Talk:Gas metal arc welding

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Featured article Gas metal arc welding is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on September 4, 2005.
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July 9, 2005 Peer review Reviewed
July 25, 2005 Featured article candidate Promoted
January 25, 2015 Featured article review Kept
Current status: Featured article
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Valuable Links for Welding[edit]

I would like to add an outbound link to two great guides and resources that deal with the proper preparation and selection of material on tungsten electrodes. The link is at: Do you feel that this would be appropriate? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:09, 30 October 2007 (UTC)


To get this article featured, at least the following should be done:

  • Add history section
  • Get good images
  • Add equipment section – torch, power supply, etc.
  • Add sections on process variations: Globular, short-circuiting, spray, pulsed spray. This should include differences like shielding gas used, type/thickness of metals that can be welded, positions, weld appearance, pros/cons, travel speed, learning curve, etc.
  • Add quality section (possibly incorporate into individual process variation pages)
  • Include info on joint design somewhere (maybe quality section)
  • Include info on safety and common applications (maybe in an "Applications" section?)
  • Explain MIG, MAG and MIG vs. MAG. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Velle (talkcontribs) 20:33, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Please, add to this list if you think something is missing! Spangineer 18:46, May 18, 2005 (UTC)


  • Differences with different metals.
  • General differences (pros/cons) with tig/oxy-acetylene/etc.
  • AC/DC variations perhaps.
  • Notes on usages in industries (eg auto)

I'll make a start on the history bit. I can take a nice pic of my little 150 Amp welder if that's any use? Only slight issue might be it's an unusual make (Ferm/Sealey).

History link:

Mat-C 02:04, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

Remember, we just want the history of GMAW, not welding in general. There's alot of general history at the main welding article, which was based on printed sources, not the internet. We can include the stuff that relates to arc welding, but the focus should be on GMAW developments. Incidentally, the website you linked to appears to be a direct quote out of a welding textbook I have (Modern Welding Technology by Cary and Helzer) so if you use the info off the website, I'll reference it with the book.
The picture would be great; I doubt the model would matter. User:TTLightningRod already offered to get some good images for this page, but we'll probably need more, and extra options never hurt. AC/DC stuff is a good idea; though I think AC is rarely used. Thanks for the suggestions!
Regarding the safety section, you might find it helpful to take a look at the safety section of the welding article – we probably want to use prose, not lists, and we'll also need to talk about the differences in safety between GMAW and other welding processes. I think I read that GMAW is safer than SMAW, for example.
Thanks for showing interest! I wrote the welding article by myself, and while it was fun, it would have been better to have help. It would be awesome if the next featured welding article could be done with teamwork :) Spangineer 15:18, May 20, 2005 (UTC)

The welding page looks very good, I'll have a scan through it. I can't really write much on the history without more info (and decent sources hard to come by). Will do other bits as we go along, including the safety rewording. Cheers, Mat-C 03:09, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

before placing in article page[edit]

I thought we might change the text within the image to simple numbered items, then we can simply have an editable list under the description text. Yes? (TTLightningRod)

Yep, I agree – numbered items in the image would be best, because then it's possible to easily change the text and it can also be translated without any trouble. These are great images – you definitely know what you're doing with CAD. Incidentally, what software do you use?
Aside from converting the text to numbers, I'm only concerned about a couple things, and hopefully both can be resolved easily. The first is that the head of the gun comes out of a cube shaped thing... based on the welding guns I've seen, that's not what they look like, so if it's possible, it would be cool if the cylindrical part could be extruded farther back so that only it is showing. I'm also not sure what I think about the perspective of the second image... part of me says it's fine as is (once the cube thing at the bottom is removed), but I'm not sure I'm a fan of having the tip of the gun appear farther away than the handle of the gun. I'm not sure how easy this stuff is to change, so give me feedback on my comments before changing stuff so that you don't have to do extra work. Again, these images great; thanks for putting the time into making them! --Spangineer 23:17, May 27, 2005 (UTC)

Collaborative WikiCAD... now that would be cool[edit]

What's the matter... you don't like my cubist representation of a nice finger-formed hand-held trigger-actuated MIG torch grip, with gold-inset name-brand logo? What's wrong with you?  : ) Ya, I'll do something a little better with that... I just tossed this off this afternoon, and didn't want to put time into other details before we could start talking about it. Which now we have.

