What’s the Difference Between MIG, TIG, and Arc Welding

What's the Difference Between MIG, TIG, and Arc Welding

There are various welding techniques available for both beginners and experienced welders. Amongst them are Metal Inert Gas (MIG), Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG), and Arc welding.

These three are similar in some ways but distinct in others. The most common distinction between TIG and MIG welding is the equipment used to create an arc.

For TIG welding, a welder uses a lengthy non-consumable electrode to fuse the metals. While in MIG welding, one uses a consumable feed wire that generates sparks and heat to have welded results.

On the other hand, arc welding employs consumable and non-consumable electrodes to melt and weld metals together. Looking at Welding Supplies from IOC, you can see all three types of welding products.

With that said, let’s take a detailed look at the main characteristics of these three types of welding and what sets them apart.

Types Of Welding And There Difference

MIG Welding

Metal Inert Gas ( MIG) welding is a welding process that uses a wire arc that a welder has already heated and fed into a weld pool to join metals.

In MIG, the welders put down two workpieces for attachment and melt them together to form a solid connection. The versatility and simplicity of MIG welding make it more common in the trade than other welding methods.

A welder can weld various materials together using the MIG process. They can weld materials like heavy and light duty metals, steel, and aluminum.

A welder would form an arc between the wire rod tip and workpiece to create a weld pool through MIG. They can produce enough heat for the welding joint through the arc at the wire tip.

During the MIG process, welders protect the weld pool from air pollutants using a cannon filled with shielding gas around the wire.

The choice of shielding gas may vary based on the application method and equipment the welder chooses.

There are two MIG processes, and the first is manual welding. The power source regulates the arc and feeds the wire in manual welding, but the welder manually controls the travel speed and location.

The second is an automatic process where there is no manual input, and the welder attaches the wire to a power source that provides a steady voltage for both the feed and speed.

The wire used in MIG gets its welding current from a copper contact tube which occasionally sparks. They may also be solid or cored.

Many attribute the Metal Inert Gas welding procedure’s popularity amongst welders to its wire feature. The wires serve two purposes, one as an electrode and another as filler metal.

Consequently, there is usually no need to heat heavy-duty metals to weld them together. The wire’s durability also earns its popularity. It uses a filler, so there is less urgency for change.

Furthermore, MIG welding guns can operate continuously for hours, allowing for a higher productivity percentage fit for beginner welders and welders looking to save time.

TIG Welding

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding is when a welder uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce an arc to join metals together.

This welding method differs from other methods because the electorate does not consume as there is minimal contact between it and the workpiece.

When using the TIG welding process, a welder must create an electrical arc between the grounded metal and the tungsten electrode where they can adjust the depth and speed of the electrode.

The tungsten electrode used to infiltrate workpieces can bear tremendous heat, which means that the hotter it is, the neater the electrical arc will be.

The electrode tungsten is also not difficult to handle. By honing its tip to a point, welders may control the welding arc’s shape and width.

Additionally, the TIG welding process can join metals with or without filler metal. In the absence of filler metal, the arc produced by the electrode melts and joins workpieces together.

Using this method to weld often makes a crisp, meticulous, and artistic finish. For this reason, it is an excellent option for complex tasks like decoration, exotic pieces, and toolboxes.

TIG welding is also popular in extensive industrial settings such as aircraft, transportation, and military equipment production. It is also the go-to option for welders that wish to repair complex structures and pieces.

There is, however, a downside to it as the process complexities make it not beginner friendly. Its precision attributes mainly seek the skill of an advanced welder.

The filler metal process is not automatic but continuous and can be tasking as adding filler metal is tedious but is essential to creating solid joints with the tungsten electrode.

Arc Welding

Arc welding involves a welder using an electrical arc to melt metals that they would later join together after cooling. Welders can implement this process using consumable and non-consumable electrodes or a welding rod and wire.

The arc welding procedure involves a lot of heat, and you can carry it out manually or automatically. It uses a power source with either direct current (DC) or alternating currents (AC) to spark an electric arc between a consumable or non-consumable electrode and the base material.

Arc welding also uses an electrical phenomenon called arc discharge, an electric release of gas or a current released in the air.

By gradually raising the voltage applied to two separate electrodes, a welder causes the air insulation to dissolve. Current will then pass between the electrodes and produce intense light similar to fireworks and high heat.

During arc welding, the electrode receives a positive voltage while the workpiece receives a negative voltage, forming an arc between them.

The arc’s output current ranges between 6 to 999 ampere, and its output voltage ranges between 8 and 40 volts. The arc’s temperature ranges between 9000 and 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit, but iron melts at a temperature of around 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit.

The metal joints created through arc welding are unquestionably some of the strongest. It is a method mainly used to construct steel structures and vehicles.

It is a quick and productive welding process that produces flawless work. However, like the TIG method, the arc welding process is unsuitable for beginners and requires high professionalism.

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