MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding is one of the most widely used welding techniques, due to its ease of use and affordability. Used in industry, automotive, and home projects alike, MIG welding requires the use of a shielding gas to protect the weld area from environmental contaminants. But what is that gas?
In the US, the most commonly used gas for MIG welding is an 80/20 blend of Argon and Carbon Dioxide, but other gases, including Oxygen and Hydrogen, are sometimes used. Did you know that MIG welding is responsible for over two third of world’s welds?
And that it takes up to 60% less time to complete a weld as compared to other arc welding techniques? Learning more about what gas is used for MIG welding is essential to get started and make sure your MIG welding projects turn out perfectly.
So, let’s get started!
What Gas Is Used For MIG Welding?MIG welding is one of the most common welding processes used today. It is an arc welding process in which an electric arc is used to produce a molten weld pool.
The molten weld pool is then protected by a shielding gas, which protects it from oxidation and other contaminants. The shielding gas used for MIG welding is typically a combination of Argon, Carbon Dioxide, and Oxygen.
ArgonArgon is the most commonly used gas for MIG welding. It is an inert gas, meaning it is not highly reactive and so it will not react with the weld pool. It is also a by-product of air liquefaction, so it is less expensive than other inert gases.
Carbon DioxideCarbon Dioxide (CO2) is often used in combination with argon for MIG welding. It helps to increase the heat on the weld pool, which increases the weld penetration and strength.
OxygenOxygen can also be added to the shielding gas to increase the heat on the weld pool and increase weld penetration and strength. However, it should be used in small amounts, as it can react with the luminescence from the arc and cause porosity in the weld.
Advantages of MIG Welding with a Shielding Gas
- It provides more consistent weld quality than welding without a shielding gas.
- The shielding gas helps to protect the weld pool from oxidation, which helps to reduce welding defects.
- It can be used for many types of metals, including aluminum, steel, and stainless steel.
- It provides a smoother and more uniform weld surface.
- It produces less spatter than other welding processes.