TIG, MIG and Arc Welding

For the welding work, you may have a question in mind regarding what method to start. Although all the welding techniques will serve a common purpose in fabrication of metal and other plastic or melamine materials, there are some subtle differences among them. Based on your requirement, budget, and welding skill you should choose a specific model. In this chapter, we shall focus on different aspects of TIG, MIG, and Arc Welding techniques so that you as a beginner can choose your right option.

Comparing Welding Techniques: TIG, MIG, and Arc

TIG Welding:

A. How does it Work?

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), another name TIG, is a welding technique where you can use a tungsten electrode for heating the material and melting it down to create the welding mold. Since there is no filler material used for this method, the weld is the outcome of a single metal. However, this method allows you to use another rod as filler material for use at once to different metals or more materials. In this method, a gas bubble protects the weld from contaminations. TIG uses argon or helium as gas. You don’t need to replace the electrode since it doesn’t require feeding. You only need to refill the gas tank.

B. Use of TIG Welding:

Welding is applicable for many materials, including steel and aluminum, quite easily. But the welding type is limited due to the thickness range. Although you can weld many materials with this method, the materials you want to weld will be thinner. Tungsten rod is thinner than a stick rod. So this method will provide you more precise scope with a thinner weld.

C. Advantages and Disadvantages:

Pros

  • It is the most aesthetically pleasing type of welding.
  • IF you want to make a sculpture or weld-on cars & motorbikes, this welding type is perfect for its thin rod and outstanding precision.
  • It is the cleanest welding type that produces no spatter and waste.

Cons

  • It is not a favorite type for experienced welders.
  • Since it takes a much longer time to master, it has a steeper learning curve.
  • This method doesn’t suit better to the beginners.

MIG Welding:

A. How does it Work?

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) or MIG is the method of welding that allows you to feed a line of electrode continuously through a special ‘gun.’ Electrode forms an arc with the metal, fuse the material, and finally melts it down. This method uses a protective gas bubble to keep the weld away from the ambient air and other components within it. In MIG technique the wire rod as a filler material doesn’t get fused that gives you ample scope to weld different types of metals together. Since it uses consumable electrode, you need to change it frequently. Also you need to change very occasionally the gas that creates the protective bubble.

B. Use of MIG Welding:

You can apply the MIG welding technique in various situations and for both thin & thick metal sheets. For the wide power output range and gauge of the method, you can adjust the power that allows you to weld on the softer material without the fear of burning. MIG is very powerful to weld thick steel pipes, and it provides a strong joint.

C. Advantages and Disadvantages:

Pros

  • MIG welding is very straightforward and simple for a newbie. You need only one for its operation at any time. 
  • What you need for the welding, the gun provides all the materials.
  • Controlling the gun is very easy. You press the trigger, and it stops automatically.
  • You can apply it for making an aesthetically pleasing weld and a viable sculpture.

Cons

  • It is workable with limited materials.
  • It doesn’t suit too thin or thick materials.
  • It is very weak for cast iron.
  • It is too powerful for a thin aluminum that yields an unwanted outcome.
  • It requires clean materials.
  • It is not applicable for wet or windy conditions.

Arc Welding:

A. How does it Work?

It is a flux-coated welding technique. This method, like the MIG, uses a consumable wire-like electrode and feed it continuously to the weld. The wire is flux-coated that instantly generates gas shield around the weld pool. The best part of this technique is that it allows you to use an external gas source so that you can form a second shield for providing more secured weld. So many say it dual-shielded welding. Since it uses a consumable filler material, you need to change it time and again. However, if you don’t want to use a dual-shielded arc welding, you need not change the gas tank.

B. Use of MIG Welding:

The flux-coated welding model allows you to apply them for the heavier and thicker materials. It creates a high level of heat. So you should apply it for the metals that can withstand the high heat. Arc welding is suitable for heavy steel construction and erection, heavy machinery, heavy repairs, and such other equipment.

C. Advantages and Disadvantages:

Pros

  • It highly efficient technique.
  • You will experience little through this welding system.
  • It provides both the shield and welding material.

Cons

  • It is not applicable for thinner materials.
  • It leaves slags that require removing and finishing.

Conclusion:

Finding the absolute best product will depend on many factors including your requirement and budget. However, if you look for a welding model that provides the strongest weld, MIG is best for varying thickness, and TIG is best for high-quality welds. If you are a beginner, MIG stands alone as the fastest welding process that you can master quickly. MIG and TIG are the best welding type for aluminum. For use on steel material, MIG is the best candidate although other types you can use as well.

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