History Of Mig/Mag Welding (How Mig Welding Evolved)

Welding history tracks back to ancient age. Gradually the welding techniques developed with the help of new technology & enabled it to take the present face.

In this guide we will only talk about the history of mig/mag (GMAW) welding, how it evolved, developed and took the modern form.

So let’s start –

Mig welding History
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Beginning Of Welding

In ancient time when people learnt to melt metal and came to know that it can be fused together, welding era gets started. One of the earliest forms of welding was forge welding, which involved heating and hammering metals until they are fused together. This technique is still being used by blacksmiths to make tools, weapons and other metal things. It was a primary phase of the evolution of welding technique.

By the by the forged technique was a time consuming and required a high level of skill. This was the time when new technique for metal joining became crucial. Then one by one the modern mostly used welding methods stated to get introduced.

Generation by generation it evolved and took the modern form after passing a long road of evolution.

Mig Welding History (Timeline)

During World War II, need for building more ships, aircrafts & other military equipment’s increased. So the demand for skilled welder become crucial. The need for welders led to the introduction to the new genre on welding techniques & technology. Tig welding & mig welding techniques get their birth at that time as a result of continuous development and use of welding.

Mig or GMAW came to the market to meet the demand of faster rate of production without harming the weld quality. It was developed in the era of WW2 when demand for faster production of weapon, ships etc. become inevitable. This process took shape as a result of continuous improvements in SMAW process.


The GMAW process (MIG), that we use are using today, was introduced in late 1940. Batelle Memorial Institute developed the process first in the history of welding. The project was financed by Air Reduction Company. They introduced continuously fed wire electrode using gas (100% argon) to make the weld.

Axial spray metal transfer was first introduced then. The company used the technique in GMAW and succeed in welding a sheet metal. In this phase argon gas was used with a smaller portion of oxygen to weld the metal. Using oxygen improved the weld quality to the extent that they used the same combination of gas to weld on ferrous materials afterward.

Though, this was a great innovation, due to high energy level in using axial spray transfer, it failed to weld a thick plate. However, the process was limited due to the high energy level of the axial spray transfer to weld thick plate material.

But new era of welding in form of mig welding began its journey. And the problem solved.


In early 1950, GMAW process gets better to some extent. A new form of electrode wire was developed to run the welding. Wire size was large in diameter and made of steel. This wire was run along with co2 gas to test whether it works or not. As we know the co2 is a reactive gas, it led to a high level of spatter in welding and made the process unattractive to welders due to its high level of heat generated while welding.

In 1958-1959, power source for welder got improved and a small diameter of electrode was used to tackle the previous problem. In this phase a new mode of welding, the short-circuiting transfer mode got its entry to the welding world. This new mode successfully helped to control the heat on base metal and opened a new window to weld in all-position.


Then it comes 1960, with another development of welding mode. The pulsed spray transfer mode, which changed the GMAW functionality. It was developed to tackle the spatter problem that was encountered in short circuiting transfer mode. The new mode of welding, allowed the welders to weld with high-speed of transition between low & high peak of current source. It also eliminated the fusion defects.

The pulsed spray transfer mode benefited the welding industry with clean and spatter free welding experience. The development was the updated version of axial spray transfer. It helped to reduce the waste of energy and run the welding process with lower level of current input with fantastic fusion properties.

It provided best welding quality compared to short-circuit transfer in all-position welding efficiently.


The 1970 contributed mostly in developing efficient power source for pulsed GMAW. It enhanced the capability of GMAW to manifolds. TWI (The welding institute) contributed a lot in determining the linear relationship between wires feed speed and pulsed frequency.

It enabled synergic transistor-controlled power source, which ensured the optimum use of electricity in welding.


The main course of GMAW was established in 1970. After that just the modification for better output continuously went on. In 1990 decade, researching and development went on in updating the power source. 1990 contributed a lot in modifying the GMAW process. Power source technology got evolved and took the face of welding that we use today.

Use of inverter-based transformation and computerized system made the welding easy, less time consuming and perfect at a time. Speed of welding increased and automatically controlled circuit incorporated the synergic and non-synergic optimized arc welding with the help of software run program, made the welding more precise.

Modern Age

One of the latest and most advanced technologies in the field of welding is the Waveform Control Technology™ processes, which includes the Surface Tension Transfer™ (STT™) process.

This particular method of welding involves a low heat input mode of weld metal transfer that utilizes a high-speed reactive power source to meet the instantaneous needs of the welding arc. Unlike other power sources used in welding, the waveform generator used in STT is not a constant current or constant voltage power source.

One of the unique features of STT is the application of welding current independently of the wire feed speed. This feature provides the advantage of being able to increase or decrease the welding current to correspondingly increase or decrease heat input, thus allowing for greater control over the welding process.

Overall, STT represents a significant advancement in welding technology, offering greater precision and control over the welding process than ever before. As such, it is becoming an increasingly popular choice for welders in a variety of industries.

The field of welding has become a vital component in a vast array of industries, ranging from construction and manufacturing to aerospace and automotive. Advancements in welding techniques and technologies have paved the way for faster, more precise, and efficient welding processes. The continuous improvement in materials science and robotics has opened up a promising future for the welding industry.

The advent of robotics, computers and automation has brought about a radical change in the welding systems, representing a significant turning point for the welding industry. These innovative systems have revolutionized welding processes by enabling faster and more precise welding, while simultaneously reducing the risks of injury to human welders.

Robotic welding systems boast a range of benefits, including improved accuracy, speed, and efficiency, which have made them increasingly popular across various industries. Furthermore, these systems are capable of executing a range of welding processes with greater precision, allowing for higher-quality welds and reduced wastage.


In conclusion, the future of welding appears bright, with new advancements continuing to revolutionize the field. The continued use of robotics and automation will undoubtedly play a crucial role in further improving welding processes, ensuring their importance across numerous industries.

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