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Gas Metal Arc Welding

By L D Poyyara

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What Is GMAW ?
A Fusion Welding Process Semi Automatic
Arc Between Consumable Electrode &Work
Arc Generated by Electric Energy From a Rectifier
/ Thyrester / Inverter
Filler Metal As Electrode Continuously fed From
Layer Wound Spool.
Filler Wire Driven to Arc By Wire Feeder through
Welding Torch
Arc & Molten Pool Shielded by Inert Gas through
Torch / Nozzle
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Gas Metal Arc Welding
MIG Shielding Gas Ar / Ar + O2 / Ar + Co2

MAG Shielding Gas Co2

FCAW Shielding Gas Co2 With Flux cored

Note:- Addition of 1 5% of O2 or 5 10% of Co2 in Ar.
increases wetting action of molten metal

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Power Source For MIG / MAG

Inverter- DC
Thyrester DC
Motor Generator DC
Rectifier DC

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Characteristic Of GMAW Power
Constant V / Linier Characteristic

Appx. Horizontal

A1 A2
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Current & Polarity

DC- Electrode +Ve

Stable Arc
Smooth Metal Transfer
Relatively Low Spatter
Good Weld Bead Characteristics
DC- Electrode Ve, Seldom Used
AC- Commercially Not In use
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Accessories Of GMAW
Power Source
Wire Feed Unit
Shielding Gas Cylinder, Pressure gauges/
Regulator, Flow meter ( Heater For Co2 )
Welding Torch
Water Cooling System (For Water cooled Torch)
Earthing Cable With Clamp

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Tools For GMAW
Head Screen With DIN 13 / 14 Dark Glass
Hand Wire Brush / Grinder With Wire Wheel
Cutting Pliers
Hand Gloves
Chipping Hammer / Chisel & hammer
Spanner Set
Cylinder Key
Anti-spatter Spray
Earthing Cable With Clamp
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GMAW Torch
On / Off Switch

Shielding Gas Torch Handle

Spring Conduit

Gas Cup Nozzle Tip

Filler Wire - Electrode

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Equipment & Accessories
Pressure Regulator
Flow Meter

Shielding Gas
Solenoid (Only For
Switch Co2)
Shielding Gas
Welding Torch Wire Feeder
Copper Cup Wire Inside Spring Lining
Electrode / Contact Tip Wire
Wire Spool
Argon / Co2
Arc Shielding

Power Source
With Inductance
Torch With Cable Max. 3Mtr
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Types Of Wire Feeding In
Push Type
Wire fed in to The torch by Pushing through Flexible
Conduit From A Remote Spool
Pull Type
Feed Rollers Mounted on The Torch Handle Pulls the
Wire From A Remote spool
Self Contained
Wire Feeder & The Spool On the Torch

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Function Of Shielding Gas In
Prevents Air contamination of weld Pool
Prevents Contamination During Metal
Increases fluidity of molten metal
Minimizes the spatter generation
Helps in even & uniform bead finish

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Shielding Gases For GMAW
MIG: Argon Or Helium
For SS, CS, LAS & Non-ferrous Mt & Al
MIG: Ar + 1 to 2 % O2, Wire With Add. Mn & Si
For SS, CS, LAS & Non-ferrous Mt & Al
MIG: Ar + 5 to 20 % Co2 Wire With Add. Mn & Si
For SS, CS, LAS & Non-ferrous Mt & Al
MAG: Co2 With Solid Wire
For CS & LAS
FCAW: Co2 With Flux Cored Wire
For CS, LAS & SS Overlay
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ASME Classification For CS
SFA 5.18 : - CS Solid Wire
ER 70 S 2, ER 70 S 3
ER 70 S 6, ER 70 S 7

SFA 5.20 :- CS Flux Cored Wire

E 71 T-1, E 71 T-2 ( Co2 Gas )
E 71 T-1M, E 71 T-2M ( Ar + Co2 Mix)

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Generally Copper Coated
Prevents Oxidation / rusting in Storage
Promotes Electric Conductivity in Arcing
Available In Solid & Flux Cored
Size in mm 0.8, 1, 1.2, 1.6, 2, 2.4, 3
Manganese & Silicon ( Mn 1 2 %, Si Max 1%)
Act As Deoxidizing Agents
Eliminate Porosity
Increase Wetting Of Molten Pool

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Metal Transfer In MIG

Short-Circuiting / Dip Transfer

Globular Transfer

Spray Transfer

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Metal Transfer In MIG
CS Solid Wire 1.2 mm
Up to 120A 120 to 250A Above230A

14 22V 16 24 V 24 35 V

Dip/Short Circuiting Globular Spray

Co2 or Ar Co2 or Ar Only Ar / Ar+O2

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Short-Circuiting / Dip Transfer
Wire In Contact With Molten Pool 20 to 200 times
per Second
Operates in Low Amps & Volts Less Deposition
Best Suitable for Out of Position Welding
Suitable for Welding Thin Sheets
Relatively Large opening of Root Can be Welded
Less Distortion
Best Suitable for Tacking in Set up
Prone to Get Lack of Fusion in Between Beads

