Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) Welding
Gas Metal Arc Welding or GMAW is a welding process where an electric arc is created between a consumable wire electrode and the materials being welded. This heats the material up and allows multiple materials to be bonded together. The wire electrode then acts as a filler material for any unfilled gaps.
GMAW uses a weld gun which serves to feed the filler wire from a wire reel through the gun to the weld surface. The gun also passes a shielding gas around the wire. The shielding gas serves to prevent outside contaminants from entering the weld area. The shielding gas can be an inert gas, such as argon or helium, which is referred to as Metal Inert Gas or MIG welding, or it can be a active gas, using mixtures of oxygen, argon and CO2, in this case called Metal Active Gas or MAG welding. The main difference between the two is that the gas types play a role in the stability of the arc and the amount of spatter. MIG is the more common of the two and for the purposes of this discussion we will use the terms MIG and GMAW interchangeably, as they often are in industry.
Because the welding process with MIG or MAG welding is mainly controlled through the gun, it can move faster than TIG welding and lends itself to higher levels of automation, such as robotic welding. GMAW welding can be used on carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper and more.
Our GMAW Process and Approach
MIG/GMAW Welding is a critical element of our in house fabrication capability. At AKI, we make use of all of the common welding technologies in order to best solve our customers challenges. Our in house team have years of experience in a wide range of techniques and are all certified welders. In addition to in house capabilities we have a strong partner network that enables to round out our welding capability.
For a current list of all of our welding equipment see our Equipment List.
Our approach is focused around flexibility. We thrive in projects that range from low volumes or even single piece such as prototyping, to high volume production runs. We can support a variety of materials, from steel to stainless steel to aluminum and more. We cover industries from medical, to energy to defense to instrumentation and robotics and more. From small weldments to large frames, our goal is to service a wide range of needs for our customers. Have a current or upcoming project? Have a member of our team contact you to discuss.
GMAW Welding Applications
MIG welding is ideal for higher volume production parts due to the consistency of the weld and the speed at which a weld can be made. For this reason MIG technology is often paired with robotic automation. This makes it a common solution for automotive production and commercial and residential construction, as well as numerous other industries using sheet metal fabrications.
The Advantages of Gas Metal Arc Welding
GMAW welding provides a number of significant advantages, including, faster weld time, leading to higher overall throughput. It is also widely considered the easiest welding technology to learn, as it is less manual. Oftentimes people compare it to a hot glue gun which helps highlight why it might be mastered faster than other weld types. MIG welding does create good high-quality welds and has reduced weld splatter.