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MIG Welding

Metal Inert Gas welding (MIG), which can also be called as Metal Active Gas (MAG), is
a welding process used for welding materials by the formation of an arc between the
electrode and the work piece.
At present, MIG welding is the most common industrial welding process, preferred for its
versatility, speed and the relative ease of adapting the process to robotic automation.
Unlike welding processes that do not employ a shielding gas, such as shielded metal
arc welding, it is rarely used outdoors or in other areas of air volatility. A related
process, flux cored arc welding, often does not use a shielding gas, but instead employs
an electrode wire that is hollow and filled with flux.

DC output power source
Wire feed unit
Shielding gas

DC output power source
Majority of the welding machines at present are powered by a constant voltage supply.
As a result, any change in arc length (which is directly related to voltage) results in a
large change in heat input and current.4 A shorter arc length causes a much greater
heat input, which makes the wire electrode melt more quickly and thereby restore the
original arc length.

Alternating current is rarely used with GMAW; instead, direct current is employed and
the electrode is generally positively charged. Since the anode tends to have a greater
heat concentration, this results in faster melting of the feed wire, which increases weld
penetration and welding speed. The polarity can be reversed only when special
emissive-coated electrode wires are used, but since these are not popular, a negatively
charged electrode is rarely employed.

Wire feed unit
The wire-feed unit provides the controlled supply of welding wire to the point to be
welded. According to the welding wire size and Arc voltage provided by the power
source, a constant rate of wire speed is required, in MIG welding the power source
provides Arc voltage control and the wire feed unit provides welding wire speed control,
in MIG this equates to welding current. Most modern wire feed units control the wire
feed speed via a DC motor.

All commercially available electrodes contain deoxidizing metals such as silicon,
manganese, titanium and aluminum in small percentages to help prevent oxygen
porosity. Some contain denitriding metals such as titanium and zirconium to avoid
nitrogen porosity. Depending on the process variation and base material being welded
the diameters of the electrodes used in GMAW typically range from 0.7 to 2.4 mm but
can be as large as 4 mm. The smallest electrodes, generally up to 1.14 mm are
associated with the short-circuiting metal transfer process, while the most common
spray-transfer process mode electrodes are usually at least 0.9 mm.

Shielding Gas
This is a complicated area with many various mixtures available, but the primary
purpose of the shielding gas in the MIG process is to protect the molten weld metal and
heat affected zone from oxidation and other contamination by the atmosphere.
The shielding gas should also have a pronounced effect on the following aspects of the
welding operation and the resultant weld.
Arc Characteristics
Mode of Metal Transfer
Penetration and Weld Head Profile
Speed of Welding
Undercutting Tendency
Cleaning Action
Weld Metal Mechanical Properties
In MIG welding, the electrode is fed automatically through the torch. It requires that the
operator guide the welding gun with proper position and orientation along the area being
welded. Keeping a consistent contact tip-to-work distance is important, because a long
stick out distance can cause the electrode to overheat and also wastes shielding gas.
Stick out distance varies for different GMAW weld processes and applications.
The orientation of the gun also should be held so as to bisect the angle between the
work pieces; that is, at 45 degrees for a fillet weld and 90 degrees for welding a flat
surface. The travel angle, or lead angle, is the angle of the torch with respect to the
direction of travel, and it should generally remain approximately vertical.

MIG Welding Benefits
All position capability
Higher deposition rates than SMAW
Less operator skill required
Long welds can be made without starts and stops
Minimal post weld cleaning is required

Welding Problems
Heavily oxidized weld deposit
Irregular wire feed
Burn back
Unstable arc
Difficult arc starting

Machine Safety
Keep welding machines dry and properly grounded. Ensure that the power source is
appropriate for the welding machine. Unplug the MIG welding machine before opening
the cover plate to examine or adjust interior parts.
Capacitors store enough energy to generate shocks even in unplugged welding
machines. Always check cables and other connections for frayed wires or improper
insulation and replace faulty cables immediately.

