MIG welding and TIG welding are two processes used to join metals. The main difference between MIG and TIG welding is the technique used to weld the metals together. The two processes are similar because they both use an arc to generate heat to weld the metals. However, some key differences set these two welding processes apart.
What Is MIG Welding?
MIG welding is an arc welding process that uses a consumable wire electrode and an externally supplied gas to shield the weld pool.
What Is TIG Welding?
TIG welding is an arc welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. The weld area is protected from atmospheric contamination by a shielding gas.
Difference Between MIG And TIG Welding
Complete Form: MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas, and TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas.
Setup: TIG welding requires more configuration than MIG welding. The electrode must be positioned appropriately, the power supply must be set to the correct amperage, and the shielding gas must be turned on. MIG welding only requires the power supply and shielding gas to be turned on.
Process: TIG welding is a more complicated process than MIG welding. The electrode must be held in the correct position, and the welder must use one hand to feed the filler metal into the weld while the other controls the torch. MIG welding is a simple process because the wire feeder does all the work of providing the filler metal into the weld.
Technique: MIG welding is a semi-automatic or automatic process where the operator adds filler metal to the joint. TIG welding is a manual process where the welder forms an arc between a tungsten electrode and the workpiece.
Object Thickness: MIG welding can be used for a wide range of metal thicknesses, from thin-gauge material up to 1/2-inch thick. TIG welding is commonly used on thin materials, such as aluminum and stainless steel, less than 3/16-inch wide.
Types Of Metals: MIG welding can be used on various metals, including aluminum, stainless steel, and steel. TIG welding can also be used on a variety of metals, but it is most commonly used on thin materials, such as stainless steel, chromoly, nickel alloy, magnesium.
Project Size: MIG welding is more versatile than TIG welding because it can be used on many project sizes, from minor repairs to large fabrication projects. TIG welding is less versatile than MIG welding because it is most commonly used on small projects.
Current: In MIG welding, DCEP (Reverse Polarity) is used. In TIG welding, AC or DCEN can be used.
Weld Pool: MIG welding produces a weld pool with low viscosity and high fluidity. TIG welding has a weld pool with high density and low fluidity.
Traveling Speed: MIG welding is a fast process. TIG welding is a slow process.
Strength Of Welds: MIG welds are not as strong as TIG welds.
Heat Distortion: MIG welding produces less heat distortion than TIG welding.
Quality Of Welds: MIG welding produces welds with a smooth appearance. TIG welding produces welds that are not as smooth as MIG welds, but the weld quality is generally higher.
Speed: MIG welding is a fast process. TIG welding is a slow process.
Control: MIG welding is less controlled than TIG welding. TIG welding is more controlled than MIG welding.
Portability: MIG welding is more portable than TIG welding. MIG welders are smaller and lighter than TIG welders and do not require as much setup.
Ease Of Use: MIG welding is easier to use than TIG welding. TIG welding is more difficult to use than MIG welding.
Difficulty: MIG is easier to learn than TIG.
Precision: TIG welding is more precise than MIG welding.
Cost: TIG welding equipment is more expensive than MIG welding equipment.
Applications: MIG welding can be used for automotive, construction, and manufacturing. TIG welding can also be used for automotive industries various applications, but it is most commonly used in the aerospace and automotive industries.
Components Of TIG Vs. MIG Welding
TIG welding requires more equipment. The essential components of TIG welding are:
- Tungsten electrode
- Shield gas
- Power supply
- Filler metal (optional)
- Foot pedal or torch trigger (optional)
MIG welding only requires a power supply, shielding gas, and a wire feeder.
Working Experience In TIG Vs. MIG Welding
TIG welding is a more complex process than MIG welding, and it requires more experience to master. MIG welding is easier to learn than TIG welding, and welders of all experience levels can use it.
Before welding, it is crucial to understand the hazards associated with the process and take proper safety precautions. Some of the dangers of welding include the following:
- Electric shock
- UV radiation
- Fumes and gases
- Fire and explosions
- Wear appropriate safety equipment, including a welding helmet, gloves, and long pants
- Work in a well-ventilated area
- Never weld without proper training and supervision.
When Should I Use TIG Welding?
- Thin metals
- Ferrous metals
When Should I Use MIG Welding?
- Thick metals
- Nonferrous metals
- Stainless steel
Is MIG Or TIG Stronger?
TIG welds are stronger and more precise than MIG welds. However, TIG welding is a more complicated process requiring more practice.
What Are The Benefits Of TIG Welding?
- Greater control
- Lower maintenance
- TIG welds are stronger and more precise than MIG welds
- TIG welding is a safer process than MIG welding because it produces less heat and sparks
What Are The Benefits Of MIG Welding?
- Shorter time
- Less cost
- Cleaner process
As you can see, there are many differences between MIG and TIG welding. Each process has advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before deciding which approach to use for a particular project.
And always practice safety when welding, regardless of the process you’re using.