We are back with our monthly column about welding, which describes the main techniques, accessories and materials that you need to know in order to choose the best welding machine suited to your needs.
Today we are talking about MIG/MAG continuous wire welding.
This technique is based on the fusion of a welding wire, generally solid metal, through heat generated by the electric arc.
The wire is automatically fed into the fusion bath under gaseous protection, by means of a torch connected to the positive pole of the welding machine. The wire feeder then conducts the wire from the torch to the workpiece.
Throughout this process, the gas plays the same role as the electrode coating, i.e. it protects against oxidation and allows slag-free working.
What is the difference between MIG (Metal Inert Gas) and MAG (Metal Active Gas) welding?
Depending on the gas protection, we distinguish between two types of continuous wire welding:
MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding is achieved by using an inert gas that does not participate in fusion, such as Argon or Helium.
MAG (Metal Active Gas) welding, on the other hand, is based on the use of an active gas, such as CO2 or ArCO2 mixtures in different percentages, depending on the material that is being welded. In this case, the gas takes part in the fusion.
How and what may be welded with a continuous wire welding machine?
Continuous wire welding is ideal for carrying out a large number of welds with high filler volumes. It may be used on engine driven welders with electronic welding control.
It is a very versatile technique and rather easy to handle. It is, however, preferable to weld indoors to prevent weathering to take place, stripping it from the gaseous protection.
It is usually used for welding steel, light metal alloys, copper, nickel and titanium.
The equipment is rather bulky and therefore difficult to transport, as the gas cylinder must also be carried.
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