Welding is a fabrication process where high heat is used to join materials. Heat melts materials, and two or more of them are fused together as they cool down. Welding is used on metals and thermoplastics.
There are different welding methods, of which the two most popular ones are MIG welding and TIG welding. Both have similar-sounding names; they use an arc and a shielding gas.
For welders, the right method can help them do their job better.
What is MIG Welding?
MIG stands for metal inert gas. The process is sometimes also called gas metal arc welding (GMAW). It uses a semi-automatic or automatic arc in the welding process. A continuous and consumable wire, which acts as both electrode and filler material, is fed through a welding gun or torch.
The wire diameter varies depending on the materials you want to fuse. Another factor that affects the process is the wire feed speed or the speed that determines the amount of weld metal that comes out of the torch to melt and join materials.
The shielding gas is also fed through the torch. It protects the consumable fire from reacting with the oxygen, humidity, and moisture in the environment. The shielding gas is often a mix of 75% argon and 25% carbon dioxide.
MIG welding is preferable in joining large and thick materials. The process is fast and efficient which results in shorter lead times and more affordable production costs.
What is TIG Welding?
TIG is the acronym for tungsten inert gas. It is also referred to as GTAW or gas tungsten arc welding. Much like MIG, the process uses an arc to weld but the key difference from MIG is that TIG uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode.
The process also needs a separate consumable material as filler. The TIG filler rod size and composition vary depending on the materials being welded.
The shielding gas is another difference between MIG and TIG welding. TIG uses 100% argon because carbon dioxide promotes tungsten oxide formation that may wear down the tungsten electrode. The TIG welding process also involves your feet since you can control welding amperage through a foot pedal. This gives TIG welding a precision advantage over MIG welding.
TIG welding is better for thin and light materials. It is slower than the MIG, resulting in longer lead times and higher production costs. However, the higher cost is worth it because of the finish. TIG welding is precise, resulting in a more attractive finish.
Which Welding Process is Better?
It’s not really about which process is better per se, but which works better for your specific materials and applications. TIG welding offers precision, and welders can control the heat that comes out of the torch. However, for thicker and larger materials, MIG welding is preferred. It’s faster too.
Technical KnowHow is necessary to achieve successful and effective welding.
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