MIG welding, or Metal Inert Gas welding, is one of the fastest-growing, most widely-used welding techniques available today. According to the 2018 U. S.
Census, there are an estimated 4 million welders across the U.
S. alone, with a compound annual growth rate of 5%.
It’s an incredibly versatile welding technique that has seen increased demand due to the wide variety of non-ferrous materials and thicknesses it can weld. This is a great introduction to MIG welding, from the background and basic overview, to the equipment that’s available and the different types of MIG welding.
Let’s dive in and explore what MIG welding is all about.
What Type of Welding is MIG?MIG welding, also called Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding, is a type of welding process in which an electric arc is used to form a joined bond between two pieces of metal.
This welding process uses a consumable wire electrode and a shielding gas, making it a very versatile option for welding applications.
HistoryMIG welding was introduced in the 1940’s as a new alternative to conventional arc welding processes. The first MIG welding process was used to join aluminium and magnesium pieces together.
Later, MIG was used to weld mild steel and other metals.
Types of MIG WeldersMIG welding machines come in a wide variety of sizes and types, and there are three main categories of MIG welders:
- Flux-cored MIG welders.
- Pulse-arc MIG welders.
- Stick welders – sometimes referred to as stick-arc welders.
UsesMIG welding is a versatile and effective welding process, and can be used in a wide variety of applications.
It is used in a range of industries, including automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding, manufacturing, and more. It is also used in heavy machinery repair and maintenance, as well as in construction.
AdvantagesMIG welding has many advantages over other forms of welding:
- MIG welding is a fast, efficient welding process.
- MIG welding produces high quality welds with smooth and precise edges.
- MIG welders are relatively easy to learn, making it a great option for novice welders.
- MIG welding machines are relatively inexpensive and can be used in tight spaces or hard to reach areas.
Disadvantages of MIG WeldingLike any welding process, MIG welding has a few drawbacks:
- MIG welders are not as portable as other welding processes, due to the size and weight of the machine.
- MIG welding machines can be expensive.
- The shielding gas used in MIG welding can be hazardous, so adequate ventilation and protection are required.