Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Contact Tube Temperature During GMAW



G Adam, Thomas A. Siewert, Timothy P. Quinn, D P. Vigliotti


The rate of heating and the maximum temperature reached by the contact tube during gas metal arc welding (GMAW) is quantified. We studied the effect of changes in the contact-tube-to-work distance (CTWD), voltage, welding wire feed speed, gas flow rate, composition of the shielding gas, welding speed and radiation shielding of the contact tube on the final temperature. Also, models were developed that simulate the heating curve of the contact. We fund that that the major sources of heating were resistance (from the voltage drop between the contact tube and electrode) and radiation (from the arc), with the major heat loss occurring through conduction to the gun body. The contact tubes often reached 300 C with the air-cooled gun that we used for out tests, and the temperatures reached a plateau in about 50 s. To lengthen contact tube life, the tube temperature can be minimized by increasing the CTWD, decreasing the current, or decreasing the arc length.
Welding Journal
No. 12


contact tube, GMAW, heating model, modeling, temperature, welding


Adam, G. , Siewert, T. , Quinn, T. and Vigliotti, D. (2001), Contact Tube Temperature During GMAW, Welding Journal, [online], (Accessed February 26, 2024)
Created December 1, 2001, Updated February 17, 2017