Understanding Gas Metal Arc Welding

Being a manufacturer of industrial products for combustion turbine units, we know a thing or two about sheet metal fabrication. In this blog we’ll go over a capability that is important for designing and manufacturing parts and components that stand up to the challenging conditions of power generation equipment.

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) is a unique welding process that is versatile, fast, and produces strong joints. It can also be called metal inert gas (MIG) or metal active gas (MAG) welding. To weld metals together a welding gun is used to create an electric arc from a consumable wire electrode and the pieces which melt and join together. What makes this welding process different than others is that a shielding gas is fed through the welding gun to protect the weld from contaminants present in the air. This serves to create a very strong bond between the two pieces of metal.

Inert gases used in GMAW include carbon dioxide, argon, helium, or a mixture of gases. The welding gun consists of an automatic feed consumable wire, the shielding gas, and a current conductor. When passed over the area to be welded, the operator just needs to guide the welding gun over the area. The automatic feed of the electrode makes this a very easy process. But, even though the tools are easy to use the skill of the operator is extremely important for proper position and orientation of the welding gun.

GMAW is very suitable for automation and this fact makes it very popular in manufacturing operations. Low temperatures are generated with GMAW and it is ideal for use on thin sheets of ferrous and non-ferrous metals including aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel, and copper. At CMF we are experts at producing the equipment and components our customers need to meet their specific applications. Our capabilities, including GMAW, bring all the pieces together quickly, efficiently, and with the highest quality.

Fracking’s Past, Present, And Future Success

Chances are, most American have heard the term “fracking” by now. Whether they live in an area where fracking is currently being done, or have no idea what it actually is, what all people should be made aware of is this: according to many experts, fracking “has created a revolution in U.S. oil and natural gas production.”*

Oil Derrick

One of these experts is H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis. In addition to the quoted statement above, Burnett points out these facts:

  • Growth of natural gas reserves is unprecedented
  • The U.S. is producing oil at rates not seen since the 1970s
  • Natural gas—the “fuel of choice for generating base load electricity” —could not play this role without fracking
  • Just 10% of the 516 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas located between NY and West Virginia
  • Could satisfy two years of total U.S. consumption
  • The Marcellus shale reserve, called “the Saudi Arabia of natural gas” by geologists, could contain over 410 TCF of gas

Burnett also points out that the Marcellus reserve is just one shale formation; there’s the California’s Monterey Shale, Eagle Ford, Barnett, and more. Assuming the lowest projected recovery rates for Marcellus still leads to the estimation that that reserve could meet the country’s demands for at least 14 years.

What’s more? Fracking has already proved to be revolutionary; in just the past few years, crude oil production has increased by two million barrels each day. Our increasing oil and gas independence, coupled with lower prices, has proved to be an across the board economic and industry booster, even playing a major part in bringing manufacturing back in a very big way.

In short, fracking is a huge part of the country’s past, present, and future economic success, and its potential is infinite, as long as it continues as its proponents hope it will.