Welding thermal efficiency in cold wire gas metal arc welding


Cold wire gas metal arc welding (CW-GMAW) has been increasingly used in heavy-gauge manufacturing where high deposition rates are required. In such applications, the thermal efficiency of the CW-GMAW is crucial, yet it is not reported in the literature. Water calorimetry experiments were conducted to assess the thermal efficiency of CW-GMAW for two cold wire feed fractions and three common transfer modes: short circuit, globular, and spray, and these are compared to standard GMAW using the same transfer modes. The welds were produced using ER70S-6 as the electrode and cold wires. AISI 1020 plain carbon steel plates were used as the base metal with thicknesses of 9.53 mm and 6.35 mm. After producing the welds, three cross-sections were cut and analyzed using Vickers hardness maps, where differences were attributed to cooling variation rate across the weld cross-sections in high arc power samples. Results have shown that feeding a cold wire into the arc can re-introduce part of the lost heat back into the weld pool both in the short circuit and spray transfer regimes, suggesting an increase in the heat content in the weld pool.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the Center for Advanced Materials Joining (CAMJ) of the University of Waterloo, were all the experiments were performed, for providing the research infrastructure needed in this study. Moreover, Mr. P.D.C.A. would like to acknowledge the Coordination for the improvement of higher education personnel (CAPES) of the Brazilian ministry of education for a scholarship to visit the University of Waterloo in the 2018–2019 period. Moreover, the authors would like to thank Prof. Kyle J. Daun, of the University of Waterloo, for the fruitful discussions during the course of this research.


Funding for this research was from the TC Energy, Inc.

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Correspondence to R. A. Ribeiro.

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Ribeiro, R.A., Assunção, P.D.C., Braga, E.M. et al. Welding thermal efficiency in cold wire gas metal arc welding. Weld World (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40194-021-01070-x

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  • GMAW
  • Water calorimetry
  • Thermal efficiency
  • Transfer modes
  • Hardness maps