Welding is an important component of any major construction project. With so many different welding processes, it’s easy to get confused. Today we will take a look at the difference between TIG and MIG welding, two widely used welding processes with distinct characteristics, benefits, and applications.
TIG welding has been around for over 80 years, and MIG welding for over 50. By the end of this article you’ll have a good understanding of how these two processes compare and what it takes to properly employ them.
Let’s begin with a few facts: TIG and MIG welding are both electrically charged processes, and they are capable of producing strong, clean welds. TIG welding can produce a weld with a bead width between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch and a weld penetration of 1/2 inch, while MIG welding can produce bead widths ranging from 1/16 to 1/8 inch and penetration of between 1/4 and 1/2 inch.
What is the Difference Between TIG and MIG Welding?Welding is a process in which two or more pieces of metal are joined together by heating and pressure. It is a popular form of fabrication and is used in many industries.
There are various welding processes available, but two of the most common are tungsten inert gas (TIG) and metal inert gas (MIG) welding. These two welding processes are similar yet have key differences.
Differences in Terminology and ProcessesFirst, they have different terms: TIG welding is known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), while MIG welding stands for Metallic Inert Gas Welding. In MIG welding, a wire electrode fed through a welding gun is used to join two metals, while in TIG welding, a tungsten electrode is used for the same purpose.
Characteristics of TIG WeldingTIG welding uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode, along with the welding arc, to create heat and weld.
It does not use a shielding gas to protect the weld from contamination, so a filler rod is usually employed for this purpose. This welding process is more time-consuming than MIG welding, and it requires more skill because the entire process is manual.
It can provide a higher-quality weld and is commonly used in manufacturing processes.
Characteristics of MIG WeldingMIG welding uses an electrode wire that is fed through a welding gun.
This wire acts as a filler material as well as a shield to provide protection from any contaminants. MIG welding is faster and much easier to do than TIG welding, but it also produces lower-quality welds that can be prone to defects. It is often used in construction work, where strength and speed are needed.