MIG Welding Techniques
MIG welding, also known as metal inert gas welding is a type of gas metal arc welding. MIG welding is the most common type of welding process. MIG welding is a type of arc welding that uses a consumable wire electrode and a shielding gas to produce fast, strong welds. The consumable electrode that is used in MIG welding is not only a source of the electrical arc but is also used as the filler metal for the welds you are producing. This is done as the wire is fed through the welding torch where it produces an arc which then melts and forms a molten pool of metal. This allows the welder to weld as fast as their skill level allows and as fast as the wire is fed through the welding machine. To become a proficient MIG welder, welders must become proficient at welding at high speeds. Performing welds using the MIG technique too slowly will cause the filler material to buildup; and welding too fast will not leave enough filler material to successfully join the pieces you are working with.
One of the benefits of using MIG welding is that it requires the use of an inert or semi-inert gas which acts as a shield to protect the weld. The use of this shielding gas keeps contaminants such as nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere from contaminating the weld and weakening the integrity of the weld joints. The two most common shielding gases used are argon and carbon dioxide which are usually combined to form the shielding gas. To ensure that you are using the correct gas mixtures it is recommended that you use a reference guide (see resources below).
MIG welding was intended for use in the welding of aluminum, but as the popularity of using carbon dioxide as a shielding gas grew, the uses for MIG welding grew as well. It soon became popular in welding steel, which is what it is primarily used for today. To become a successful welder in today’s welding world, having experience in the technique of MIG welding is important. MIG welding is used for spot welding performed underwater and even in space. MIG welding is the most common welding technique used in industrial work and it is a vital skill for anyone looking to become a welder.
As with any welding technique it is important for your safety and the safety of those around you that you receive the proper training. This will ensure that you are safe and that you have the appropriate skill level for the type of work you are attempting.
MIG Welding Resources
- Welding Starter Guide : Metal Inert Gas Welding (MIG)
- Shielding Gas: Mixes & Applications
- Welding Starter Guide: Shielding Gases for MIG Welding