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Arc welding using a consumable electrode beneath a shielding gas is known as MIG welding. The pieces to be connected are shielded from the environment by an inert gas (MIG welding) or by an active gas, and the arc is produced using an electrode made of a continuous wire (MAG welding). Inherently, MIG welding is more productive than MMA welding, which loses production each time an electrode needs to be replaced. The efficiency of this type of welding has increased by 80–95% because of the employment of solid and cored wires. MIG welding is a flexible technology that can deposit metal quickly and in any position. This process is frequently utilized in steel structures and aluminum alloys with small and medium thicknesses, particularly when a lot of physical labor is needed.
The second significant inert atmosphere welding method first arrived in 1948, and it quickly became clear that it could be utilized successfully in many joints that weren't particularly well-suited to the tungsten arc technique. In tungsten arc welding, the electrode was not replaceable; however, in the new technique, the electrode is displayed as a wire that is used to feed the filler metal during welding.
Over the years, several types of welding have been developed and perfected for each specific type of material to be welded:
Since the development of the electric arc in the early 19th century, electrode welding has been widely utilized. However, the Russians Nikolay Benardos and Stanislav Olszewski invented coal electrode welding, receiving a British patent in 1885 and an American patent in 1887. The coated electrode was developed in 1907 by the Swedish inventor Oscar Kjellberg, who covered the electrode with a coating of clay to help with stability and protection;
MIG/MAG welding: HM Hobart and PK Devers invented MIG welding in 1930. Lyubavskii and Novoshilov created the MAG procedure in Russia during the Soviet Union era in 1953.
Tungsten Inert Gas Welding (TIG): TIG welding was invented by Charles L. Coffin, but it wasn't until Russell Meredith of Northrop Aircraft that it was developed and perfected; he termed the method Heliarc since it employed helium gas to protect the tungsten electrode;
Welding equipment and PPE (personal protective equipment) have evolved with each new development in the processes. For instance, welding masks have gotten lighter and more comfortable while still being built for the health and safety of welders. The devices changed from being bulky and complicated to high-tech, portable machinery with various adjustments that allowed the welding process to continuously advance.
But, don't stop there! The welding industry is continuously changing, and Ferrolan is constantly investing in research and development of new products to satisfy the changing demands of the market.
In terms of weldable alloys and material thicknesses, MIG/MAG welding is very adaptable and can be employed in all positions. It can be used for a variety of non-ferrous and stainless steel welding tasks.
Its productivity is quite high, similar to a semi-automatic process.
The MIG/MAG technique is always an option when the material is weldable, and it has advantages over TIG welding and welding with coated electrodes.
The benefits of MIG welding are similar to those of TIG welding in that it does not require flux, produces less spatter, can be used in all welding positions, and can remove the oxide deposit using an electric arc.
This method offers benefits not present in the TIG method, including quick welding, deeper penetration, and less thermally damaged zones. In the semi-automatic version, the welder only needs to have motor coordination in one of his hands to get the necessary outcomes, but in TIG welding, he needs to have it in both hands.
To link metal components, the welding process combines several states of matter, electricity, heat, and oxidation. Choosing a metal that is simple to weld is one strategy to lower the chance of weld failure.
One of the metals with exceptional weldability is low carbon steel. Additionally, historically, due to its abundance, it has been widely used in a variety of applications.
Due to its easy conductivity when compared to other varieties of steel, it is quite simple to achieve findings that are accepted. This is due to the extremely low carbon content, which inhibits the development of brittle microstructures and completely eliminates the possibility of weld failure.
Even though welding aluminum is a little more difficult than welding low-carbon steel, it is still doable as long as you have the right expertise and tools.
If the right method is utilized, stainless steel is a metal that can also be welded. Despite having a complicated chemical makeup, many stainless steel sheets, which are renowned for their resistance to oxidation (rust), can be welded.
Due to the chemical makeup of various types of metals, welding typically becomes more complicated. For instance, special equipment is frequently needed to weld titanium without oxidation. Preheating and even post-weld heat treatment are typically needed for high carbon steels to prevent cracking.
MIG/MAG welding uses electricity, a mixture of gases, and a flux electrode or wire for input.
The electricity creates an electrical beam of variable intensity between the machine and the part to be joined.