So numbers are the way to go. I'll leave you to fill in their technical description, and still others can translate easier too. I'll also do a bit more work on the actual cut away (you can see that in the talk:Welding page. Changing things around is quite easy, particularly views, perspective, angle, rendering and color.. that's why CAD is so cool. Draw it once in 3D, the rest is kids play. Didn't like my "cubes"... you silly boy.

One other thing.... I would expect other people could pick up on this method of; draft, feedback, change, repost... In this case it's not so important to me, but I don't want to keep posting "latest revisions" without being able to completely delete old versions of a draft that have been superseded. (That's an important dynamic when moving any kind of draft and engineering paperwork around, as you know) The best way to do it would be if I could simply "replace" an image with it's same simple name every time. I personally don't care if the older one is dumped all together, but if the wiki commons system could date stamp, and reshuffle the image history backwards, that would be good for future generations in perpetuity. Otherwise, any person working on an image, especially any future collaborative CAD work, (collaborative DXF's or DWG's in a wiki environment would be super cool) any person working on an image and replacing an older image would have to rename it every time. I do suppose I could add a date/time stamp, but that really isn't the best solution if in the future, many people are working on the same thing simultaneously, and in different time zones.

Basically... What will happen with a wiki-commons filling up with half-baked or old, technical images?

Yeah, sorry to be so picky about that handle :). As for the images, yes, you can just replace the images by uploading a new one with the same name, which dumps the old one. I think that you should just reupload the files over top of the last one, and then if you get one that is a major change, don't get rid of the old version, just name the new file something else. If lots of different people are changing and renaming the image consistently, you can just send it through some sort of delete process, which I think is pretty easy. Does that answer your question?
As for collaborative CAD stuff, though not on a wiki, I know of one CAD package called Alibre that makes that possible. We used it in my engineering design class, and while it's definitely limited in its capabilities (it didn't take me long to find something it couldn't do with its extrusion tools; namely a phillips head screwdriver), it does allow for two people to be looking at the same CAD drawing at the same time and working on it together. It's pretty cool.
Also, a minor note – it would be helpful if you signed and dated your talk page posts with ~~~~, since it helps other users keep track of the conversation and all that good stuff. Just a tip. --Spangineer 00:48, May 28, 2005 (UTC)
1) from MIG torch handle with finger trigger. 2) Nozzle, an ectrically isolated cup to "focus" shield gas and protect wire Contact Tip. 3) output face of the nozzle. Filler wire is "pushed" into the hot work piece while enveloped by the shielding gas. 4) Molded dielectric between outer cup and threaded metal nut insert, shown in yellow. 5) Diffuser nut for shield gas output. 6) Contact Tip, with a guide orifice "sized" to the filler wire.

Please let me know what you think. If there are other ways the illistration could be viewed, modified, or otherwise improved... please let me know. TTLightningRod 12:32, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It's looking great to me. Once we get this article to peer review, we'll get some more feedback from other users (hopefully), but for now, I think we're in great shape. You may want to specify on the image page that you're releasing these under GDFL or whatever, so that there aren't any concerns later about where these images came from. I'm thinking that putting the two torch end images near each other (perhaps one on top of the other) would be a great visual. I'll work on the caption and on the image placement, and I'll let you know if I see anything that I think needs to be changed. And please, feel free to contribute to this article! You seem to know pretty much about this welding thing, and it would be great to get a little bit of writing collabaration going :). But if you can't, I understand – in any case, your contribution of these images is a fantastic addition. --Spangineer 16:50, Jun 1, 2005 (UTC)

I added a comment to the image page about my offer under GDFL. Is that the way to do it? Thanks for the compliment about my "know pretty much about this welding thing" smoke and mirrors. However, I'm still a bit pensive about what I could really add to the text itself. I think you're doing a great job although I can sympathize with your request for more collaboration. Don't worry, if you say something that makes me want to puke, I'll let you know. TTLightningRod 17:38, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

that dosen't make sense...[edit]

