What’s The Difference Between ‘MIG’ and ‘TIG’ Welding?
When clients become familiar with certain terms and processes related to the fabrication of emblems, gates and other iron and metal items, they can better appreciate the procedures that go into this type of highly-specialized endeavor. At Aberdeen Custom Gate & Iron, we utilize MIG and TIG welding techniques, both of which, use an electric arc to make the weld for the fusing together of working pieces.
In a nutshell, the main difference between MIG and TIG welding is that the MIG procedure is a very fast way of putting down welds while the TIG procedure is a much more refined and delicate process.
Also, MIG involves the use of a consistent, consumable electrode which melts itself to add to the weld pool.
TIG, on the other hand, uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce an arc between the electrode and the work. Because the electrode is non-consumable with TIG, maintenance of a steady arc is quite easy.
Here, we will provide some additional details with comparing these two types of welding that Aberdeen Custom Gate & Iron utilizes on a daily basis.
The acronym MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas. This welding process uses a continuously feeding spool of welding wire that beautifully burns, melts and fuses two pieces of metal together – base and parent metals. The continuous feed reduces the probability of weld imperfections that could arise in pauses and intervals. This process is noticeably easy when compared to TIG welding since wire uncoils from the spool and is fed to the weld pool for the filling purpose. In this way, it requires less skill from the operator.
With MIG welding, one can weld different materials including mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum. Additionally, various thicknesses of metals can be welded, including thin sheet metal as well as structural plates that are considerably heavier.
The acronym TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas. Here, elongated welding rods are slowly fed into the weld puddle; and ‘slowly’ is the operative word. A TIG welder can weld numerous metal types, but the process takes considerable time. The non-consumable tungsten electrode is used to produce an arc of extremely high temperature which lends itself to efficiently melt work metal. Because the electrode is non-consumable, maintenance of a steady arc is never a challenge. The control of the molten weld pool is unsurpassed yet both hands of the operator are working, simultaneously.
TIG is applied in both the welding of ferrous and non-ferrous metals with a wide-range of thickness that do not exceed 8mm. Because this process is slower, the end result produces high-quality welds with perfect definition in aluminum, carbon steel and stainless steel. TIG welding is a superior option when an especially high-quality of weld is necessary. TIG, unlike MIG, is commonly used for thinner materials.
In MIG and TIG welding, the molten weld pool is protected from the atmosphere by a shroud of inert gas around the arc; and though both of these welding techniques have their own advantages, one cannot be used in place of the other. They are not interchangeable and are intended for their specific purposes. MIG is ideal for larger projects while TIG welding lends itself beautifully with smaller projects including the use of more-exotic metals such as gold, nickel, and brass. TIG can, also, create more accurate and intricate detailing.
In the end, stunning works of metal art – including custom gates – are created thanks to both of these procedures that have become refined from their ancient practices from thousands of years ago.