MIG/ MAG/ GMAW Welding

One of the most versatile and widely used processes. It uses the heat generated by an electric arc to fuse the joint area

close-up of MIG/MAG welding
Optimising your MIG / MAG welding results with custom-designed gas mixtures

Metal Inert Gas welding (MIG), Metal Active Gas welding (MAG), Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) are most commonly referred to as MIG welding. This, however, is only the correct terminology when an inert shielding gas such as argon or helium is being used for welding aluminium. 

In most cases, the process is used to weld steel and will require an active shielding gas. Therefore, the correct terminology for the process would be MAG welding. 

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How it Works

This fusion welding process uses an electrical arc to create the heat needed to melt and fuse together the parent material. The electrode used in MIG/MAG welding is also the consumable filler wire. Shielding gas is used to protect the molten weldpool, adjacent parent material and filler wire from atmospheric contamination.

MIG/MAG welding uses a continuously fed consumable wire to serve as both the electrode and the filler material. When the filler wire comes into contact with the parent material an electrical arc is initiated, this arc causes the filler wire and the parent material to melt simultaneously. The melted wire is then continuously transferred across the arc and into the molten base material to form the weldpool. Shielding gas is delivered through the welding torch to ensure no atmospheric contamination of the workpiece or welding consumables occurs.

diagram showing the various equipment elements for MIG/MAG welding
Schematic of MIG process in operation
Circuit diagram of MIG process
Circuit diagram of MIG process

A wide variety of material types, forms and sizes can be successfully welded with MIG/MAG welding provided the correct filler wire and shielding gas are selected.

MIG/MAG welding is the most widely used of all arc welding processes. This is mainly due to its high deposition rates and ease of automation.

Optimising your process

Shielding gas does far more than simply protect the weld pool from atmospheric contamination. Selecting the correct shielding gas for your particular application will enhance virtually every aspect of the deposited weld including deposition rates, cosmetic appearance, corrosion resistance, fusion and weld integrity. 

We deliver a range of tried-and-tested MIG welding gases under our SPECSHIELD, STAINSHIELD, ALUSHIELD and Argoshield families. These mixes have been designed to bring you the full benefits of MIG welding. BOC’s manufacturing specialists would be happy to assess your current manufacturing techniques and advise you on the optimum shielding gas to ensure you are getting the best out of your welding processes.

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