MIG or metal inert gas welding is also known as gas metal arc welding and is the most commonly used method of welding in industries across the world. The popularity of this form of welding is due to the fact that it is a faster form of welding than TIG or other methods. Another advantage that it has over other welding forms is that it is more adaptable to automated welding that is needed in many industries as technology advances.
This type of welding was developed for working on aluminum and other metals that are non ferrous, but in recent years with the development of new technology it has also been adapted for use with steel. In MIG welding a wire electrode and a gas for shielding this electrode is fed through a welding gun. Originally only direct current was used for MIG welding but recent developments have also seen new welders that can use alternating current.
The use of MIG welding was originally limited because of the high cost of inert gas which is the best shield gas, but with the use of carbon dioxide in recent years it has become a more common and easy way to weld.
Here are some of the main advantages of MIG welding over other forms of welding:
1. It can be used to join a large variety of metals of varying thickness.
2. Can be used in welding in any position.
3. MIG welding is very easy to learn and master when compared with other forms of welding.
4. It has a good weld bead and a lot less splatter.
For those who would like to try this form of welding, here are some MIG welding tips that you can bear in mind:
1. Use a good welding ground clamp
Neglecting the ground clamp is a mistake that many welders make. The new ground clamps are just copper plated so it is better if you can get hold of the old style ground clamps that are made purely from copper. People sometimes think that the problem is with their whole machine when all they have to do is to get a new ground clamp.
2. Work on welding uphill
One of the most important skills that you can learn in MIG welding is the ability to weld uphill. You have to develop this skill if you want to see any progress in your skill as a welder. Practice makes the perfect weld.
3. Use an auto darkening helmet
Forget about the old style helmets that you have to flip up or down all the time. Auto darkening helmets are the in thing right now and are highly recommended. Go with one that auto darkens in at least 1/10,000 of a second and is ANSI Z87.1 approved. I recommend this one.
4. Mind the stickup
The stickup is the distance from the tip top to the arc. If the distance is too great then the weld might bunch up. You’ll need to practice to get this right. You’ll feel it.
These are just some of the MIG welding tips that you should start practicing today if you’re a beginner, but I hope they’re good reminders to you seasoned welders out there. Practice safe welding.