Shielding Gas Tank Safety
Ensure that gas tanks are clearly labelled. Keep tanks for shielding gas properly
chained at all times. Do not use or store tanks near furnace areas or where there is a
risk of open flames. Close the valve whenever the gas is not in use.
When moving tanks, secure them firmly in position so there is no rolling. Keep the
cover cap on tanks when transporting them. Protect the tanks from impact when loading
or unloading. Move only one cylinder at a time.

Work Area Safety
Keep the work area clean and free of debris and flammable materials. Remove and
store paints, solvents and other hazardous materials that could ignite from welding
sparks. Ensure there is proper ventilation to remove hazardous welding fumes. Ensure
the area is completely dry, with no puddles or standing water. Lay a rubber mat on the
floor of the work area to insulate the area from electrical shocks.

Operator Safety
Wear clothing that covers the operator's neck, arms, hands, legs and feet to protect
from heat and welding sparks. The welding helmet is the operators most important
piece of equipment. Ensure the helmet opens and closes freely, with the correct amount
of darkening on the lens.

Use a fan or hood to remove hazardous welding fumes from the area when welding.
Wear the proper respiratory mask to protect lungs from fumes and particulate matter
that occurs during the welding process.

MIG Welding Hazards
Painful burns can occur from eye exposure to the welding arc light. Protect eyes at all
times when using welding equipment. See a physician immediately if eye burns occur.
Welding fumes contain oxides of iron, nickel, zinc, manganese and chromium.
Exposure to these compounds can cause dizziness, nausea, muscle pains and flu-like
symptom. Long-term exposure to welding fumes is associated with lung cancer and a
Parkinson's-like disease called manganism. Use respiratory protection when MIG
welding and keep other people out of the welding area.

American Welding Society (2004). Welding Handbook, Welding Processes, Part 1.
Miami: American Welding Society. ISBN 0-87171-729-8.

Unknown. (2010,July). TIG Welding. Retrieved from

Alvaro Martin M. Rama
11211555 MEM-MR

TIG Welding
Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding is an electric arc welding process in which the fusion
energy is produced by an electric arc burning between the work piece and the tungsten
During the welding process the electrode, the arc and the weld pool are protected
against the damaging effects of the atmospheric air by an inert shielding gas. By means
of a gas nozzle the shielding gas is lead to the welding zone where it replaces the
atmospheric air.
TIG welding differs from the other arc welding processes by the fact that the electrode is
not consumed like the electrodes in other processes such as MIG and MMA.

Shielding Gas
Power Source
Many TIG welding machines are constructed in such a way that the power source and
the TIG unit are one unit.

Welding torches are designed for either automatic or manual operation and are
equipped with cooling systems using air or water. The automatic and manual torches
are similar in construction, but the manual torch has a handle while the automatic torch
normally comes with a mounting rack. The angle between the centerline of the handle
and the centerline of the tungsten electrode can be varied on some manual torches
according to the preference of the operator.
Air cooling systems are most often used for low-current operations, while water cooling
is required for high-current welding. The torches are connected with cables to the power
supply and with hoses to the shielding gas source and where used, the water supply.
The torch handle is usually fitted with a switch to turn the welding current and the
shielding gas on and off.
1. Torch head
2. Handle
3. Control switch
4. Electrode cap
5. Sealing ring
6. Electrode collet
7. Heat shield
8. Collet body
9. Gas nozzle

Shielding Gas
As with other welding processes such as gas metal arc welding, shielding gases are
necessary to protect the welding area from atmospheric gases such as nitrogen and
oxygen, which can cause fusion defects, porosity, and weld metal embrittlement if they
come in contact with the electrode, the arc, or the welding metal. The gas also transfers
heat from the tungsten electrode to the metal, and it helps start and maintain a stable

Power Source
The power sources for TIG welding generally have an open circuit voltage of about 70
to 80 V. For welding with direct current a power source is used that rectify the
alternating current of the mains supply of 400 V to the suitable output for the TIG
process and at the same time changes the current intensity to the level set by the
welder on the welding machine. Modern welding machines are capable of welding of
welding either in a DC mode or some units provide both AC and DC modes.

