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CSWIP 3.

1 Welding Inspection

Gas Metal Arc Welding Metal Inert Gas Metal Active Gas
TWI Training & Examination Services
Course Reference WIS 5

Gas Metal Arc Welding


The MIG/MAG welding process was initially developed in the USA in the late 1940s for the welding of aluminum alloys. The latest EN Welding Standards now refer the process by the American term GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding) The process uses a continuously fed wire electrode The weld pool is protected by a separately supplied shielding gas The process is classified as a semi-automatic welding process but may be fully automated The wire electrode can be either bare/solid wire or flux cored hollow wire

MIG/MAG - Principle of operation

Gas Metal Arc Welding


PROCESS CHARACTERISTICS Requires a constant voltage power source, gas supply, wire feeder, welding torch/gun and hose package Wire is fed continuously through the conduit and is burnt-off at a rate that maintains a constant arc length/arc voltage Wire feed speed is directly related to burn-off rate Wire burn-off rate is directly related to current When the welder holds the welding gun the process is said to be a semi-automatic process The process can be mechanised and also automated In Europe the process is usually called MIG or MAG

Equipment for MIG/MAG

External wire feed unit Internal wire feed system

Transformer/ Rectifier

Power control panel 15kg wire spool

Power cable & hose assembly Liner for wire

Power return cable

Welding gun assembly

MIG/MAG wire drive system


Internal wire drive system Plain top roller

Half grooved bottom roller

Wire guide

MIG/MAG wire drive system


Types of wire drive systems:

2 roll wire drive

4 roll wire drive

MIG/MAG wire drive system


Types of drive rolls
recommended for steel wires

recommended for softer wires (aluminium)

MIG/MAG wire drive system

Close wound stainless steel spring wire liner

Teflon liner

MIG/MAG welding gun types

Goose neck type

Push-pull type

MIG/MAG welding gun assembly


Welding gun assembly (less nozzle) Spatter protection Welding gun body On/Off switch Hose port

Nozzles or shrouds Gas diffuser

Spot welding spacer Contact tips

MIG/MAG welding gun assembly


The Push-Pull gun Gas Contact diffuser tip

Union nut

Gas nozzle

Trigger Handle

WFS remote control potentiometer

ARC CHARACTERISTICS
Constant Voltage Characteristic OCV
Large arc gap Small arc gap

Small change in voltage = large change in amperage

Volts

The self adjusting arc.

Amps

Flat or Constant Voltage Characteristic


Flat or Constant Voltage Characteristic Used With MIG/MAG, ESW & SAW < 1000 amps
O.C.V. Arc Voltage Virtually no Change.

33 32 31

Small Voltage Voltage Change. Large Current Change

100

Amperage

200

300

MAG Welding Variable Parameters


Wire feed speed:
Increasing the wire feed speed automatically increases the current in the wire

Voltage:
The voltage is the most important setting in the spray transfer mode, as it controls the arc length. In dip transfer it controls the rise in current

Current:
The current is automatically increased as the wire feed is increased. Current mainly affects penetration

MAG Welding Variable Parameters


Inductance:
Applicable to MIG/MAG process in dip transfer mode. The electrode is fed slowly through the arc until it touches the weld pool, at this point the output from the power supply is short circuited and a very high current flows through the electrode. If this was allowed to continue, the wire would melt and eject excessive amounts of spatter. The inclusion or the choke in the welding circuit controls the rate at which the current rises so that the electrode tip is melted uniformly without excessive spatter

MAG Welding Variable Parameters


Shielding Gases:
The gasses used in MIG/MAG welding can be either 100% CO2 or Argon + CO2 mixes. 100% CO2: Can not sustain true spray transfer, but gives very good penetration. The arc is unstable which produces a lot of spatter and a coarse weld profile. Argon + CO2 mixes: Argon can sustain spray transfer above 24 volts, and gives a very stable arc with a reduction in spatter. Argon being a cooler gas produces less penetration than CO2. Argon in normally mixed with CO2 at a mixture of between 5-25%

Gas Metal Arc Welding


MODES OF METAL TRANSFER The current and voltage settings determine the way molten droplets of weld metal transfer from the tip of the wire to the weld pool There are 3 principle modes of droplet transfer, namely dip transfer (short-circuiting) spray transfer pulsed transfer

Gas Metal Arc Welding


Dip Transfer: (Voltage < 22) / (Amperage < 200) Thin materials positional welding Globular Transfer: Between Dip & Spray Transfer Limited commercial, Used only in some mechanised MAG process using CO2 shielding gas Spray Transfer: (Voltage > 27) / (Amperage > 220) Thicker materials, limited to flat welding positions, high deposition Pulse Transfer: Both spray and dip transfer in one mode of operation, frequency range 50-300 pulses/second Positional welding and root runs

