When you need to join metal parts together, welding is the best solution. Welding uses heat or pressure (or both) to form a solid, long-lasting joint between two pieces of metal. There are many different kinds of welding, all of which achieve different goals and produce different kinds of results. Two of the most popular kinds are MIG and TIG welding. Both of these use electric arcs, but the processes are different. Choosing the right welding process for your project is critical to its success. Here’s an overview of the differences, materials and techniques used in MIG vs. TIG welding in Phoenix, AZ.
What is MIG welding?
MIG stands for “metal inert gas,” and is one of the easiest welding processes to learn. Occasionally, it’s referred to as wire welding. MIG welding uses a continuous solid wire electrode, which is sent through the welding gun and into the weld pool. At the same time, an inert shielding gas is sent into the weld pool to protect the weld from contamination.
MIG welding can be performed on pieces from 24-gauge to half an inch thick. While it’s an easy process to learn, it doesn’t protect the weld from oil, dust, dirt, rust or other contaminants very well, so cleanliness and surface preparation are a must. If you’re going to use MIG welding, make sure to clean the part down to the bare metal before beginning. You can do this by using a grinder or a metal brush.
If you’re welding on thicker metal, it’s very important to bevel the weld joint so it can breach the base metal.
What is TIG welding?
TIG stands for “tungsten inert gas,” and this type of welding is appropriate for thin materials or small pieces. A tungsten electrode heats the metal, and depending on the project, you may or may not choose to use a filler. Unlike MIG welding, TIG welding requires a lot of precision and training to get an accurate result, so it should not be attempted as a DIY project.
TIG welding has an advantage over MIG welding in that it creates stronger, more precise (and aesthetically attractive) welds. However, it is a far slower welding process.
Which type of welding is right for my project?
Generally, if you need a simple weld, MIG welding should do the trick. As long as you prepare the surface appropriately, you should be able to create a durable weld—if not the most attractive one.
However, if you’re working with a very thin material or small object and need a precise, attractive weld, TIG welding is the way to go. Be sure to work with a professional who was specifically trained in welding techniques so you get the end result you need.
If you’re not sure what kind of weld is right for your project, even after reading this article, get in touch with the team at Metal Pro Inc. We can help you decide between MIG vs. TIG welding in Phoenix, AZ—call today!