MIG welding, Gas metal arc welding (GMAW ) is an electric arc welding process which joins metals by heating them with an arc established between a continuous filler metal (consumable) electrode and the work. Shielding of the arc and molten weld pool is obtained entirely from an externally supplied gas or gas mixture, as shown in figure 10-44. The process is sometimes referred to as MIG or CO2 welding. Recent development in the process include operation at low current densities and pulsed direct current, application to a broader range of materials, and the use of reactive gases, particularly CO2, or gas mixtures. This latter development has led to the formal acceptance of the term gas metal arc welding (GMAW) for the process because both inert and reactive gases are used. The term MIG welding is still more commonly used.
MIG welding is operated in semiautomatic, machine, and automatic modes. It is utilized particularly in high production welding operations. All commercially important metals such as carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and copper can be welded with this process in all positions by choosing the appropriate shielding gas, electrode, and welding conditions.
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