"it can not be used outdoors or in other areas of air volatility." By their very nature, both stick and MIG CAN be used outdoors because they both use some form of flux and/or inert shielding gas because of ambient volatiles everywhere we want oxygen to breath. It would be more correct to even say they work BEST outdoors, if only for the better safety of the operator. TTLightningRod 19:14, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Maybe something like this.. "Stick welding is one of the best solutions to use in conditions of strong and gusty winds, whereas MIG performs better in calmer air. Because of the very low flow rates required by the inert gas often used in TIG welding, conditions of very calm ambent air are best, (such as indoors). TTLightningRod 19:34, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
But if the air is moving, the shielding gas being pumped out by the welding gun isn't going to effectively keep the oxygen out, right? Wouldn't the argon get blown away, allowing atmospheric gases into the weld area? I've heard that outdoors welding is much more commonly done with stick and flux-cored welding. --Spangineer (háblame) 19:43, Jun 1, 2005 (UTC)
Quite right. Your original sentence was really just kind of confusing to me at first. I see what you're saying.... let me think of it a bit more. I'm trying to find a way to make it clearer why MIG does work "outdoors", but windy conditions can piss off the operator. But even for TIG, this CAN be overcome by using more shield gas (and thus consuming more $). MIG fits in the middle between "Stick" and TIG. From the most adverse conditions ("stick" weld on the open deck of ocean going vessel), to the most idyllic (TIG welds best in a controlled environment like an indoor laboratory workbench within a vacuum vessel). TTLightningRod 19:54, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Did we get rid of the term "volatile air"? Also, I'm looking at the dates here. 2005. Did everyone go home? This is the end of 2007. Let's change it already. (talk) 17:12, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


Can I just say... fantastic work on those cutaway diagrams, with detail right down to the threads on the tip. Mat-C 28 June 2005 15:13 (UTC) {{

Wow, *great* choice for a featured article[edit]

It's not like this exact topic was already featured just a short while ago as a featured picture or anything. No repetition here, nosiree. No crowding out of selected articles that haven't been featured yet either! I'm so glad Wikipedia features a diversity of articles on the front page rather than recycling the same old ones. MrVoluntarist 00:10, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Was that sarcasm? Because welding was a featured article just a short time ago.--kenb215 01:00, September 4, 2005 (UTC)
Yes, it was sarcasm. I'm glad you caught on. Gas metal arc welding was a featured picture not long ago. How pathetic. MrVoluntarist 02:24, 4 September 2005 (UTC)
Shut up. On another note, I think it's a great example of citing sources. --Cyberman 21:51, September 4, 2005 (UTC)
Don't tell me to shut up. And this isn't a great example of citing sources; it's a great example of citing the same three or four sources. Anarcho-capitalism, which by the way sacrificed a spot on the front page so that this article could be shown twice, is a great example of citing sources. MrVoluntarist 23:57, 4 September 2005 (UTC)
Just to clarify, the decision to put a featured picture on the main page and a featured article on the main page are entirely separate processes. Perhaps there should be more coordination, but the fact that the article appeared shortly after the picture was a fluke. As for Anarcho-capitalism, just be patient -- I'm sure it will appear on the front page before long. GMAW reached featured status nearly a month before Anarcho-capitalism did, which explains why it appeared on the front page first. --Spangineer (háblame) 01:28, September 5, 2005 (UTC)
Could be a loooooooong time if every other article gets to be featured twice... MrVoluntarist 17:14, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
Maybe you could threaten to hold your breath until your page gets the go ahead? Slinky puppet 02:59, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
No personal attacks MrVoluntarist 17:14, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
That's not ad hominem.


The note structure is easy to navigate. Good formatting. hydnjo talk 02:15, 4 September 2005 (UTC)


At what voltage is MIG welding usually done? ―BenFrantzDale 03:50, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Seems to be around 15-30 volts, depending on the application. It's normally set by the operator. I'll try to find a more explicit reference and add that to the power supply section. --Spangineer (háblame) 04:05, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
There is no usual voltage, instead it depends on the type of joint, the thickness of the metal, and the number of runs. Since there is no real measure of how much voltage you're putting into the weld (welding machines only have fairly ambiguous "settings" with the maximum being the exact rating of the machine, IE 180 volts) we can only guess roughly how many volts are going into it. To give you an idea though, if I was doing 10mm steel welds I'd probably go up to the maximum setting on a 180 volt machine (LOL even though it would cut out every 6 minutes and require billions of runs). For 1.6 mm steel, I'd use a 180 volt machine, and set the voltage on 2, 10 being the maximum, 1 being the minimum, and the amps on about 4 (totally meaningless to you or anyone else lol but that's what I'd set it at), putting the amps up a bit higher for a T fillet joint which absorbs more heat - that would be the absolute highest I'd go, and even then I'd have to go very careful to avoid burning through. If I was doing positional work like on a vertical surface, I'd put the settings up a wee bit so that I could move faster to stay ahead of the molten weld pool, without losing penetration. So you see it depends on the circumstances. Hope that answers your question. ▫Bad▫harlick♠ 00:31, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
I think Badharlick is referring to amps, not volts. Measuring voltage is fairly precise, measuring amps, less so. As Spangineer noted, betweek 15-33 volts, Typically 16-19 volts for short-circuit and 26-33 volts for spray. Volts will be adjusted in that range for electrode diameter and type, vertical up/down, thickness of material, shield gas, flux-core, etc.. Volts are controlled directly on the welding machine, amps are controlled indirectly, primarily by the wire feed rate and size of the power source, less so by the electrode stickout, shielding gas and other parameters.Drillerguy 13:44, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Is it a wrong traveling direction?[edit]

