There are three basic types of welding: MIG, TIG, and Stick. In this article, we will be diving deeper into the basics of MIG, as well as TIG welding. MIG stands for metal inert gas and is the most common industrial welding process. It can also be referred to as GMAW or gas metal arc welding. The key differentiator of MIG welding is the way its arc is used in n comparison to TIG welding or tungsten inert gas welding. Both forms of welding use an electric arc; however, MIG welding uses its arc to heat work metal for joining, and TIG uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to join the work metal.
Knowing which metals you want to weld, as well as which TIG or MIG gas you wish to use, is essential to know when considering a welding project. Beginners who are looking to make quick repairs are typically better off using a gasless method.
One example of a gasless method is MIG welding. Gasless MIG welders, otherwise known as flux welders, use a hollow wire filled with flux. MIG welding, however, can be used with gas. This is suitable for joining nickel, aluminum, stainless steel, and other alloys. A full comprehensive chart of MIG gas pressures can be found at prowelderguide.com. MIG welding can be used for fabrication purposes and every day repairs. Overall, MIG welders are regarded as convenient and easy to use. MIG is also typically seen as more diverse than TIG because it can be used on thin and thick metals, whereas TIG is usually used on thicker metals. MIG welding also surpasses TIG in terms of speed. MIG guns are designed to run continuously, similar to a hot glue gun, which makes them efficient. TIG welding is a much slower and more detailed process.
TIG welding typically uses gas, specifically, argon. Helium can also be added to the argon, creating a blend. TIG welding generally is slower than MIG welding. It does, however, provide better results for non-ferrous metals. Also, though more complex than MIG, TIG welding offers more control to the welder, which in turn produces stronger and higher quality welds. TIG welding is also cleaner than MIG welding. In terms of the actual weld, TIG can be performed without using filler metal in contrast to MIG, which uses a manual control of filler metal to eliminate the mess that can come from MIG. TIG welding is usually utilized in high-tech industries that are also high-impact such as automotive and aerospace, unlike MIG, which is used more in-home and for slight repairs.
Overall, it is essential to analyze the scope of your project to determine which type of weld to use. Both have their pros and cons and are better at specific jobs than others.