacturer to provide pulse programmes to suit wire type.

Gas Metal Arc Welding Types of Filler Wire • Filler wires have similar composition to the base material • Wires can be solid. flux cored or metal cored • Flux cored wires are designed to run in spray mode and therefore they give good fusion • Flux cored wires cannot be used for root runs on unbacked joints • The slag formed from flux cored wire enables welding to be done in allpositions • Most flux cored wires have a folded seam that can allow moisture to get into the flux • Controlled storage & handling is required for ‘seamed’ wires • Metal cored wires have the same general characteristics as solid wires they can be operated in dip or spray mode • Some flux cored wires do not require a gas shield (Innershield) .

specification and the quality of the wire are essential for inspection. .Checks when MAG Welding The welding equipment A visual check should be made on the equipment to ensure it is in good working order The electrodes The diameter. The quality of the wire winding and the copper coating should also be inspected to minimize wire feed problems. The level of deoxidisation in the wire. single. double or triple de-oxidised.

Steel liners for steel and Teflon liners for aluminium. Contact tips Check the tip is the correct size for the wire being used and check the amount of wear. Excessive wear will affect wire speed and electrical current pick-up Gas and gas flow-rates Type of gas and the flow rate need to be checked to ensure they comply with the WPS Other welding variables Check WFS.Checks when MAG Welding Wire liner Check that the liner is the correct type and size for the wire being used. volts and travel speed . amps.

or transfer •Bad power connections will cause a loss of voltage in the arc •Silica inclusions (in Fe steels) due to poor inter-run cleaning •Lack of fusion (primarily with dip transfer) •Porosity (from loss of gas shield on site etc) •Solidification problems (cracking. or incorrect settings of the equipment •Worn contact tips will cause poor power pick up. centerline pipes.MIG/MAG typical defects Most welding imperfections in MIG/MAG are caused by lack of welder skill. crater pipes) especially on deep narrow welds .

Gas Metal Arc Welding Advantages High productivity Easily automated All positional (dip & pulse) Material thickness range Continuous electrode Disadvantages Lack of fusion (dip) Small range of consumables Protection on site Complex equipment Not so portable .

Questions Metal Active Gas Welding QU 1. State the advantages and disadvantages of the MAG welding process when compared to MMA . QU 3. State the main variables for the MAG welding process QU 5. State the possible problems when using the dip transfer mode in the MAG welding process QU 2. What power source characteristic is required and electrode polarity/current type for the MAG welding process QU 4. State the application areas for the spray transfer mode when using the MAG welding process.

WELDING PROCESS Flux Core Arc Welding .

Flux cored arc welding FCAW methods With gas shielding “Outershield” Without gas shielding “Innershield” With metal powder “Metal core” .

“Outershield” .principle of operation .

“Innershield” .principle of operation .

Arc Characteristics Constant Voltage Characteristic OCV Large arc gap Small arc gap Small change in voltage = large change in amperage Volts The self adjusting arc. Amps .

Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW) Flux core Insulated extension nozzle Current carrying guild tube Wire joint Flux cored hollow wire Flux powder Arc shield composed of vaporized and slag forming compounds Flux core wires Solidified weld metal and slag Molten weld pool Metal droplets covered with thin slag coating .

Flux cored arc welding FCAW methods With gas shielding “Outershield” Without gas shielding “Innershield” (114) With metal powder “Metal core” With active gas shielding (136) With inert gas shielding (137) .

differences from MIG/MAG • usually operates in DCEP but some “Innershield” wires operates in DCEN • power sources need to be more powerful due to the higher currents • doesn't work in deep transfer mode • require knurled feed rolls • “Innershield” wires use a different type of welding gun .FCAW .

FCAW .differences from MIG/MAG 350 Amps self shielded welding gun Close wound stainless steel spring wire liner (inside welding gun cable) Conductor tube Handle 24V insulated switch lead Trigger Thread protector Contact tip Welding gun cable Hand shield Courtesy of Lincoln Electric .

differences from MIG/MAG Self shielded electrode nozzle .FCAW .

Travel Angle 75° 90° 75° .

Backhand (“drag”) technique Advantages • • • • preferred method for flat or horizontal position slower progression of the weld deeper penetration weld stays hot longer easy to remove dissolved gasses Disadvantages • produce a higher weld profile • difficult to follow the weld joint • can lead to burn-through on thin sheet plates .

Forehand (“push”) technique Advantages • preferred method for vertical up or overhead position • arc is directed towards the unwelded joint preheat effect • easy to follow the weld joint and control the penetration Disadvantages • produce a low weld profile. with coarser ripples • fast weld progression shallower depth of penetration • the amount of spatter can increase .

less danger of undercut basic types produce excellent toughness properties good control of the weld pool in positional welding especially with rutile wires • seamless wires have no torsional strain twist free • ease of varying the alloying constituents • no need for shielding gas • • • • • • • .FCAW advantages less sensitive to lack of fusion requires smaller included angle compared to MMA high productivity all positional smooth bead surface.

FCAW advantages Deposition rate for carbon steel welding .

it might be necessary to break the wire for restart (due to the high amount of insulating slag formed at the tip of the wire) . the gaseous shield may be affected by winds and drafts • more smoke and fumes are generated compared with MIG/MAG • in case of Innershield wires.FCAW disadvantages • limited to steels and Ni-base alloys • slag covering must be removed • FCAW wire is more expensive on a weight basis than solid wires (exception: some high alloy steels) • for gas shielded process.

FCAW advantages/disadvantages Advantages: 1) Field or shop use 2) High productivity 3) All positional 4) Slag supports and shapes the weld Bead 5) No need for shielding gas Disadvantages: 1) High skill factor 2) Slag inclusions 3) Cored wire is Expensive 4) High level of fume (Innershield) 5) Limited to steels and nickel alloys .