MIG/MAG - metal transfer modes


Voltage
Electrode diameter = 1,2 mm WFS = 8,3 m/min Current = 295 A Voltage = 28V

Globular transfer

Spray transfer
Electrode diameter = 1,2 mm WFS = 3,2 m/min Current = 145 A

Dip transfer

Voltage = 18-20V

Current

Current/voltage conditions

Gas Metal Arc Welding


Dip Transfer
Dip transfer occurs when current & voltage settings are low (typically < ~ 200amps & ~ 22volts) There is just enough energy to give an arc and cause fusion at the tip of the wire A droplet grows to a size larger than the wire diameter and eventually extinguishes the arc - causing a short-circuit The short circuit causes the current rises very quickly giving energy to violently pinch-off the droplet This is akin to blowing a fuse and causes spatter When the droplet detaches, the arc is re-established and the current falls This cycle occurs at up to ~ 200 times per second

MIG/MAG-methods of metal transfer


Dip transfer
Transfer occur due to short circuits between wire and weld pool, high level of spatter, need inductance control to limit current raise Can use pure CO2 or Ar- CO2 mixtures as shielding gas Metal transfer occur when arc is extinguished Requires low welding current/arc voltage, a low heat input process. Resulting in low residual stress and distortion Used for thin materials and all position welds

MIG/MAG - metal transfer modes


The pinch effect

Current Pinch force P = CSA

Gas Metal Arc Welding


Dip Transfer
Transfer-mode advantages The low energy conditions allow welding in all positions It can be used for putting in the root run on single-sided welds It can be used for welding thin materials Transfer-mode disadvantages It frequently gives lack of fusion and may not be allowed in semi-automatic mode for high-integrity applications It tends to give spatter (this can be reduced/controlled by having an inductance control on the power source)

MIG/MAG-methods of metal transfer


Globular transfer Transfer occur due to gravity or short circuits between drops and weld pool Requires CO2 shielding gas Metal transfer occur in large drops (diameter larger than that of electrode) hence severe spatter Requires high welding current/arc voltage, a high heat input process. Resulting in high residual stress and distortion Non desired mode of transfer!

Gas Metal Arc Welding


Spray Transfer
When current & voltage are raised together higher energy is available for fusion (typically > ~ 25 volts & ~ 250 amps) This causes a fine droplets of weld metal to be sprayed from the tip of the wire into the weld pool Transfer-mode advantages High energy gives good fusion High rates of weld metal deposition are given These characteristics make it suitable for welding thicker joints Transfer-mode disadvantages It cannot be used for positional welding

MIG/MAG-methods of metal transfer


Spray transfer Transfer occur due to pinch effect NO contact between wire and weld pool! Requires argon-rich shielding gas Metal transfer occur in small droplets, a large volume weld pool Requires high welding current/arc voltage, a high heat input process. Resulting in high residual stress and distortion Used for thick materials and flat/horizontal position welds

MIG/MAG-methods of metal transfer


Pulsed transfer Controlled metal transfer, one droplet per pulse, No transfer between droplet and weld pool! Requires special power sources Metal transfer occur in small droplets (diameter equal to that of electrode) Requires moderate welding current/arc voltage, a reduced heat input . Resulting in smaller residual stress and distortion compared to spray transfer Pulse frequency controls the volume of weld pool, used for root runs and out of position welds

MIG/MAG - metal transfer modes


Pulsed transfer
Controlled metal transfer one droplet per pulse NO transfer during background current! Requires special power sources Metal transfer occur in small droplets (diameter equal to that of electrode) Requires moderate welding current/arc voltage reduced heat input smaller residual stress and distortions compared to spray transfer Pulse frequency controls the volume of weld pool for root runs and out of position welds

used

MIG/MAG - metal transfer modes


Pulse current parameters
Current (A)
Peak current Transition current Average current (ammeter reading)

Background current

Time (sec)

Gas Metal Arc Welding


Pulsed Transfer
Current
Ip = peak current Ib = background current (spray transfer) (continuous arc but little or no fusion)

Ip

Ib

Tp

Tb
Tp = peak time Tb = background time

Time

MIG/MAG - metal transfer modes

Contact tip extension (0-3,2 mm)

Electrode extension 6-13 mm

Contact tip recessed (3-5 mm)

