We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is GMAW?

By Garry Crystal
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
AboutMechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At AboutMechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) is an automatic or semi-automatic welding process. Shielding gas and a continuous, consumable wire electrode are fed through a welding gun. GMAW uses a constant power source such as voltage or a direct current to weld together materials such as steel and aluminum. GMAW is popular in industries such as car manufacturing due to its speed and versatility.

GMAW was first developed at the turn of the 19th century, when carbon were used. By the late 19th century, metal electrodes had been invented, and by 1920, General Electric invented the early predecessor of GMAW. By 1953, the use of carbon dioxide to weld was developed. It quickly gained popularity, as it made welding more economical.

GMAW is widely used by the sheet metal industry. Arc spot welding has replaced resistance or rivet welding. It is also used in robot welding, in which robots operate the welding gun and the sheet metal in order to save on time and cost. GMAW is not generally suitable for outdoor use, as changes in the atmosphere can cause the shielding gas to dissipate and the quality of the weld to be inferior. It is also unsuitable for underwater welding for the same reasons.

The equipment used in GMAW is a welding gun, a wire feed unit, an electrode wire and a shielding gas supply. When the control switch is turned on the wire feed, electrical power and gas flow are initiated. This causes an electric arc to be struck. The gas nozzle is used to direct the welding gas evenly into the welding zone.

The basic technique used in GMAW is quite simple. The operator guides the welding gun with care and orientation along the area to be welded. It is important to keep to a consistent tip-to-work distance, as the electrode may overheat or waste shielding gas. The correct angle of the gun is also important; it should be held at 45° when fillet welding and 90° when welding a flat surface.

GMAW can be extremely dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken. Welders must wear protective clothing, including long sleeved jackets capable of withstanding heat and flames. Leather gloves should also be worn when handling the welding gun. The brightness of the electric arc can also cause the retina in the eye to burn, so helmets with protective faceplates must be used to prevent exposure. GMAW should never be attempted without the implementation of all proper safety procedures.

AboutMechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By vchakote — On Mar 08, 2009

I want to implement the GMAW process in pressure part welding (butt joints). Suggest me the correct technique.

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.