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MIG gas shielding : Economic savings without detriment to quality

McPherson, Norman and Galloway, Alexander and Gillies, Andrew and Campbell, Stuart and Scanlon, Thomas and Moore, A.J. and Wu, T (2011) MIG gas shielding : Economic savings without detriment to quality. In: Annual International Conference on Materials Science, Metal & Manufacturing, M3 2011, 2011-12-12 - 2011-12-13.

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Over the years a number of claims have been made related to potential savings of the shielding gas used in the MIG process. A number of work streams have been set up to consider such areas from a technical and economic standpoint. The use of small helium additions has particular benefits and despite an increase in unit cost, the overriding benefits are achieved in reduced manhour cost. A similar situation has been established when using a high frequency process to switch shielding gases during welding. The outcome from this was very similar to that already described. Overlaid on these has been the increasing use of a technique that visualises actual gas flow during welding by the use of laser backlighting. Some preliminary work in this area is described particularly related to the effect of drafts on the gas distribution. A recent development on the market place is a piece of equipment, which regulates the gas flow automatically and synchronously with the welding current. Gas savings in the region of 50-60% have been obtained. Data has been produced to illustrate these benefits. The potential benefit of developing a computational fluid dynamic model of the gas flow is also described, and early development stages of the model shown. However, there will always exist the very basic management need to minimise leaks from the gas delivery systems.