Is it MIG or is it MAG?
Once people get used to calling something one thing, it's difficult to change it. To be technically accurate, whether it's MIG or MAG depends on the shielding gas.
When GMA (MIG) welding started its rise, it was often referred to simply as MIG welding. While this term is widely known, it's not technically accurate. MIG stands for "Metal Inert Gas" and is accurate when making welds using an inert shielding gas, such as 100% argon when welding aluminum. However, for most collision repairs on steel parts, we use a shielding gas that is 75% argon, 25% carbon dioxide (often called 75/25, or C-25). Because carbon dioxide is an active gas, the correct term would be metal active gas (MAG) welding.
Why is this important? When looking through some vehicle makers repair information, it may call out MAG welding as the recommended attachment method. Instead of taking time trying to figure out what MAG welding is, you can simply carry on with the repair process.
Regardless if a technician is doing MIG welding, or MAG welding, both processes are gas metal arc (GMA) welding methods. Therefore I‑CAR, and others, made the switch to GMA (MIG) when referring to the welding process – GMA, to be technically accurate, and MIG to help with its recognize‑ability.
For more information on aluminum or steel welding, check out these I-CAR courses.
Related I-CAR Courses