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Globular Transfer

Metal transferred in droplets of Size grater

than wire diameter
Operates in Moderate Amps & Volts
Better Deposition
Common in Co2 Flux Cored and Solid Wire
Suitable for General purpose Welding

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Spray Transfer
Metal transferred in multiples of small droplets
100 to 1000 Droplets per Second
Metal Spray Axially Directed
Electrode Tip Remains pointed
Applicable Only With Inert Gas Shielding
Not With Co2
Operates in Higher Amps & Volts Higher
Deposition Rate
Not Suitable for Welding in Out of Position.
Suitable for Welding Deep Grooves
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Pulsed Spray Welding
Power Source Provides Two different
Current LevelsBackground and Peakat
regular interval
Background & Peak are above and
below the Average Current
Best Suitable for Full Penetration Open
Root Pass Welding
Good Control on Bead Shape and Finish
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Synergic Pulse GMAW
Parameters of Pulsed Current (Frequency,
Amplitude, Duration, Background Current)
Related to Wire feed Rate
One Droplet detaches with each pulse
An Electronic Control unit synchronizes wire feed
Rate with Pulse Parameters
Best Suitable for Most Critical Full Penetration
Open Root Pass Welding
Good Control on Open Root penetration, Bead
Shape and Finish
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GMAW Process Variables
Travel Speed
Stick Out / Electrode Extension
Electrode Inclination
Electrode Size
Shielding Gas & Flow Rate
Welding Position

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Parameter For 1.2 FC Wire
Current 200 to 240 A
Voltage 22-24
Travel Speed 150 to 250 mm / min
Stick Out / Electrode Extension 15 to 20 mm
Electrode Inclination Back Hand Technique
Shielding Gas Co2, 12 L/Min

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Parameter For 1.2 Solid Wire
Current 180 to 220 A
Voltage 20-22
Travel Speed 150 to 200 mm / min
Stick Out / Electrode Extension 10 to 20 mm
Electrode Inclination Back Hand Technique
Shielding Gas Co2 12 L/Min

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Results In Change Of Parameters
Increase In Current
More deposition, More Penetration, More BM Fusion
Increase In Voltage
More Weld Bead Width, Less Penetration, Less
Reinforcement, Excess Spatter
Increase In Travel Speed
Decrease in Penetration, Decrease in Bead Width,
Decrease In Gas Flow rate
Results In porosity
Long Stick Out / Electrode Extension
Excess Weld Deposit With Less Arc intensity, Poor Bead
Finish, Shallow Penetration
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Common Defects In GMAW
1. Porosity 2. Spatters
3. Lack Of Fusion 4. Under Cut
5. Over Lap 6. Slag
7. Crack 8. Lack Of Penetration
9. Burn Through 10. Convex Bead
11. Unstable Arc 12. Wire Stubbing

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Cause Remedy
1) Less Mn & Si In Wire 1) Use High Mn & Si Wire
2) Rusted / Unclean BM / Groove 2) Clean & warm the BM
3) Rusted wire 3) Replace the Wire
4) Inadequate Shielding Gas 4) Check & Correct Flow Rate

Porosity . .

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Cause Remedy
1) Low Voltage 1) Increase Voltage
2) Inadequate Inductance 2) Increase Inductance
3) Rusted BM surface 3) Clean BM surface
4) Rusted Core wire 4) Replace By Rust Free wire
5) Quality Of Gas 5) Change Over To Ar + Co2


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Lack Of Fusion
Cause Remedy
1) Inadequate Current 1) Use Right Current
2) Inadequate Voltage 2) Use Right Voltage
3) Wrong Polarity 3) Connect Ele. + Ve
4) Slow Travel Speed 4) Increase Travel speed
5) Excessive Oxide On Joint 5) Clean Weld Joint

Lack Of Fusion

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Cause Remedy
1) Excess Voltage 1) Reduce Voltage
2) Excess Current 2) Reduce Current
3) Improper Torch angle 3) Train & Qualify the Welder
4) Excess Travel Speed 4) Reduce Travel Speed

Under cut

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Cause Remedy
1) Too Long Stick Out 1) Reduce Stick Out

2) Inadequate Voltage 2) Increase the Voltage


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Cause Remedy
1) Inadequate Cleaning 1) Clean each bead
2) Inadequate Current 2) Use Right Current
3) Wrong Torch angle 3) Train / Qualify welder
4) Improper bead placement 4) Train / Qualify Welder


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Cause Remedy
1) Incorrect Wire Chemistry 1) Use Right Wire
2) Too Small Weld Bead 2) Increase wire Feed
3) Improper Preheat 3) Preheat Uniformly
4) Excessive Restrain 4) Post heating or ISR