The gas creates a protective atmosphere that allows electricity to be guided and prevents oxidation. Depending on which one is used, we speak of MIG or MAG.
The filler material acts as a guide for the arch while providing the filling.
Knowing the parts of a MIG/MAG welding equipment will allow you to better understand its operation, detect problems and acquire spare parts. These are the main elements of one of these machines:
The welding kit contains all the necessary elements to make the joining cords. The main one is the welding machine. Within this, a process is carried out to convert the input electricity and regulate it on demand, according to the need of the technician.
These devices are connected to a source of electricity through a plug, which will be different based on the voltage of the source. This is an important detail to keep in mind. Some are prepared to work at 220 V, others at 380 V, and some connect to both powers. The transformer is responsible for the transformation of these flows.
Another element found inside the machine is the main electronic board. Between the wires and electrical components, there is a board attached to various connectors. Using regulators it is possible to control the intensity.
The fan is also a remarkable part of the machine. It is responsible for cooling the circuits when work is being carried out. It increases the duration of the components and prevents them from being damaged by overheating, although there are sensors that disconnect the equipment if the ventilation fails.
One of the main characteristics of the MIG/MAG machines is that they have a coil holder. In this, a roll is placed with the filler material, which can be hollow or solid. The supply of material can be automatic or semi-automatic, depending on the type of welding equipment chosen.
This is the last part of the welding equipment. It is made up of the gun and the hoses. They can be attached or detached from the machine for transport. It is very important to check them, as they are delicate.
It is named for its shape. It is the part that contains the nozzles and the switch that activates the welding and the starting of the coil. It is designed to transmit electricity, output the flux material, and supply gases.
It is a set of electrical and rubber hoses through which the gas comes out. They must be always in good condition so that they do not get bored and cause electrical accidents, malfunctions, or welding deficiencies.
It is quite common that one of the risks is exposure to heat and flames since you can suffer from burns due to fire or different contact heat and splashes. In addition, we must take care of the UV radiation emitted by the arc if the type of welding applies, being quite dangerous for the retina if the visual exposure to it is prolonged. Finally, we cannot forget the risk of mechanical aggressions that are related to the different jobs that involve handling tools.
This is why we will need a green glass protective screen to avoid irreversible damage that can occur from light, ultraviolet, and infrared radiation generated in the electric arc.
Another essential product is protective gloves when performing any type of welding task, which are usually made of materials such as padded leather and reinforced seams that help prevent accidents with other objects.
Welding work clothes, especially cotton with fibers resistant to thermal aggression, allow us to stay comfortable and safe at the same time within the workspace.
In addition, there are a series of convenient accessories to be safe when welding, such as green glass protection glasses.
Producing the best welds takes a lot of practice. It is a process in which trial and error become an essential part, so there is no need to worry if everything does not go as planned at the beginning. However, you can keep in mind a few tips that will help you to reduce errors to achieve the result you are looking for in much less time.
In the first place, you must get the right electrode for the job you are looking to achieve, and the size of this should depend on the situation that is being worked on within the weld, taking into account gravity as an essential factor affects the final result of welding. welding.
You will need to have a good welding stand so that you have a good guide, especially if you are doing vertical welding.
It is really important that as much as possible you try not to undermine, which can happen since the electrode must be woven, and this work may be torn off at times and there is not enough metal filler. Also, remember that having a larger puddle size will help you have much more control of the situation in general.
You should also try to stay away from odd sizes for metal, as most metals come in specific and common sizes.
Finally, make sure at all times that you know the arc length, that is, the distance from both the metal and the thickness of the electrode you are using.
MIG welding is a versatile process, being able to deposit the metal at high speed and in all positions. This procedure is widely used in small and medium thicknesses in steel structures and aluminum alloys, especially where a great deal of manual work is required. Coffin, but was only developed and perfected by Russell Meredith of Northrop Aircraft in 1941, he called the process Heliarc because it used Helium Gas as protection for the tungsten electrode, but also it is referred to as Tungsten Inert Gas Welding (TIG); The Evolution of Welding Equipment With each new advance in the processes, an evolution was noticed in welding equipment and PPE (personal protective equipment), welding masks, for example, became increasingly light and comfortable and designed for the health and safety of welders.