Electrode extension 19-25 mm

Set-up for dip transfer

Set-up for spray transfer

MIG / MAG - self-regulating arc


Stable condition
Arc length L = 6,4 mm Arc voltage = 24V Welding current = 250A WFS = 6,4 m/min Melt off rate = 6,4 m/min

Sudden change in gun position


Arc length L L = 12,7 mm Arc voltage = 29V Welding current = 220A WFS = 6,4 m/min Melt off rate = 5,6 m/min

19 mm

25 mm

Voltage (V)

Current (A)

MIG/MAG - self-regulating arc


Sudden change in gun position
Arc length L L = 12,7 mm Arc voltage = 29V Welding current = 220A WFS = 6,4 m/min Melt off rate = 5,6 m/min

Re-established stable condition


Arc length L = 6,4 mm Arc voltage = 24V Welding current = 250A WFS = 6,4 m/min Melt off rate = 6,4 m/min

25 mm L

25 mm

Voltage (V)

Current (A)

The effect of inductance


Controls the rate of current rise
Current (A) Short circuit current Excessive current, high spatter No inductance
adde e c n a t Induc d

Desired current for good stability, low spatter Time (sec)

The effect of inductance


Maximum inductance
reduced spatter Hotter arc more penetration More fluid weld pool flatter and smoother weld Recommended on thicker materials and stainless steels

Minimum inductance
Colder arc used only for arc stability when welding wide gaps Convex weld, more spatter Improved weld pool control Recommended on thin materials

Terminating the arc


Crater fill Burnback time delayed current cut-off to prevent wire freeze in the weld end crater depends on WFS (set as short as possible!)
Contact tip 3 mm 8 mm 14 mm Insulating slag Burnback time 0,05 sec Workpiece 0,10 sec 0,15 sec Current - 250A Voltage - 27V WFS - 7,8 m/min Wire diam. - 1,2 mm Shielding gas - Ar+18%CO2

MIG/MAG process variables


Welding current

Increasing welding current Increase in depth and width Increase in deposition rate

Polarity

MIG/MAG process variables


Arc voltage

Increasing arc voltage Reduced penetration, increased width Excessive voltage can cause porosity, spatter and undercut

Travel speed
Increasing travel speed Reduced penetration and width, undercut

MIG/MAG process variables


Electrode orientation

Penetration Undercut

Deep

Moderate Shallow

Excess weld metal Maximum Moderate Minimum Severe Moderate Minimum

Electrode extension
Increased extension

Gas Metal Arc Welding


Types of Shielding Gas MIG (Metal Inert Gas)
Inert Gas is required for all non-ferrous alloys (Al, Cu, Ni) Most common inert gas is Argon Argon + Helium used to give a hotter arc - better for thicker joints and alloys with higher thermal conductivity

Gas Metal Arc Welding


Types of Shielding Gas MAG (Metal Active Gas)
Active gases used are Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Argon with a small % of active gas is required for all steels (including stainless steels) to ensure a stable arc & good droplet wetting into the weld pool Typical active gases are Ar + 20% CO2 Ar + 2% O2 100% CO2 for C-Mn & low alloy steels for stainless steels can be used for C - steels

MIG/MAG shielding gases


Type of material Carbon steel Shielding gas CO2 , Ar+(5-20)%CO2

Stainless steel

Ar+2%O2

Aluminium

Ar

Gas Metal Arc Welding


Pulsed Transfer
Transfer-mode advantages Good fusion Small weld pool allows all-position welding

Transfer-mode disadvantages More complex & expensive power source Difficult to set parameters - requires power source manufacturer to provide pulse programmes to suit wire type, dia. and type of gas

Gas Metal Arc Welding


Types of Filler Wire Filler wires have similar composition to the base material Wires can be solid, flux cored or metal cored Flux cored wires are designed to run in spray mode and therefore they give good fusion Flux cored wires cannot be used for root runs on unbacked joints The slag formed from flux cored wire enables welding to be done in allpositions Most flux cored wires have a folded seam that can allow moisture to get into the flux Controlled storage & handling is required for seamed wires Metal cored wires have the same general characteristics as solid wires they can be operated in dip or spray mode Some flux cored wires do not require a gas shield (Innershield)

Checks when MAG Welding


The welding equipment A visual check should be made on the equipment to ensure it is in good working order

The electrodes The diameter, specification and the quality of the wire are essential for inspection. The level of deoxidisation in the wire, single, double or triple de-oxidised. The quality of the wire winding and the copper coating should also be inspected to minimize wire feed problems.

