MIG Welding or commonly known as Metal Inert Gas Welding uses inert gases such as argon in the welding process. Its more technical term is Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW).
History of MIG Welding
This process has been developed during World War II in view of meeting the demands for weapons, which continued until the post-war era.
Nature of the Welding Process
Essentially, this type of welding uses argon and other inert gases during the process. The use of inert gases differentiates it from MAG welding which utilizes active gases such as carbon dioxide.
These inert gases provide shield and protection to the welding puddle and arc.
Significant Advantages of the Welding Process
First, the simplicity of the procedure involved. The entire process requires the constant contact between the electrode and the welding arc. This contact, which may also be described as “feeding,” allows the arc to remain at a fixed position thereby facilitating the production of welds.
The prevalent use of MIG Welding in most homes is a proof of the simplicity of this procedure.
Also, such simplicity contributes greatly to the speed of the process, in turn, its relatively lower costs.
Second, high quality results produced. It commonly uses inert gases as shields from spatter. Less spatter results in cleaner surfaces with a touch of aesthetic appeal.
Further, it may be done in any position; thus, provides more flexibility to the welder. This also ensures high quality welding even in confined areas.
The current use of this process in automation, robots, car hoods and similar others prove the optimum quality of the welded surfaces.
Third, the applicability of the welding process to a wide range of metals. Metals ranging from the common aluminum to the rare and fragile thin sheet used in car bodies can all be subjected to this process.
Significant Disadvantages of the Welding Process
There are two significant disadvantages of this welding process: a) the full focus and concentration the process requires; and b) its inapplicability in certain cases.
Full focus and concentration is needed during the entire process since it entails constant contact between the electrode and the welding arc; thus, even the mundane act of scratching one’s hair is not possible.
With respect to the second disadvantage, the process is inapplicable in welding thick steel due to its inability to penetrate well the surface. Also, when surfaces of metals are not clean, this welding process cannot produce optimum results.
Indeed, the disadvantages of MIG welding are outweighed by its advantages, particularly the simplicity of its procedure. Such simplicity allows even an inexperienced user to weld by himself a few broken fixtures at home.