A welding process in which a piece of electrically charged wire being fed through a pistol grip type handle completes an electrical arc with the pieces being welded. The electrical arc provides the heat source, and the advancing wire provides filler material for the weld bead. Simultaneously, inert gas flows through the end of the handle along with the wire. This inert gas floods a few square centimeters of work area to prevent the problems that can arise from oxidation. This welding process is used where deep penetration is necessary, speed in production is necessary, larger pieces are being joined and the cosmetic appearance of the bead is of little concern. Metal inert gas welding is also referred to as wire feed welding and gas metal arc welding (GMAW). See also GMAW (gas metal arc welding).
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