Checks when MAG Welding


Wire liner Check that the liner is the correct type and size for the wire being used. Steel liners for steel and Teflon liners for aluminium. Contact tips Check the tip is the correct size for the wire being used and check the amount of wear. Excessive wear will affect wire speed and electrical current pick-up Gas and gas flow-rates Type of gas and the flow rate need to be checked to ensure they comply with the WPS Other welding variables Check WFS, amps, volts and travel speed

MIG/MAG typical defects


Most welding imperfections in MIG/MAG are caused by lack of welder skill, or incorrect settings of the equipment

Worn contact tips will cause poor power pick up, or transfer Bad power connections will cause a loss of voltage in the arc Silica inclusions (in Fe steels) due to poor inter-run cleaning Lack of fusion (primarily with dip transfer) Porosity (from loss of gas shield on site etc) Solidification problems (cracking, centerline pipes, crater pipes) especially on deep narrow welds

Gas Metal Arc Welding


Advantages
High productivity Easily automated All positional (dip & pulse) Material thickness range Continuous electrode

Disadvantages
Lack of fusion (dip) Small range of consumables Protection on site Complex equipment Not so portable

Questions
Metal Active Gas Welding
QU 1. State the possible problems when using the dip transfer mode in the MAG welding process QU 2. State the application areas for the spray transfer mode when using the MAG welding process. QU 3. What power source characteristic is required and electrode polarity/current type for the MAG welding process QU 4. State the main variables for the MAG welding process QU 5. State the advantages and disadvantages of the MAG welding process when compared to MMA

WELDING PROCESS

Flux Core Arc Welding

Flux cored arc welding

FCAW methods

With gas shielding Outershield

Without gas shielding Innershield

With metal powder Metal core

Outershield - principle of operation

Innershield - principle of operation

Arc Characteristics
Constant Voltage Characteristic OCV
Large arc gap Small arc gap

Small change in voltage = large change in amperage

Volts

The self adjusting arc.

Amps

Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW)


Flux core Insulated extension nozzle Current carrying guild tube Wire joint Flux cored hollow wire Flux powder Arc shield composed of vaporized and slag forming compounds

Flux core wires

Solidified weld metal and slag

Molten weld pool

Metal droplets covered with thin slag coating

Flux cored arc welding


FCAW methods

With gas shielding Outershield

Without gas shielding Innershield (114)

With metal powder Metal core

With active gas shielding (136)

With inert gas shielding (137)

FCAW - differences from MIG/MAG


usually operates in DCEP but some Innershield wires operates in DCEN power sources need to be more powerful due to the higher currents doesn't work in deep transfer mode require knurled feed rolls Innershield wires use a different type of welding gun

FCAW - differences from MIG/MAG


350 Amps self shielded welding gun
Close wound stainless steel spring wire liner (inside welding gun cable) Conductor tube Handle 24V insulated switch lead

Trigger Thread protector Contact tip

Welding gun cable

Hand shield

Courtesy of Lincoln Electric

FCAW - differences from MIG/MAG


Self shielded electrode nozzle

Travel Angle

75

90

75

Backhand (drag) technique


Advantages
preferred method for flat or horizontal position slower progression of the weld deeper penetration weld stays hot longer easy to remove dissolved gasses

Disadvantages
produce a higher weld profile difficult to follow the weld joint can lead to burn-through on thin sheet plates

Forehand (push) technique


Advantages
preferred method for vertical up or overhead position arc is directed towards the unwelded joint preheat effect easy to follow the weld joint and control the penetration

Disadvantages
produce a low weld profile, with coarser ripples fast weld progression shallower depth of penetration the amount of spatter can increase

FCAW advantages
less sensitive to lack of fusion requires smaller included angle compared to MMA high productivity all positional smooth bead surface, less danger of undercut basic types produce excellent toughness properties good control of the weld pool in positional welding especially with rutile wires seamless wires have no torsional strain twist free ease of varying the alloying constituents no need for shielding gas

FCAW advantages
Deposition rate for carbon steel welding

FCAW disadvantages
limited to steels and Ni-base alloys slag covering must be removed FCAW wire is more expensive on a weight basis than solid wires (exception: some high alloy steels) for gas shielded process, the gaseous shield may be affected by winds and drafts more smoke and fumes are generated compared with MIG/MAG in case of Innershield wires, it might be necessary to break the wire for restart (due to the high amount of insulating slag formed at the tip of the wire)

FCAW advantages/disadvantages
Advantages: 1) Field or shop use 2) High productivity 3) All positional 4) Slag supports and shapes the weld Bead 5) No need for shielding gas Disadvantages: 1) High skill factor 2) Slag inclusions 3) Cored wire is Expensive 4) High level of fume (Innershield) 5) Limited to steels and nickel alloys