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Lack Of Penetration*
Cause Remedy
1) Too Narrow Groove Angle 1) Widen The Groove
2) Inadequate Root opening 2) Increase Root Opening
3) Too Low Welding current 3) Increase Current
4) Wrong Torch angle 4) Train / Qualify Welder
5) Puddle Roll In Front Of Arc 5) Correct Torch Angle
6) Long Stick Out 6) Reduce Stick Out

* Applicable to SSFPW

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Burn through*
Cause Remedy
1) Excess Current 1) Reduce the Current
2) Excess Root opening 2) Reduce root opening
3) Inadequate Root face 3) Increase root face
4) Too Low Travel Speed 4) Increase Speed
5) Quality Of Gas 5) Use Ar + Co2

*Applicable to root pass

Burn trough

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Convex Bead Finish
Cause Remedy
1) Low Current 1) Increase Current
2) Low Voltage 2) Increase Voltage
3) Low Travel Speed 3) Increase Travel Speed
4) Low Inductance 4) Increase Inductance
5) Too Narrow Groove 5) Increase Groove Width

Uneven bead finish

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Unstable arc

Cause Remedy
1) Improper Wire Feed 1) Check Wire Feeder
2) Improper Gas Flow 2) Check Flow Meter
3) Twisted Torch Conduit 3) Straighten Torch Cab

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Wire Stubbing

Cause Remedy
1) Too Low Voltage 1) Increase Voltage
2) Too High Inductance 2) Reduce Inductance
3) Excess Slope 3) Adjust Slope
4) Too Long Stick Out 4) Reduce Stick Out

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Important Terminology used in
Critical Welding
Post Heating or Dehydrogenation
Intermediate Stress leaving
Inter pass Temperature
Post Weld Heat Treatment

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What Is Preheating?
Heating the base metal along the weld joint to a
predetermined minimum temperature immediately
before starting the weld.
Heating by Oxy fuel flame or electric resistant
Heating from opposite side of welding wherever
Temperature to be verified by thermo chalks prior
to starting the weld

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Why Preheating?
Preheating eliminates possible cracking of weld and HAZ
Applicable to
Hardenable low alloy steels of all thickness
Carbon steels of thickness above 25 mm.
Restrained welds of all thickness

Preheating temperature vary from 75C to 200C

depending on hardenability of material, thickness & joint

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How does Preheating Eliminate Crack?

Preheating promotes slow cooling of weld and

Slow cooling softens or prevents hardening of
weld and HAZ
Soft material not prone to crack even in
restrained condition

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What Is Post Heating?
Raising the pre heating temperature of the weld joint to a
predetermined temperature range (250 C to 350 C) for
a minimum period of time (3 Hrs) before the weld cools
down to room temperature.
Post heating performed when welding is completed or
terminated any time in between.
Heating by Oxy fuel flame or electric resistant coil
Heating from opposite side of welding wherever possible
Temperature verified by thermo chalks during the period

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Why Post Heating?
Post heating eliminates possible delayed cracking
of weld and HAZ
Applicable to
Thicker hardenable low alloy steels
Restrained hardenable welds of all thickness
Post heating temperature and duration depends on
hardenability of material, thickness & joint

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How does Post Heating Eliminate
SMAW introduces hydrogen in weld metal
Entrapped hydrogen in weld metal induces
delayed cracks unless removed before cooling to
room temperature
Retaining the weld at a higher temperature for a
longer duration allows the hydrogen to come out
of weld

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What Is Intermediate Stress Relieving?
Heat treating a subassembly in a furnace to a
predetermined cycle immediately on completion of
critical restrained weld joint / joints without
allowing the welds to go down the pre heat
temperature. Rate of heating, Soaking temperature,
Soaking time and rate of cooling depends on
material quality and thickness
Applicable to
Highly restrained air hardenable material

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Why Intermediate Stress Relieving?

Restrained welds in air hardenable steel highly

prone to crack on cooling to room temperature.

Cracks due to entrapped hydrogen and built in stress

Intermediate stress relieving relieves built in stresses

and entrapped hydrogen making the joint free from
crack prone
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What Is Inter- Pass Temperature?
The temperature of a previously layed weld bead
immediately before depositing the next bead over
Temperature to be verified by thermo chalk prior
to starting next bead
Applicable to
Stainless Steel
Carbon Steel & LAS with minimum impact

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Why Inter Pass Temperature?
Control on inter pass temperature avoids over
heating, there by
Refines the weld metal with fine grains
Improves the notch toughness properties
Minimize the loss of alloying elements in
Reduces the distortion

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What Is Post Weld Heat Treatment?
Heat treating an assembly on completion of all
applicable welding, in an enclosed furnace with
controlled heating/cooling rate and soaking at a
specific temperature for a specific time.
Rate of heating, Soaking temperature, Soaking time
and rate of cooling depends on material quality and
Applicable to
All type of CS & LAS
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Why Post Weld Heat Treatment?

Welded joints retain internal stresses within the

HAZ of welds remains invariably hardened
Post Weld Heat Treatment relieves internal stresses
and softens HAZ. This reduces the cracking
tendency of the equipment in service

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