MIG welding, as most of us are aware, is a semi-automatic arc welding process in which a continuous, consumable wire electrode and a shielding gas are fed through a welding gun. At the end of the gun, there is a contact tip which passes electricity to the wire. Both the wire and shielding gas are activated to create the weld when the operator depresses the trigger of the gun.
Pros of MIG welding
This welding is quite popular as it is easy to learn and calls for no special skills. Even a first-time operator will be able to achieve a good weld with minimum practice.
People favor MIG welding as it is a much faster than Stick welding and saves time. Thus operating cost of this welding is lower than Stick welding because of this saving of time. MIG adjusts to limited electrode length and this allows for longer welds with fewer interruptions.
Besides, there is also no waste of filler metals and generally speaking, thinner materials can be welded far more easily with MIG than Stick welding. One more reason people favor MIG welding is because MIG welding is a tidy process and does not require chipping slag as in Stick welding. MIG certainly makes for very convenient weld tacking and fitting of parts and there is very scant stub loss due to the continuous spool of filler metal.
This welding is versatile and capable for a variety of applications, including – trailer hitches, auto body repair and restoration, farm/ranch equipment, household projects, repairing wheel barrows, bicycles, etc. This type of welding demands less time when compared to other types of welding processes.
Cons of MIG welding
The initial cost of MIG set up is high in view of the regulators and shielding gas – though some MIG welding may be done with self-shielding flux core and without gas or a regulator.
It is indeed a fact that all types of material can be welded with a MIG machine. But, in the MIG process different materials require different wire and gases. For instance mild steel can be welded with either self-shielded wire or with CO2 or a CO2 mixed gas but aluminum material requires the use of Argon gas.
It is inadvisable to weld through dirty materials with MIG machines.
It is said one should always weld on the cleanest possible material, so for best results scrape off paint, rust or other debris where the weld is being made.
There is no denying that MIG welding equipment is more complex, expensive and less portable and the welding gun is difficult to maneuver. Filler metal can become tangled within the wire feeder making the operator feel annoyed and also adding to downtime. The operator has to patiently keep leads and liners in straight position to allow for proper feeding of filler metal.
When electrically charged wire is fed into the welding arc then it is MIG welding. MIG is commonly preferred because the welding leads are very easy to perform. As a matter of fact, it is said that even robots can be utilized to get the mechanical job done. MIG welder is capable of working with almost all kids of metals, though aluminum and mild steel are the most popular ones.