Gas metal arc welding was originally made for weld materials such as aluminum, copper, brass, tin and lead. It was also used on steels, but shielding gases were highly expensive in the early 1900s limiting GMAW’s use on steel. It wasn’t till the mid 1900’s for GMAW to really take off. There were many different variations of arc-length, electrode size, and power supply units. Since the MIG welder is so versatile, there are many different types of things to make this piece of equipment.
The MIG welder is simply made of five basic parts to complete the task of GMAW. No matter what on any MIG, you need to have a welding gun whether it is spooled by the machine or contains a mechanism to spool from an electrode spool mounted on it. Your welding gun consists of many parts that make GMAW possible. First off it consist of a trigger that when pulled starts the feed of electrode, gas, and initiates power to your contact tip. Your contact tip is highly conductive, usually made of copper, and is connected to the power source. Once you pull the trigger your contact tip is then contacting your electrode wire making it possible to strike an arc. The welding gun also consists of a gas hose that is ran from your machine that leads to a gas diffuser usually behind your contact tip. It then exits into a part that goes around the contact tip and diffuser known as the gas nozzle. The gas nozzle is there to evenly direct your gas into your welding area.
Next you have to have a power supply to ge...
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...mmonly we use an electrode close to our material’s thickness and also keep arc length longer sometimes to keep heat input to a minimum. When welding body panels we weld not in one spot, but around the entire replacement panel to insure not heat warping which saves time in the end. GMAW works really well on replacement frame parts for unibody cars and even on aftermarket add-ons such as sub-frame connectors. You can also use GMAW to repair fractured or rusted suspension parts such as radius arms and brackets.
Depending on your material type and thickness GMAW can be a very good choice of welding style. It has a wide variety of materials it can be used with and get in a lot of tight spots easier than other types of welding. To this day the GMAW is one of the most favorable welding types especially in industry subjected jobs, the automotive industry for example.
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