Welding is a highly versatile manufacturing process and it is used to fuse or join metal components and structures for a wide range of industries and applications. The type of welding method utilized to create these different assemblies varies depending on a number of factors, including part design, material, and production requirements. In the following article, we highlight two of the most commonly employed—MIG welding and TIG welding. We discuss each of the processes and how it compares to the other.
What Are MIG Welding and TIG Welding?
Both MIG welding and TIG welding are a form of arc welding. The arc welding process utilizes an electrical current to heat and melt the metal workpiece (typically aluminum, carbon steel, or stainless steel) and/or filler. Once the material has cooled and solidified, it forms the weld, which joins two or more separate components together. The key differences between the MIG welding method and the TIG welding method are as follows:
- MIG welding — Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding is also called gas metal arc welding (GMAW). It uses a consumable wire that serves a dual purpose: enabling an arc to form between it and the workpiece (electrode) and melting onto the workpiece as it feeds into the arc (filler). This welding method is suited for large and thick materials.
- TIG welding — Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding is also called gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). It uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode and works with or without a filler. This welding method is suited for small and thin materials.
Advantages of MIG Welding
- Higher productivity. It does not require constant changing of rods, chipping away of slag, and brushing of the welding, which allows welders to complete welds much faster.
- Easier learning curve. Since the process is simple, welders can learn how to do it in less time than is needed for other welding methods.
- Better weld quality. The process allows for better weld pool visibility. This quality, combined with the process’s simplicity, makes it easier to create a good weld.
- Lower material loss. The MIG welding process uses a shielding gas to protect the arc, which reduces the amount of alloying lost as the material moves through the arc.
- Faster welding speed. Since the wire is fed continuously into the arc, welders can concentrate on creating the weld, resulting in greater welding control and better welding speeds.
Compared to TIG welding, MIG welding is easier to learn and faster to perform, resulting in lower production costs. However, the welds it produces are not as precise, strong, or clean as those created by TIG welding. It is commonly used for sheet metal welding in the automotive and home improvement industries as well as to produce pressure vessels and steel structures.
Advantages of TIG Welding
- Better welding control. In TIG welding, the welder can control how much filler material is applied, which allows them to form small and thin welds with greater precision.
- Stronger and cleaner welds. Welds produced through TIG welding are strong and clean, looking good with little to no post-weld finishing and cleaning needed.
- Broader material versatility. TIG welding is suitable for a wide range of materials. It can handle aluminum and steel better than MIG welding.
- Greater configuration options. TIG welding setups can be configured into a number of positions, including flat, vertical, horizontal, and overhead. The process can more easily accommodate welds in compact spaces.
Compared to MIG welding, TIG welding allows for greater control and produces stronger and nicer welds. However, it is harder to learn and slower to perform, which increases overall production costs. Some of the industries that use it to make their metal parts and products include aerospace, sheet metal manufacturing, and pipes/pipelines.
MIG and TIG Welding Services at FZE Manufacturing
MIG welding and TIG welding play a critical role in the fabrication of metal components and structures for various industries and applications. Each welding method offers distinct advantages that make it better suited for particular projects. Whether you need MIG or TIG welding, the experts at FZE Manufacturing are here to serve you!
As a full-service manufacturing and machine shop, we offer a range of welding and other fabrication services. From MIG welding to TIG welding to FCA welding to spot/stud welding, we use our extensive manufacturing experience and expertise to produce quality welded assemblies that can meet the requirements of any industry.
Our commitment to manufacturing excellence is reflected by our certifications:
- ISO 9001:2015 Certified
- Kaizen/5S-based Continuous Improvement / Lean Manufacturing
- Six Sigma – Black Belt
- Automation/Lights Out/Unmanned Manufacturing