Welding at NMSU in the '70's

So, I was wondering why we just had Arc (stick) and oxyacetylene at NMSU back in the 1970’s. I looked up MIG on Wikipedia, and they had it in the 1940’s. They did say it was primarily used for non-ferrous metals, because the inert gas was expensive, and it’s also not the best for outdoor work, as any wind will blow your gas away and let the metal oxidize.

Add to those 2 things, and – I realized that my instructor was an old guy. So, he probably learned welding in the 1930’s. And, if he was primarily working in steel, then he wouldn’t have used MIG. Or, if he worked much outdoors, then he wouldn’t have used MIG there either. Which explains why we just had the two types of welding. NMSU was not cutting edge…

I do think the shielding is a big reason for field welding. Not to say that it doesn’t happen, but I’ve never seen pipe welded on one of my projects using anything other than stIck/SMAW.

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Indoors, MIG has a huge lead on deposition rates. Outdoors, fluxcore wire has a notable lead in lbs per hour of deposition, but it isn’t enough to offset the installed base of certified process requirements. Plus for pipeline, you are always moving you and your gear. It is a lot easier to drag around long leads, than if you add a suitcase wire feed and the extra control cable. And you don’t have to bring extra gear that can break.

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