Welding Essentials: Questions and Answers

Chapter 6: Wire Feed Welding Gas Metal & Flux Cored Arc Welding

Whether you think you can or you can't you are right.

Henry Ford


The wire feed processes of gas metal arc and flux core welding consume over seventy percent of total filler materials used today and this percentage continues to grow. While this welding equipment costs more than arc welding equipment of the same capabilities, it often offers higher productivity. Not having to stop a bead, change electrodes, and restart again increases metal deposition rates and reduces weld discontinuities. Also, these processes are readily adapted to robotic/computer-controlled operations. Wire feed processes are relatively easy to learn, especially to those already trained in stick welding. We will cover theory, equipment, materials, setup, adjustment, troubleshooting, and safety.

GMAW Process Name

What are the AWS designations for these processes?

GMAW and FCAW from the initials of the process names are the AWS designations.

What are other common names for GMAW?

GMAW is also commonly called MIG from Metal Inert Gas Welding and also called wire feed welding. Their machines are sometimes called wire feeders.


What equipment makes up a GMAW setup?

  • Constant-voltage (CV) welding power supply.

  • Wire feeder containing wire feed motor, spool support, wire feed drive rolls, and associated electronics (may be an integral part of welding power supply or separate unit).

  • Welding gun and its cable.

  • Grounding clamp, work lead cable, and its terminals.

  • Welding electrode.

  • Pressure regulator or flow meter for shielding gas(es).

  • Compressed gas cylinder.

See Figure 6-1.

Figure 6-1: GMAW welding outfit.



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