If you are thinking about becoming a welder, you might have learned that there is more than one type of welding. Companies may look for candidates with specific welding skills, such as inert metal gas (MIG) or tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding experience or training.
By knowing what the difference is between MIG and TIG welding, you can make sure that you have the right capabilities to land your ideal job. If you aren’t familiar with what each type of welding entails, here’s an overview that can help.
What Is MIG Welding?
MIG welding is also referred to as gas metal arc welding or GMAW. With MIG welding, a metal wire is connected to an electrode. The electrode melds the two materials you are trying to bind together. As the wire makes its way through a torch, it liquifies. That liquid metal is continuously fed along the line that is being welded, allowing it to act as a filler between the two pieces. A MIG welder also releases a shielding gas, protecting the area being worked on from various atmospheric gases that can cause problems, such as nitrogen and oxygen.
Welders get a lot of benefits from choosing the MIG welding process. High-quality welds can be done quickly, and there’s a limited amount of splatter. It’s also incredibly versatile, working with a broad selection of metals and alloys.
However, MIG also has some drawbacks. It can be a pricier approach for one. Additionally, the metal cools very quickly, so making corrections is challenging. MIG welding also isn’t suitable for outdoor welding in most cases.
What Is TIG Welding?
TIG is a bit different as it uses an electrode made of tungsten that is non-consumable. It directs a current between the two metal pieces that you are trying to bind. The electrode heats the metal of the pieces until they reach the point of liquefaction. Along the way, the welder creates puddles of filler material, allowing the elements to join.
You have to use both hands with TIG welding. One holds the torch while the other keeps the filler material that is used to create the puddles in place. It is possible to create a successful weld without a filler material when you use the TIG welding approach, but not all companies use that method. There is also a foot pedal that controls the flow of electricity to the torch.
TIG welding provides several benefits. Not only can the welds be highly precise, but the aesthetic result also tends to be pleasing. The quality is high, and the materials involved are usually noncorrosive.
However, TIG welding does have disadvantages. It is a slower process, so patience is a necessity. Additionally, your work surface has to be exceptionally clean to get a good result.
Is One Approach Better Than the Other?
Both MIG and TIG welding are widely used, and one approach isn’t necessarily better than the other overall. However, one may outdo the other in certain situations. For example, MIG is often preferable for thicker metals, and it’s generally cheaper. It’s also easier for those new to welding to start with MIG. However, TIG might be best if you are joining small metal pieces, if the metal is thinner, or if the final appearance of the weld needs to be appealing.
Ultimately, both MIG and TIG welding have their place, and there are job opportunities that focus on each or that favor candidates with both. If you would like to learn more about starting a welding career or are looking for a job as a welder, the team at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to speak with our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our welding career expertise can benefit you.