Metal Inert Gas, commonly known as MIG welding, is a welding technique used for thick and large materials. MIG welding means a process in which wire welding electrodes and the workpiece create an arc when heat or current from the MIG wire gun is applied to the metal pieces. The heat melts and fuses the parts and forms a permanent bond.
Advantages of MIG Welding
It can be used to weld different types of alloys and metals and enables welders to control the wire speed, polarity and amperage. Hence, due to its versatility, MIG welding uses are found in manufacturing, aerospace, custom fabrication, construction, automotive, shipbuilding and several other industries.
Different Types of MIG Welding
MIG requires the transfer of filler material or weld metal across the arc to the base material. It can perform this task through any of the following four welding methods:
Short Circuit Transfer
Pulsed Spray Transfer
Each of these different types of welding has its own merits and demerits. However, none of these methods appears as automated settings on the MIG welder. You have to adjust voltage and amperage settings and use them according to shielding gas for MIG welding.
The gases used in different types of welding as pure gases or blends are:
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
The most common gases used for MIG welding are Argon, Helium, Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen.
MIG Welding Wires
When it comes to electrode welding, you need a solid wire that is fed through a MIG wire gun and into the weld pool. The MIG welding wire types are as under:
This wire is preferred by beginners as it is easier to manage. It can be welded in any position – horizontal, diagonal, flat and overhead. Its hardness may vary – it can be harder or softer than steel.
The downsides are that penetration is low as compared to other welding processes and the weld may develop cracks if it is welded on a low voltage setting.
Gasless Flux Core Wire
The flux is in-built into this MIG wire and hence, doesn’t require an external shielding gas. It is one of the strongest and most durable wires.
However, it generates a considerable amount of slag and spatters which makes the process quite messy.
Dual Shield Flux Core Wire
This MIG wire material is similar to gasless flux core wire. However, it needs shielding gas. It is quite popular among structural welders.
The drawback is that it needs high voltage power – voltage settings up to 30 and power outlets up to 480v.
Stainless Steel Wire
This MIG welding wire material has almost similar properties to hard wire. It can be used across a variety of applications that require an attractive and strong finish.
However, it requires expertise or else the weld can go wrong. It is also difficult to mould as compared to other materials.
It is a soft MIG wire and needs a lesser set up which saves space.
The drawback is that it is hard to manage and difficult to fix if there is any mistake in welding.
You can explore different types of MIG welding wire on the DnH Secheron website.