Metal inert gas (MIG) and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding use thermal energy in an electric arc to fuse two metal workpieces together. This arc causes the metal to melt into a weld pool, which, once hardened, joins both pieces into one. When attempting to choose between MIG or TIG welding for an application, however, there are some differences between these two methods to consider.
What to Know About MIG and TIG Welding
Both of these arc welding processes use heat energy and an electric arc to fuse metal workpieces, but the way in which they utilize the arc is considerably different, making it important to select the right method for your specific application. While TIG welding fuses the workpieces together with long rods, MIG welding relies on a continually moving feed wire that ignites a spark through the gun. The wire serves as both the electrode and filler in this technique. The continuous operation of MIG guns enables faster welding. This method has the capability of joining two different metal materials and creating high heat input with a larger arc. At the same time, there’s less penetration involved with MIG welding techniques because of the arc’s broader reach.
TIG welding is potentially more accurate because of its smaller arc and deeper penetration. However, the process subsequently takes longer, and the limited area on which the arc concentrates the heat may focus too much heat on a single point. Also, TIG welding is not the optimal choice for welding thicker substrates. For greater detail, TIG welding offers efficiency in its capability for higher heat at the same amperage as MIG welding because of its narrow arc.
Benefits of MIG Welding
Given their differences, MIG welding offers numerous advantages as compared to TIG welding in certain projects, with benefits including:
- Increased productivity. MIG welding enables increased productivity because welders won’t need to spend time chipping away slag or changing rods. Additionally, welders don’t need to brush the weld multiple times, which leads to cleaner and faster work.
- Enhanced production speed. The auto-feed wire allows welders to use both hands to weld, which gives them more control while enhancing the quality and speed of the weld.
- Long-pass welding. This benefit makes the MIG welding process even faster, as welders are capable of depositing a larger amount of weld metal whenever they run the MIG torch. This is advantageous for larger and more complex welds as the process requires fewer passes. This equates to time savings, boosted profits, and generally improved efficiency for each weld.
- Simpler, better welds. Another benefit of MIG welding is its improved weld pool visibility, which contributes to a simpler yet high-quality weld with the help of the auto-feed wire, which lends improved control to each weld.
- Efficiency and cleanliness. Unlike other welding processes, MIG welding safeguards the arc with a shielding gas, which results in minimal alloying element loss when passing the torch. Additionally, the process eliminates the need to remove slag while producing minimal weld splatter. In turn, cleaning is simpler when setting up the machine for another project.
- Versatility. Using the MIG welding technique, you’ll benefit from increased process flexibility as you can use automatic or semi-automatic systems to weld many metals and alloys. Some of the many metals compatible with MIG welding include stainless and mild steel, aluminum, magnesium, copper, nickel, iron, and related alloys. This versatility makes MIG welding popular in many tasks from at-home projects to commercial and industrial applications.
MIG Welding From Clairon Metals
Since our establishment in the 1990s, Clairon Metals Corporation has provided precision MIG welding solutions that surpass our customers’ expectations for quality, efficient production, flexibility, and cost. For optimal results in applications across a range of industries, we use the latest welding technology in our in-house services.
One such innovation is robotic welding, with pneumatic clamping weld fixtures we have custom-designed to guide a weld bead and precisely control its placement for the appropriate length, width, and penetration depth. Robotic MIG welding at Clairon Metals balances efficiency and cost-effectiveness with consistent, high-quality welds. Using 18 robotic weld cells and computer-aided design (CAD) programming, our engineers, designers, and fabricators can meet strict specifications in each project with reliable repeatability.