SuperMIG® - Hybrid Welding Technology Combining Plasma and GMAW in One Torch
SuperMIG® is a patented hybrid welding technology (US 7,235,758 B2) based on two proven welding processes: Plasma Arc Welding (PAW) and Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW or MIG). SuperMIG® combines the high energy concentration benefits of the plasma arc with the high speed and deposition benefits of the GMAW process, which enables SuperMIG® to significantly outperform conventional welding processes.
The majority of the energy required to melt the base material (penetration) is provided by the leading plasma arc, while the majority of the filler metal needed to compose the weld is provided by the trailing GMAW arc. The GMAW arc also contributes to the amount of penetration as additional heat is inherently provided by the process.
Utilizing the high energy concentration of the plasma arc, SuperMIG® can penetrate deeper than conventional welding processes.
Penetration promoted by the plasma arc allows for maximization of the GMAW process deposition rate, thus increasing maximum travel speeds.
With the deep penetration capabilities provided by the plasma arc, SuperMIG® can eliminate (<15mm) or reduce (>15mm) the need to create bevels prior to welding, which can result in reduced labor costs.
As a result of the eliminated or reduced bevel, the total area of the weld joint itself is also reduced, resulting in less filler metal and shielding gas required to fill the joint.
Even with the combined energy from both processes, the increased travel speeds and reduced number of weld passes together allow for a reduced overall heat input compared to conventional welding processes, as well as reduced overall distortion.
Due to the nature of the individual welding processes, the plasma arc (DCEN) and the GMAW arc (DCEP) are magnetically rejecting each other. In order to get the plasma arc as close as possible to the MIG wire (impingement spot), the deviation of plasma must be controlled and forced back to the direction of the MIG wire.
Special electromagnets located on the nozzle end of the SuperMIG® torch are designed to apply the required magnetic force to push the plasma back to the impingement spot and hold it in place during the welding process. The electromagnets create 2 forces and the direction is based on the interaction of two magnetic fields, one force keeps plasma in center, and the other one “returns” the plasma to counteract the GMAW forces.
Front, side and back view of electromagnets