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Introduction Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding: An arc is struck between a consumable electrode and the sheet metal

to be welded. The consumable electrode is in the form of continuous filler metal. An inert gas surrounds the arc and shields it from the ambient to prevent oxidation. Carbon steels, low alloy steels, stainless steels, most aluminum alloys, zinc based copper alloys can be welded using this process. Oxy Acetylene Gas Welding: Acetylene or some combustible gas is combined with Oxygen and the flame heats the sheet metal to be welded. A filler metal rod supplies the molten metal for the joint. This method is readily available, but the heat can cause distortion in sheet metal. Due to this, this method is being displaced by other methods such as MIG and TIG welding. Types of Weld Joints • Butt, T, corner, lap, and T joints are the common types of joints used in sheet metal welding. These can all be used with MIG and TIG welding. • Corner joints are used frequently in sheet metal cabinet construction.

• Types of welds are often confused with the types of joints. The basic types of welds are fillet, square, and grooved.

Material Thickness and Weld Strength • MIG welding can be done for thicknesses ranging from 0.5 mm to 6.3 mm (0.020 to 0.250 in). TIG can be used for thicknesses as low as 0.125 mm (0.005 in). • Weld strength can be upto the strength of the underlying material. To improve overall system robustness it is better to increase material thickness rather than over specifying the weld. Manufacturing Considerations • The surface to be welded needs to be clean and degreased and any foreign debris should be removed. In the case of hot-rolled steel or aluminum, wire brushing may need to be done to remove scales and oxides, for the highest quality welds. • Weld distortion occurs whenever a weld is done. This can be minimized by spacing the weld tacks at least 50 mm (2 in) apart. Welding distortion can also be minimized by fixturing (and clamping) while welding as well as heat sinking. • Parts should be designed with features that are self-locating with respect to mating parts. This removes the need for dedicated fixtures and its costs. Fixtures also introduce additional tolerances due to deflections imposed on the parts by the clamping pressure. Fixtures can also slow down production due to fact that parts have to be placed in the fixture and clamps (if any) that need to be activated. • Welds locations should be located with operator access in mind. If it is not accessible to a weld electrode, it is not weldable. Thus, in designs that involve sections such as channels, boxes access of electrodes needs to be considered. • Tolerancing of welded parts is usually generous. This allows the parts to be welded without too much elaborate fixturing or secondary processing such as grinding. If tight tolerancing is desired, it is best achieved by self-locating features on the mating parts.

Cosmetics Considerations • MIG welding causes a lot of spatter that needs to be sanded or filed, if cosmetically objectionable. Thus, it is best to avoid MIG welding on exterior surfaces if cosmetics are important. TIG welding is better suited for no spatter welding, even though it is more expensive. • The parts that are to be welded need to fit well with each other without too large a gap. This is particularly important in fusion welding, where no filler material is used. If too large a gap is used, then excessive shrinkage will take place.

Finish Considerations • Parts that need painting will require surface preparation in the form of sanding and grinding. The cost of this preparation needs to be considered in the total cost. • Parts that need to be electroplated should have seams that do not overlap, and not have corners or edges where the plating solutions can be trapped, leading to corrosion in the long term.

Metal Inert Gas Welding (MIG, GMAW)
Metal Inert Gas Welding (Gas Metal Arc Welding) is a arc welding process, in which the weld is shielded by an external gas (Argon, helium, CO2, argon + Oxygen or other gas mixtures). Consumable electrode wire, having chemical composition similar to that of the parent material, is continuously fed from a spool to the arc zone. The arc heats and melts both the work pieces edges and the electrode wire. The fused electrode material is supplied to the surfaces of the work pieces, fills the weld pool and forms joint. Due to automatic feeding of the filling wire (electrode) the process is referred to as a semiautomatic. The operator controls only the torch positioning and speed.

Advantages of Metal Inert Gas Welding (MIG, GMAW):

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Continuous weld may be produced (no interruptions); High level of operators skill is not required; Slag removal is not required (no slag);

Disadvantages of Metal Inert Gas Welding (MIG, GMAW):
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Expensive and non-portable equipment is required; Outdoor application are limited because of effect of wind, dispersing the shielding gas.

Metal Inert Gas Process (MIG)
The Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), process is commonly known as the Metal Inert Gas Process (MIG). MIG welding is also referred to as short circuit transfer. In the MIG arc welding process, metal parts are joined by melting base and filler metals with an arc struck between a consumable filler metal wire and the base alloy work piece. The filler metal wire or consumable electrode is continuously fed and fused with the work piece. Externally supplied gas or gas mixtures provide shielding. In normal metal inert gas processing, no metal is transferred across the arc; metal is only deposited when the wire actually touches the work. In spray transfer MIG welding, a stream of tiny molten droplets travels across the arc from the electrode to the weld puddle. Usually, equipment suitable for MIG welding is capable of performing flux cored arc welding processes and vice versa.