Even though you know that most welding processes require a metal inert gas (MIG), you may not have given much thought to the composition and its effect on subsequent tasks. For instance, shielding gas often significantly impacts a welding process’s overall cost. And many welders are unaware of metal inert gas’s economic effects on the overall welding operation costs. Meanwhile, there are some significant ways that the MIG gas composition you select might impact your welding process, and here are four of them:
- Over-welding and Bead Profiling
The form of a CO2 shielded weld bead is frequently convex, which leads to over-welding and raises the cost of welding. Meanwhile, blends based on argon provide substantial control over bead form, which helps minimise over-welding. CO2 can result in a convex bead form because of the physical properties of a CO2-shielded arc and the weld puddle it creates. Argon blends usually result in a flat bead face, which provides enough strength but lessens over-welding. The diameter of the filler metal is another essential factor in bead form optimisation. Controlling the weld bead size can be challenging with big wire sizes. Welding expenses may rise by at least 50% due to an enlarged weld bead. And based on the requirements of your application, select the kind and size of your filler metal.
- Efficiency and Rate of Filler Metal Deposition
Excellent argon concentration metal inert gas mixtures often have high productivity. Spray transfer is possible with these mixes if the workpiece is positioned in horizontal or flat welding. So, pick your welding gas wisely: High current and wire feed rates are present. At a 100% duty cycle, single-wire GMAW may achieve deposition rates greater than 15 pounds per hour. And in some circumstances, utilising a helium-enhanced argon blend instead of a traditional argon/carbon dioxide or argon/oxygen blend may boost weld metal deposition rates by up to 15%.
- Postweld Cleaning and Spatter Control
Because of its low ionisation potential, argon has better arc stability, which reduces spatter when using traditional power sources. Some recently created power sources include pure CO2 as a metal inert gas to reduce splatter. Using shielding gases based on argon can further minimise spatter and broaden the operational window of these devices. Also, the operating current and voltage can be increased by 10% or more without affecting the ability to regulate splatter.
- Off-Centre Weldability
Weld pool fluidity will rise when more reactive shield gases are used, which utilise more CO2 or O2. This might compel you to utilise slower wire feed rates for out-of-position operations, reducing productivity. The metal transfer you use is crucial when attempting to enhance out-of-position control. And blends with a high argon content and low reactivity often work well.
Greater amounts of the alloying elements in the filler wire are transmitted to the weld pool because high-argon blends are often less reactive than other blends. Usually, this makes the weld stronger. Meanwhile, always consider your shielding gas when selecting a wire consumable to ensure that the final weld will satisfy the requirements of your application. The gas might impact numerous welding parameters you select. You may choose the ideal mix for the work after you are aware of the most crucial characteristics of your application. And when you do, ensure it is from a reliable vendor/supplier who also gives you premium MIG options.