Few technical disciplines balance the vast potential of effective creation with safety that welding offers. It’s a challenge that offers near unlimited opportunity for application in the assembly and repair of metal materials for a variety of applications. It requires perseverance and dedication to understanding principles of both safety and operation to make the most of it without inflicting self-harm.
What Is MIG Welding?
MIG is an acronym for metal inert gas. While it sounds complex and dangerous, getting the fundamentals down is easier than you may think. It was created as a means to weld within a more limited frame of time. Back then it was used during the production of wartime inventory, ranging from the production and repair of weapons to battle equipment.
After the war was over, it was used in factories, stores, garages, and more.
MIG welding uses gas to protect the welding pool essentially. It’s necessary because of the possibility of contaminants in the air to cause problems and warps in the surfaces or materials being welded. Without this protection, quality can’t be controlled.
What Is It Used For?
MIG welding tools are used for thin and medium-sized metals. MIG welders use an electrode that’s placed on a spool and is fed at a pre-selected speed. Then it’s arc, makes an electrical current between the wire and the base metal.
The arc then melts the wire and connects it to the base. As a result, it creates a durable weld that has a good appearance and doesn’t need to be cleaned.
Usually, most MIG welding projects are done at home. This is because it doesn’t produce that much heat on your machine and needs to be controlled correctly to prevent any injuries from occurring.
MIG guns are used for semiautomatic welding, manual manipulation, and automatic welding. Since its electrode is fed continuously, your welding gun needs a sliding electrical contact to transmit the entire welding current towards the electrode.
Also, the MIG gun needs a nozzle to move the shielding gas, a gas passage, and a molten weld pool. It uses an electrical switch to control the welding current, shielding gas flow, and the electrode feed.
MIG Welding Pros
Most people like to use MIG welding because it offers a simple, yet effective way of utilizing metals to make their creations. Here are some of the benefits you’ll experience when having a MIG tool in your household, garage, or shop:
Efficient and Clean
Since MIG welding uses shielding gas to help the arc, you don’t lose any alloying elements when the metal is transferred across the arc. You don’t have to remove any slag, which makes it faster than stick welding.
MIG welding is one of the most versatile welding techniques and can weld a multitude of alloys and metals. It can also operate in multiple ways such as fully and semi-automatic. While MIG welding is suitable for home projects, a lot of enterprises use it to increase the production of their products.
MIG is used for these metals: copper, mild steel, stainless steel, nickel, and most of their alloys, and iron and iron alloys. So, when you use a MIG welding tool correctly, you’ll be able to complete almost any project faster than other welding operations.
Great and Simple Welds
MIG welding gives users an enhanced weld pool visibility. Add to this the process of having better control by the auto-feed wire. MIG makes it easier for you to make a good looking weld after only a few minutes of using the machine.
MIG Welding Cons
Like any welding technique, there are some disadvantages of using MIG welding. Here are the most common problems you’ll face when going into MIG welding.
Never forget that improper welding practices can be hazardous. Fumes, electric shock, noise, hot parts and a group of other hazards come along when operated incorrectly. The infrared and ultraviolet light rays can burn your skin, and eyes if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why the best MIG welding operators know how to remain safe when using these tools.
Here are some tips that can take your MIG welding skills to the next level and ensure that you’re as efficient, professional, and safe in any shop that you’re working on. Welding helmets, close-toed shoes, gloves and cloves that don’t expose your skin are essential.
Make sure that you wear natural fibers such as leather and denim as they are flame resistant. Avoid wearing shirts with pockets or pants with cuffs, because they can catch sparks and cause further injuries.
Another issue with MIG welding is that it takes time to replace the shielding gas bottles. This can become an issue as they can get in your way when you’re working on your projects. To prevent this issue, you need to know what gas your operating wire requires – whether it’s argon, 100% CO2, or a mixture of the two.
How Is It Different From Other Types of Welding?
TIG welding is used for smaller gauge materials. For example, items that were made in this process creates things such as tool boxes and kitchen sinks. The largest difference between TIG and MIG welding is that MIG welding uses a feeding electrode when working on metals and is a faster way to place down welds. TIG welding uses a more delicate and fine welding technique.
The TIG welder is a versatile machine as it can weld almost any type of metals. However, it’s very slow when compared to MIG welding. For anyone that wants to weld at home, you’re better off buying a MIG welding tool.
How Difficult is MIG Welding?
Like most welding operations, MIG can be difficult to learn when starting off. Since the technique of actually welding the material differs from traditional methods, MIG welding, even to veteran welders, requires some time and practice to deliver the best performance when using the gear.
Follow some of these techniques so that you can simplifying the welding process. For instance, you need to control your weld bead so that you can weld the materials easier.
When you’re welding in a different position (horizontal, overhead, or vertical welding), you want to keep your weld pool very small. This is so that you can have the best weld beat control. Make sure to use the smallest diameter size to ensure that you complete the operation easier.
A bead that’s too skinny and tall indicates little to no heat into your weld joint or a fast traveling speed. On the other hand, if the beat is wide and flat, then you’re welding too slowly, or you’ll have hot weld parameters. Ideally, your weld needs a crown, so it reaches the metal that’s placed around it.
Remember, a push technique will preheat the metal. This means that you should use it with thin metals such as aluminum. If you attempt to pull solid wire, it will flatten the weld and place a lot of heat on the metal.
When you’re not using it, protect your wire spools by placing them in a plastic bag. Close it to ensure that it stays secure and safe from outside ailments. These might destroy or weaken your wire spool.
To conclude, MIG welding is a great hobby to learn once you understand its safety procedures. By staying protected and well dressed, you’ll be able to avoid 90% of the problems that most inexperienced welders tend to face.
With MIG welding, you’ll find it easier to make high-quality creations out of the metal that you’re using. As we’ve stated earlier, continue practicing to get used to the materials, and you’ll notice more interesting welding results in no time.