What is MIG Welding and How Does it Work?September 6, 2019
Following on from our previous blog entry about Manual metal arc-welding (or MMA welding, as it’s known), we’re now going to look at another popular method of welding performed by the team here at Riverview Welding Services.
As with our earlier blog post, we’re not looking to definitively state that one kind of welding is fundamentally superior to the others in all circumstances. Rather, we hope to inform and educate our customer across Crawley, Chichester, Pulborough, Storrington, Worthing, Brighton, Lewes, Gatwick, Horsham, Chichester, Guildford, Alton, and beyond on the different techniques involved in the metal fabrication services we provide.
So, on to the wonderful world of MIG melding.
What is MIG welding
Much like MMA welding, metal inert gas welding (or MIG welding) is a technique in which we form an electric arc between the piece of metal we are working on and a consumable electrode housed inside the welding gun. This arc heats up the metal piece (or pieces) resulting in them melting and joining, forming a strong and durable bond.
You will sometimes hear this process referred to as gas metal arc welding (abbreviated to GMAW) as the welding gun also incorporates a gas feed to shield the weld itself from any contaminants present in the air.
MIG welding is a versatile method of metal fabrication, offering a number of different approaches to any given job.
The benefits of MIG welding
Following its invention in the 1940s, developments in MIG welding have seen it become the most common method used in industrial welding processes, and it’s easy to see why.
Unlike MMA welding and some other techniques, MIG welding does not require a manual feed of the electrode to maintain the electric arc that performs the welding duties, as this is often incorporated into the welding gun itself. This makes for safer and more versatile operation by its user.
Because the heat of the arc can be easily adjusted, MIG welding can be adapted for all manner of surfaces and thicknesses of metal from the thinnest aluminium sheets to heavy-duty stainless-steel surfaces.
What is MIG welding used for?
MIG welding is particularly effective when used with sheet metal, being commonly employed for spot welding. This is where pieces of sheet metal are joined together by a series of individual welds in the place of rivets. This is not only faster than the riveting process, but also more cost effective, whilst maintaining the required durability of a permanent join.
Limitations of MIG welding
As useful and as effective as it is, MIG welding is not ideal for every job. Because of its reliance on a shielding gas to protect the weld from contamination, operating a MIG welder outdoors becomes difficult, and operating it underwater is almost impossible. Fortunately, there are other welding techniques better suited to these circumstances, which we will cover in the course of this series.
Is MIG welding the right choice for me?
Whatever your metal fabrication project, choosing the correct welding technique is all important, which is why we recommend you leave it to the experts. Call Riverview Welding today on 01798 875 676 to discuss your requirements, and let us recommend the right method for you, as well as providing you with your free, no-obligation quote.