Did you know there are two different types of welding? Yes, there are two ways to weld metal together. Which do you use? Well, it depends on what kind of metalwork you are doing.
MIG Welding: MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas Welding. This metal welding is completed by shielding gas. It produces a spatter of hot metal droplets that range from small to medium in size. The hotter the metal, the smaller the droplets that are created. For example, you may cool a magnet with liquid nitrogen or dry ice. Magnesium is an excellent example of a potent metal and can cause a great deal of spatter when welded because it has a low melting point for its atomic weight. MIG welding is the most common type of welding done in industrial settings. It uses electric current to melt pieces of metal together in the form of a weld puddle.
TIG Welding: TIG stands for TIG-Inert Gas. This process of welding is used when high-quality welds are needed. TIG welding uses a unique metal called tungsten, which is a rigid metal. Instead of using a filler rod or backing electrode, tungsten has its electrode called a tungsten electrode or tungsten wire that it can cut to any length to give the weld its shape. TIG welding is used in more industrial settings and for applications with little or no overhead clearance. During the process of TIG welding, a particular gas (oxy-acetylene) that contains helium and oxygen is passed through a torch tip that produces an electric arc strong enough to melt the pieces of metal together. The metals must be pure, inert, and free from impurities such as oxides; however, shielding gases can be used to help prevent weld pooling and help keep weld puddle size small.
Usage: MIG is used when you need to weld with heavy metals and can’t get the placement right very often. It is also used when you need to move a lot with your welding torch. MIG is easier because you don’t have to rely on a shielding gas or even a hardness present in the metal being welded. With TIG, it’s tough to start a puddle, so it is more labor-intensive and time-consuming if you have any hard metal that needs work doing on it. Things like steels, titanium, and other hard metals are best welded with TIG. MIG is used more often in an industry where you weld mostly low carbon content and softer metals, and TIG is used in the construction and shipbuilding industry when you need to get a precision application done.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Mig and Tig Welding
Advantages: The advantage of MIG is its ability to weld heavy metals more efficiently, which some people prefer over TIG. It’s straightforward to use and is the most common welding method used in industry for that reason. If you are welding with similar or lighter metals than steel, then MIG is the easiest way to go about it. On the other hand, TIG comes in handy when you need to perform a precision application on the hard metal where you want it to be completely smooth and matched.
Disadvantages: The disadvantage of MIG is that it doesn’t allow for too much movement of the actual torch itself. It’s more like stick welding than MIG. You can’t move your protective shielding gas, or you will burn through it and give yourself a nasty arc burn. That’s not to say that you can’t do it, but you do need to adjust your technique slightly to compensate for this drawback of MIG welding. The disadvantage of TIG is that it requires specialized equipment, including an inert gas cylinder and torch head, for handling the delicate procedure of tipping the metal during the welding process. The method’s precision takes time to perfect, which is another drawback; however, once you get the hang of it, TIG will become your go-to welding method for precision applications on hard metals.
How Mig and Tig Welding Work
The following explanation of the MIG and TIG welding processes is a simplistic summary of the actual physics behind the operation. It is not a technical discussion in any way – but an attempt to explain how these processes work at a basic level that a non-specialist can understand.
MIG Welding – In MIG welding, metal electrodes are used in place of filler wire. The electrode is fed from the spool gun utilizing an electric current, which melts it into a weld pool in contact with the base metal. As the electrode melts, it forms a “flux,” or shield gas bubble around itself, and this develops into a slag covering over the molten metal, which keeps impurities from entering it.
TIG Welding – In TIG welding, the actual metal electrode is the “filler,” It is fed from a spool using an electric current to form a weld puddle. The TIG welding process starts as the electrode is tipped and put into contact with the piece of base metal. It creates an intense arc-like electrical charge between the two metal parts, allowing them to be welded together without melting them. It’s heated by contact with the inside of the torch and by any fusing material such as flux or even work hardener used in conjunction with it.
Both MIG and TIG are available to weld all grades of ferrous and non-ferrous metals (except that it’s easier to weld steel with a MIG welder than with a TIG welder). It would be best if you chose which welding process works best for your application or industry. It comes down to what application you are doing and what type of metal you are using.