The electrode used in GTAW is made of tungsten or a tungsten alloy, because tungsten
has the highest melting temperature among pure metals, at 3,422 C. As a result, the
electrode is not consumed during welding, though some erosion can occur.
Electrodes can have either a clean finish or a ground finish. Clean finish electrodes
have been chemically cleaned, while ground finish electrodes have been ground to a
uniform size and have a polished surface, making them optimal for heat conduction.
The diameter of the electrode can vary between 0.5 and 6.4 millimetres, and their length
can range from 75 to 610 millimetres.

First, strike an arc. The welding arc is a high frequency generator provides an electric
spark; this spark is a conductive path for the welding current through the shielding gas
and allows the arc to be initiated while the electrode and the workpiece are separated,
typically about 1.53 mm apart.
Once the arc is struck, the welder moves the torch in a small circle to create a welding
pool, the size of which depends on the size of the electrode and the amount of current.
While maintaining a constant separation between the electrode and the workpiece, the
operator then moves the torch back slightly and tilts it backward about 1015 degrees
from vertical. Filler metal is added manually to the front end of the weld pool as it is
Welders often develop a technique of rapidly alternating between moving the torch
forward and adding filler metal. The filler rod is withdrawn from the weld pool each time
the electrode advances, but it is never removed from the gas shield to prevent oxidation
of its surface and contamination of the weld. Filler rods composed of metals with low
melting temperature, such as aluminum, require that the operator maintain some
distance from the arc while staying inside the gas shield. If held too close to the arc, the
filler rod can melt before it makes contact with the weld puddle. As the weld nears
completion, the arc current is often gradually reduced to allow the weld crater to solidify
and prevent the formation of crater cracks at the end of the weld.

TIG Welding Benefits
The arc is more clearly visible by the operator with the absence of smoke from the
No flux is used in TIG welding, welds do not need to have slag removed.
Welds in all positions.
High quality welds, no spatter.
Low distortion next to the welding area.
TIG welders can fusion weld almost any type metal.

Wear gloves and eye and face protection. The welder and all observers must wear
welding helmets with a No. 10 or 12 filter lens. A welding cap or helmet with a hard
hat is also recommended for head protection. When cleaning a weld with a wire
brush be sure your safety glasses are being wore properly.

Avoid electrical shock. Make certain that the TIG torch and all electrical connections
and cables are properly insulated. Check to see that the welder is properly
grounded. Do not dip the TIG torch in water to cool it because this practice may
result in electrical shock. The TIG torch will be water cooled internally or it may be
air cooled.

Protect others. For small and practice welding jobs, work in a partitioned area to
protect others from harmful rays. When prepared to start a TIG weld, inform all
bystanders to cover their eyes.

Never weld in a damp area. Stand on a dry board or rubber mat if the floor or ground
is damp or wet.

Never wear synthetic fiber clothing. Synthetic fibers are highly flammable. Wearing
clothing made from wool or cotton is more satisfactory for welding because of their
relatively high flash points.

Protect welding cables. Keep the cables from coming in contact with hot metal and
sharp edges. Do not drive over cables.

Secure work. Use a welding table with a positioner to hold welds securely in place.
Clamps and vises can be used to hold odd-shaped work or field work. Securing work
will also prevent injury from accidental dropping of metal on your feet or body.

Prevent burns. Never adjust the gas cup with your bear hand, even after welding for
just a few moments the cup can become very hot. Remove hot metal from the work
area when you are finished welding to prevent burns to others.

Handle hot metal with pliers or tongs. Submerge hot metal completely in water to
prevent steam burns.

Weld in a well-ventilated area. The fumes from lead, zinc, cadmium, and beryllium
are toxic and may cause sickness or death.
Do not carry matches or lighters, and do not allow bystanders to smoke. Before
welding, make sure the welding area is free of other flammables (gas, grease, etc.).

Munda, R. (2013,June). TIG Welding. Retrieved from

American Welding Society (2004). Welding handbook, welding processes Part 1.
Miami Florida: American Welding Society. ISBN 0-87171-729-8.