MIG Welding



MIG stands for metal inert gas. This type of welding refers to the use of electricity to melt and fuse pieces of metal together. Out of the various welding styles MIG is probably the most basic of all. With this technique, a wire electrode is used to create a flaming arc that generates heat and creates filler material. While this is happening, an inert gas is released around the area of the weld to keep out external contamination.

The applications for MIG welding are many. For the home or hobby welder, MIG welding can be used for common household projects such as repairing a metal fence, swing set, or automobile. MIG welding requires a low skill level, produces a relatively clean weld, and offers versatility. For these reasons, MIG welding is one of the most popular welding processes.

MIG welding or GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding) has its advantages and disadvantages, although the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

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MIG Welding advantages

  • Higher productivity due to time saved by not having to constantly change rods or chip plus not having to brush the weld repeatedly.
  • Not difficult to learn and master
  • Makes a great appearing weld
  • Little clean up
  • Can weld on a variety of metals (stainless, mild steel, and aluminum)
  • Can weld in any position
  • Simple techniques
  • Continuously fed wire
  • Operator has a better ability to concentrate on arc control.
  • Can weld quicker and with more efficiency
  • Minimal weld defects
  • Produces little to no slag

MIG Welding Disadvantages

  • The bottle of shielding gas can be bothersome.
  • The cost of replacing tips and nozzles.
  • Material has to be free of rust or dirt to get a good weld.
  • Does not deliver proper penetration for thicker steel to deliver a solid weld.

Selecting the right MIG welder for the job is probably the most important thing you can do. Here is some helpful information regarding input voltages.

MIG welders come in a 1-Phase, Combination 1 & 3 Phase, and 3 Phase. 1-Phase MIG welders has a typical 115 or 230 VAC and are used in home garages, body shops, on farms and ranches, small maintenance, general repairs, and light fabrications. The 1 & 3 Phase MIG welders are great if you require a little more flexibility in your welding. They are great for all the same things as mentioned in the 1-Phase MIG welders and can also be used in light manufacturing. The 3-Phase MIG welders are generally used in manufacturing and fabrication.

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