If you are interested in exploring the world of welding, you are bound to come across the most popular terms. These are TIG and MIG welding. While they are both types of welding, they work differently. This article will take you through everything you need to know about these forms of welding. Some of the aspects we are going to cover include their differences, what they have in common, why you would choose one over the other, and what job they are best suited for.
MIG welding stands for Metal Inert Gas welding. Welders also refer to it as GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding).
How does a MIG Welder Work?
The welder uses a special welding gun to create an electrical arc between a consumable rod and the surface they intend to weld.
During this process, the wire electrode protrudes on the welding gun tip. At this point, the tip of the welding gun is hot enough to melt the consumable electrode. The welder skillfully applies the melting rod on the surface of the item they are welding. The tremendous heat of the melting electrode also melts the surface of the base item. As a result, these two elements fuse.
As this happens, the welding gun produces shielding gas to bar contaminants from entering and affecting the fresh weld.
TIG welding refers to Tungsten Inert Gas welding. The other common term for this type of welding is GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding). This form of welding entails the use of consumable filling material and non-consumable tungsten electrodes.
How Does TIG Welding Work?
The welder holds the non-consumable electrode in one hand. At the same time, the other hand is holding the welding gun. The role of this electrode is to melt the filler material on the surface of the item they are welding. The process results in a pool of molten weld, which fuses the metals.
As this happens, the gun also produces shielding gas to protect the electrode and the weld pool from contaminants.
What’s the difference between TIG and MIG Welding?
The major difference between MIG and TIG welding is how the filler rod is supplied and the type of electrode.
While TIG and MIG welding produces a weld through an electric arc, the techniques that welders employ are different. For instance, MIG welding uses a consumable electrode. On the other hand, TIG welding uses non-consumable tungsten electrodes.
The process of MIG welding is straightforward to implement. However, TIG welding is much more demanding. The technique for TIG welding is more complex. It takes more time to learn and execute properly. Unlike MIG welding, TIG welding is not beginner-friendly.
MIG welding is better for thicker metals, and the process is faster and efficient. This is because the welder relies on the electrode filler to fuse. On the flip side, TIG welding is much slower. This is because the tungsten electrode has to heat the metals to high temperatures. It joins two metals directly.
While MIG welding is ideal for larger and thicker metals, TIG welding only suits thinner and smaller metals. It generates extreme heat (over 6000 degrees Fahrenheit). Such temperatures’ can easily crack metals.
With TIG welding, welders must use both hands. One hand holds the welding gun. The other hand keeps the filler material in position. As for MIG welding, the welder can use one hand.
When it comes to the final weld product, TIG welding produces the finest finishes. You may not even notice that a welder joined the metals. Nonetheless, MIG welding finishes are noticeable. Signs of the filler materials are visible on the joins.
MIG welding is also more affordable than TIG welding due to the equipment and the components Tig welders use. TIG welding requires a clean surface free of rust and scales, while MIG welding works great even on rusty metal surfaces.
What does TIG and MIG Welding have in Common?
Structurally, Mig and Tig welding share some similarities. For instance, they both use inert gas(helium and argon) and smaller amounts of carbon dioxide and oxygen to shield the welds from contaminants. The ultimate objective of inert gases is to keep oxidation from happening. And other reactions that may compromise the welding process.
MIG and TIG welding rely on gases to heat and melt the metal. This makes it easy to manipulate. Besides that, they are indisputably the most common forms of welding. Lastly, they are equally good.
So, which one is Better, TIG or MIG welding?
The answer to this question may not be as straightforward as you wish. The truth is that Mig and Tig welding serve different purposes. For example, when you want appealing weld finishes, you’d turn to Tig welding. But when you are working with large and thick metal, you’d have to deploy Mig welding.
If you are looking for the most beginner-friendly welding method, go with MIG welding.
As you can see, the best between MIG or TIG welding depends on the project at hand.
Reasons why you should choose MIG or TIG Welding
Choosing between Mig or Tig welding depends on the project you are working on. Tig welding is diverse in terms of the types of metal it can weld. However, Mig welding has no limitations when it comes to thicker jobs. It is applicable in metals that are 26 gauge and more.
When working on thinner metals and projects that demand tremendous precision, Tig welding is the way to go. Therefore, Tig welding will outshine MIG welding in some projects. And Mig welding will eclipse Tig welding in other projects.
The Type of jobs that these Types of Welding are suited for
Tig welding is best suited for structural welding. It is ideal when working with copper, aluminum, stainless steel, and bronze. Some of the projects welding jobs that rely on Tig welding include pipe, aerospace, thin alloy, and automotive welding. Welders mostly use it for artistic or delicate projects.
Mig welding is well-suited for bigger projects that use mild steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and others. It is also excellent for longer runs, difficult angles, and beginners.
Now that you understand more about Tig and Mig welding, you can make informed decisions on which one to use, and on what type of projects to use it.