MIG welding is one of the most popular and widely used welding processes today, and it all starts with selecting the right gas. But with the variety of gases available, it can be hard to know which one is best for the job you’re doing.
From argon and oxygen mixtures to carbon dioxide and inert gases, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to what kind of gas is used for MIG welding. According to a recent survey from the American Welding Society, more than 60% of the welding professionals said carbon dioxide gas is the primary gas used for MIG welding, followed closely by argon at 26% and tri-mix at 10%. But what are the differences between each of these gases and which one is right for your project?
What Kind of Gas is Used for MIG Welding?MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding is a popular form of welding that is often used for most industrial, commercial, and residential applications. MIG welding requires an external gas such as argon, helium, or a mix of the two to protect the weld area from oxidation.
We will discuss what kind of gas is used for MIG welding and why it is important.
Types of Gas Used with MIG WeldersThe three most common gases used in MIG welding are argon, helium, and a combination of the two.
While all three can be used for MIG welding, the type of gas used depends on the material being welded, the type of shielding gas, the process current, and other factors.
- Argon: Argon is the most common type of MIG welding gas and is often use for a wide variety of metals, including steel and aluminum. Argon is a non-reactive gas and provides optimal protection from oxygen and nitrogen.
- Helium: Helium is also used in MIG welding and is often used to weld thin metals such as aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium. Helium is a much lighter gas than argon, making it the preferred choice for welding thin materials.
- Mixtures: A combination of argon and helium, or argon and oxygen, can also be used with MIG welders. This combination of gases provides optimal shielding and penetration, as well as increased corrosion resistance.
Benefits of Using the Right GasUsing the right type of gas with a MIG welder can provide a number of benefits, including the following:
- Improved Arc Stability: Using the right type of gas with a MIG welder can help keep the arc stable and reduce spatter.
This is especially important when welding thin materials.
- Improved Penetration: The optimal gas mixture for MIG welding can help improve penetration into the workpiece.
This can provide a stronger, more consistent weld.
- Increased Corrosion Resistance: The right type of gas can help reduce the amount of oxygen and nitrogen in the weld area. This can help reduce the risk of corrosion, which can increase the longevity of the weld.