MIG welders are often used in industrial settings, and you may not even realize this. A MIG welder is a type of welding machine that uses metal inert gas to help create the arc necessary for welding. This process is known as Flux-Core Arc Welding (FCAW).
In this article, we will take an in-depth look at what MIG welders are and how they work.
What is a MIG Welder?
MIG welders are designed to work with a continuous wire that has an electric current running through it. The welder must be attached to the metal pieces in order for this process to happen. If you are new to MIG welding, be sure to read our guide on the best MIG welders for beginners before you decide on buying one.
Once everything is connected, the MIG welder will use its shielding gas and heat shield of nitrogen or argon to create an arc between two points on the wire. This creates a small molten pool at one point where the metals can meld together and become fused into place without any air exposure.
At first glance, you may not notice what’s happening when looking at these machines because they look like your average welding machine (which also uses electricity). However, there is more going on inside than meets the eye!
A shielded metal container is used to protect the operator and the machine from air exposure. There is also a nozzle that’s attached near the wire feeder which allows for gas flow when required.
The shielding gases are usually metal inert (MIG) gas because it has fewer impurities in it than other types of welding processes like flux-cored arc welding or shielded metal arc welding do, so this leads to less contamination during the process.
The nitrogen or argon flows through small holes at various points on both sides of the welder, keeping everything protected while allowing for optimal heat protection too! A nozzle is then connected with a tube leading to an oxygen cylinder or another type of compressed gas tank. This helps ensure that there’s enough working pressure inside without any air getting in.
The wire feeder is attached to the welder and feeds continuously as you move it back and forth.
The contact tip on the end of the welding nozzle directly touches each piece of metal that gets fed through, transferring electricity from one point to another using a process known as “flux-cored arc welding.” This allows for an uninterrupted weld without needing any filler materials like other types of welding processes might require!
A steady stream of shielding gas also helps protect against oxidation or outside contamination so that everything can stay nice and clean while being welded together at high speeds with very little interruption too!
How Does a MIG Welding Torch Work?
Flux-core arc welders use an electric current from a power source, and the material being welded must be in contact with another piece of material so that they can form an electrical circuit. Then, shielding gas may be added into this electricity flow to protect the area around the spot where you are working on your project.
When these two things combine – flux and core – then a strong arc will develop at their point of contact which melts both materials simultaneously in order to produce a permanent joint between them.
What is the Difference Between MIG Welding and TIG Welding?
The main difference between TIG and MIG welding is that the wire feeder automatically feeds continuously as you move your MIG welder from side to side over each piece of metal, while in TIG welders a small stick electrode will need to be touched at two points on one end with an electric current running through it.
This makes for quicker work with very little downtime when using a TIG welder because there’s no shielding gas constantly flowing like in MIG operations!
The downside though is that this type of welding doesn’t have much control over where contact tip meets up with metal when melting them together, which means it can take longer sometimes than other types might take too.
In addition, since there are different processes involved (like arc-fluxing) high-quality TIG welders are quite pricey.
What are the Benefits of a MIG Welder?
MIG welders offer many advantages, including:
- Lower cost than other types of welders
- More control with what you want to do and where exactly it will be done on your workpiece
- Less use of filler materials like flux or shielding gases
- No need for special power settings because they can handle just about any thickness without burning through your material
What are the Disadvantages of MIG welding?
Due to the shielding gas that’s constantly flowing through the machine, which is mainly composed of argon or nitrogen and other types of gases too, there can be a lot more downtime for this type of welding when compared to some others like TIG welding.
The continuous wire feeder will need to be changed out often because it melts faster than other types of wires do.
It also may take longer to weld pieces together with MIG welding since you’ll have less control over where your contact tip meets up with metal in order to melt them both together at once.
What types of metal can be MIG welded?
The most popular metal to be welded with a MIG welder is steel. That said, other metals that can be welded are aluminum, copper, and stainless steel. There are also different thicknesses of materials you may come across when working with this type of machine: anything from the 0.01-inch to the 16 inches!
The wire gauge (thickness) will vary as well depending on what material you’re welding. There are even thinner gauges for thin pieces like jewelry or very small sections of metal in need of repair too.
Do I Need a MIG Welder?
This is a common question that many people ask themselves when they are looking to purchase welding equipment. The answer might surprise you: yes, you actually do need a MIG welder in order to complete certain types of projects at home!
A beginner’s project where flux-core arc welders would be necessary would be anything related to plumbing or metalwork.