It is basic to advance turning the nozzle to the traveling direction and spraying the shielding gas from the nozzle. Therefore, I think that the traveling direction and the direction where a semiautomatic welding of this figure is formed the bead are wrong of it.

Refer toWelding(Japanese version Wikpedia) for details. 16:09, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

From the article: "The travel angle or lead angle is the angle of the torch with respect to the direction of travel, and it should generally remain approximately vertical. However, the desirable angle changes somewhat depending on the type of shielding gas used—with pure inert gases, the bottom of the torch is out often slightly in front of the upper section, while the opposite is true when the welding atmosphere is carbon dioxide." The diagram is a modified version of an image appearing in a respected welding text; there's no problem. --Spangineeres (háblame) 16:17, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Vandalism removed[edit]

"My name is shilton" doesn't really seem relavent to the topic at hand. Forar 19:35, 12 April 2007 (UTC)


Quote: Originally developed for welding aluminium and other non-ferrous materials in the 1940s, GMAW was soon applied to steels because it allowed for lower welding time compared to other welding processes.

How so, compared to regular electric-arc welding without protective gas? Maikel (talk) 16:16, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

You need some shielding from something, either from a continuous gas supply or else a flux-coated manual filler rod. Manual rods need to stop repeatedly to change rods, which obviously slows down the work. Apart from continuous gasflow, there wasn't another way to weld long runs continuously. Submerged arc (plain wire covered with a pile of loose flux powder) and "gasless" wire (flux as a core) are later developments.
More important though was the quality aspect, not the welding speed. Stopping to change rods, or more accurately the cool-down associated with it, is infamous as a cause of most welding quality problems (voids, inclusions etc.). If you can find a way to work continuously, you stop these at source. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:34, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Featured article concerns[edit]

It's been a long time since this article was promoted and it still looks good but needs some polish in order to meet the current FA criteria. I've added citation needed tags where there are none. There are questions about a self-published source used in the article. At least two of the books listed in the bibliography are not used for citing the article. One cite needs the its page number listed. Brad (talk) 10:22, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Fact checking[edit]

I believe the following statement to be plain wrong: "The automobile industry in particular uses GMAW welding almost exclusively." Resistance spot welding is very common in the automotive industry (see e.g., and I believe laser welding is also used on a regular basis. Thus I will remove that sentence from the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ankid (talkcontribs) 10:12, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

I think you are right to make that removal, pending a source (which I doubt exists). --Spangineerws (háblame) 17:33, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Globular transfer[edit]

Is it better to say that this mode is "the most undesirable" (which I've reworded to "least desirable" for clarity) or should we say, "It's simply broken and no-one should use it"?

I'm UK trained, so I've not read the US texts used as sources here, where it seems to be described as an early form of welding that was in common and widespread use until it was supplanted by something better. From my training, and my sources, the view is rather more against it. It's viewed here in one of two ways: an obscure form used only with care and specific need, on thin sheet - even then it has been superseded by machines that allow pulsing. Otherwise, and most commonly, it's seen as "amateur welding", the "pigeon crap" welds produced by DIY car restorers using CO2 gas, poor skill and machines that can't reliably deliver spray transfer mode.

There is a commercial difference between US & UK low-volume or hobby welders, such that it's expensive to use an argon based gas in the UK (because of cylinder rental charges), thus many instead use CO2, even for welds where this is quite inappropriate. The UK welding field is stratified into "CO2 globular welders" (who basically aren't to be trusted) and "competent welders" (professional or amateur). Although globular transfer must be covered, if only as a warning, I'm concerned that listing it first, and as if it's a credible choice in anything other than an obscure situation, is giving it a credence it shouldn't have. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:24, 28 May 2013 (UTC)


This article just passed FAR ... Maralia, I am heading out for a long weekend. Could you review this revert by Glrx? Were Maralia's edits saved? Sorry, I haven't time to look closer. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:14, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

I saw the revert, and am okay with it; I was on the fence about retaining the edit anyway. Maralia (talk) 19:29, 13 February 2015 (UTC)