MIG Welding: Overview and Tips

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Metal inert gas (MIG) welding is the process of making a weld with a wire electrode and a workpiece metal. An electric arc (powered by an electric arc generator) forms between the wire and the metal to heat both components to the point of melting. In this process, a shielding gas is fed through the welding gun to protect the wire from contaminants in the air, allowing for a purer weld free of oxidization.

Advantages of MIG Welding

MIG welding has become an industry staple over the years for a number of reasons. The process can either be semi-automated (using an electric arc generator) or fully automated (using robotic arms instead of human welders). This has allowed for MIG welding techniques to be used across a number of fields. MIG welding is fairly easy to learn, so workers can be trained to perform MIG welding competently in a relatively short amount of time. It offers good control of thin metals, but can still penetrate deep enough to weld thick joints or sections. MIG welding is also fast. There is almost no cleanup, you don’t have to stop and change the rods as with other types of welding, and you don’t need to frequently chip and brush the weld. Additionally, whereas some welding techniques can only be used horizontally, MIG welding can take place safely from any position, allowing greater flexibility in its application.

How MIG Welding Is Used

Because MIG welding relies on the flow of the shielding gas, it is usually practiced inside so as not to be disturbed by the wind. However, plastic shields or tents can be erected if it must be performed in the field. Otherwise, MIG welding can be used on everything from lawn art to automobile production. MIG welding with robotic arms is often used for automobile assembly. However, welders are the preferred operators for such equipment to better monitor the quality of the product and make changes accordingly. MIG welding is also used in ship building, construction, pipe fabrication, railroads, and other areas that rely on shaping steel and other metals.

Tulsa Welding School offers technical training programs that include MIG welding courses for professional welding and pipefitting training. If you would like to receive more information on how to enroll in a MIG welding course, contact us today.


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