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MIG/MAG Welding

MIG refers to metal inert gas.  MIG welding is a semi-automatic consumable electrode process which is suitable for manual, mechanised and robotic welding.

A low voltage (12–45V), high current (60–500A) arc between the end of a consumable wire electrode and the workpiece provides the heat needed for the welding operation. The consumable wire electrode iscontinuously fed through the welding torch, where it melts, mixes with the molten base material and forms a weld pool. The weld pool and surrounding areas are protected from atmospheric contamination by a welding/shielding gas. This gas also stabilises the arc and assists metal transfer.

Air Products’ MIG/MAG weld process gases are designed to deliver optimum performance. All of these gases meet the requirements of ISO14175/AWS 5.32 - Welding consumables - Gases and gas mixtures for fusion welding and allied processes.

Air Products offer its best-in-class Maxx® gases range that offers users the optimum gas mixture whether you are welding carbon steel, stainless steel or aluminium.

Download Maxx® Weld Process Gases brochure

Welder's Handbook

Request a download of our industry-leading comprehensive guide to gas shielded arc welding and oxy-fuel cutting.


See the benefits of our Maxx gases

Improved productivity, fewer rejects and a safer working environment.

Whatever you are welding, Air Products’ innovative Maxx® gases range will give you superior results. Formulated to boost output through a unique combination of weldability, weld quality and higher welding speeds, you will achieve improved productivity with fewer rejects.

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How to MIG/MAG weld?

There are some core materials required to MIG weld – welding machine, filler wire, welding gas and PPE.  There are also some core safety rules that need to be observed and surface preparation required before welding can commence.

In summary, an electric motor continuously feeds consumable filler wire through the welding torch into the arc, and the power source keeps the arc length at a pre-set value. This allows the welder to concentrate on ensuring a complete fusion of the joint. Most power sources for MIG/MAG welding processes are known as constant voltage machines.

To set up a MIG/MAG welding machine, there are three key parameters;

• arc current / wire feed speed

• arc voltage

• welding speed

The correct settings of these parameters depend on the type of parent material, thickness, type of joint, welding position, type of filler material and weld process gas. Guide values can be found in data tables supplied with your welding machine or by consumables manufacturers.

What gas do i need for MIG/MAG welding?

MIG welding requires inert gas such as argon or helium.  The primary purpose of the welding gas is to protect the weld pool and surrounding area from atmospheric contaminants.  Gas mixtures are preferred by most professional welders in order to achieve required fusion, arc stability and a smooth, clean weld. Air Products recommends the tri-mix Maxx® gases (technically this makes it MAG welding) for optimal weld quality and productivity.  These gases are grouped into three families to ensure easy selection:

• Ferromaxx® gases - for carbon steels

• Inomaxx® gases - for stainless steels

• Alumaxx® gases - for aluminium and alloys

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Ask the Expert

“There is a such a range of gases available — can I test them out and see what suits my process?”
There is a best gas for every process and we carry a range of demonstration gases and our Maxx® gases range offers a solution for 98% of applications.