Understanding Welding (TIG and MIG Welders)

You might have heard the terms TIG and MIG welders and wondered what they mean or have to do with your welding needs. This article aims to highlight the various techniques used in welding, which techniques suit your welding needs and why.

You, of course, know that welding is the process of joining two pieces of metal together using a welding gun. You might either want to form a joint or lengthen a metal rod; whatever your reason is, you need to understand the difference between MIG and TIG welding techniques.

MIG (Metal Inert Gas) Welding

The welding gun in MIG welding technique has two openings. One feeds a wire electrode into the weld pool and the other supplies an inert gas. The electrode is melted and used to weld the two metals together, while the inert gas is used for shielding purposes. It helps protect the weld pool from airborne contaminants.

MIG welding is considered to be the easiest method to learn and offers good quality welds. However, the quality is not as good as when TIG welding is used. It is mostly recommended for smaller projects and should be done indoors because of the wind. MIG welding does not do well in windy conditions and that is why windshields are used for on-site MIG welding jobs. It can be used on steel, aluminium and magnesium metals or alloys and is a process that is usually faster than TIG.

TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) Welding

TIG welding is considered more complex than MIG welding because it requires the use of both hands or even a foot pedal. This technique requires the use of a torch that has a non-consumable tungsten electrode. As the torch is being used, a filler rod is fed into the weld pool to help join the metals together. The filler rod, in this case, is not fed through the welding gun like MIG welding—it is separate from the welding gun and that is why you might need the use of both hands or a foot pedal. There is, however, the use of inert gas for shielding purposes.

TIG welding is more technical or complex and hence considered difficult to learn. It requires some level of skill, but the quality of the welds is higher than MIG welding. TIG welding can be used on steel, aluminium, copper and titanium metals or alloys. It is, however, slower and more expensive when compared to MIG.