The purpose of the study was to understand effects of weld travel speed and wire feed rate in metal inert gas (MIG) welding on the aluminum materials joint strength. Initial experiments indicated a noticeable positive effect of travel speed on weld strength with an over 95% statistical significance. Nonetheless further experimentation at a significantly lower wire feed rate proved the opposite with similar statistical significance. A negative effect of welding travel speed on joint strength was measured at lower wire feed rates. In order to understand the weld travel and wire feed rate on the joint strength, a Design of Experiment (DOE) was conducted. For this experiment, weld system process factors were set constant (wave control, gas flow rate, torch angle, trim and wave type) except for travel speed and wire feed rate. A two-factor two-level full factorial design of experiment (DOE) was conducted in order to understand the effects of these two factors on weld strength. Additional welding at higher wire feed rates were conducted in order to confirmed the trend found. Results showed travel speed effects on joint strength as a result of its direct interaction with wire feed rate. This occurrence can have significant economic implications if proven to be repeatable and will be the subject of this and future MIG welding studies as they relate to aluminum structures.

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