Difference Between TIG And MIG Welding

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TIG and MIG welding are known by welders of all kinds to be the best-joining metals methods. However, the debate has been which one is the best among the two in the manufacturing industry. Each side says their process is more beneficial than the other, and both sides are right. The differentiating factors lie in how they meld metal and how the metal reacts in each case. 

Welders need to understand that both methods are good, and each has specific benefits based on welding job requirements. To help you make an informed decision, we will discuss more on these two types of welding; their differences and similarities. Stay informed!

Difference Between TIG And MIG Welding

What Is The Difference Between TIG And MIG Welding?

We are going to look at them separately, starting with MIG then TIG welding.

MIG Welding

MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas welding and sometimes known as Gas Metal Arc Welding, i.e., GMAW or wire welding. In this method, an electric arc is formed between the workpiece metal used and the consumable MIG wire electrodes that heat the metal until it melts and joins. With an automatic arrangement, the wire electrode is wrapped in a wire pool and constantly fed to the welding zone.

Shielding gas is normally supplied in the welding zone from a different gas cylinder to protect the hot bead welded from unwanted contamination and oxidation. Apart from that, the shielding gas has other significant functions, including stabilizing the arc roots on the material’s surface, ensuring the peaceful transfer of molten droplets in the wire to the welding pool, and the formation of arc plasma. 

The process is commonly known in automobile manufacturing and building bridges due to its effectiveness and efficiency. Also, it is preferred in the fabrication of metal sheets plus deep grove welding. The process is normally faster and doesn’t require skilled personnel to complete the job. Let’s check some of the pros and cons of this method. 

Pro And Cons Of MIG Welding

ProsCons
1. Suitable for beginners
2. Increase welder productivity as a result of fast electrode

3. The method is versatile and can work in any given metals.
4. The method doesn’t require a clean metal surface.

5. Excellent control over voltage and wire speed enables the welder to manipulate any given tasks.
1. Relatively less quality weld than
2. TIGPortability of machine is another challenging factor for outdoor welding in this method.
3. Machine parts need proper maintenance.
4. Possible burn-through risk if the workpiece is less than 5mmCertain welding positions are needed.

TIG Welding

On the other hand, TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas welding, also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, i.e., GTAW or Helarc welding. And just like its MIG counterpart, TIG is also an electric arc welding method. But in this case, the arc is formed between a non-consumable tungsten electrode and the workpiece metal you need to weld to produce the weld and join. TIG filler metal may or may not be used. The welding zones and electrodes need protection from contamination and oxidation by an inert shielding gas.  

Contrary to MIG welding, where the materials used are selected based on the metal workpiece composition, TIG welding maximizes its tungsten electrode no matter the chemical composition of the workpiece metal. This process’s outstanding benefits are its ability to weld small and thin metal plus the great finishing appearance. Let’s check some other pros and cons of this method

Pro And Cons Of TIG welding 

ProsCons
1. The high-quality level of weld compared to
2. MIGSuitable for thin metal welding
3. Ability to weld critical joints accurately
4. No, spatter and smoke problem while welding
5. It’s clear arc at low amperage ensure the welder observe the welding procedure keenly. 
1.Time consuming compared to MIG2.
2. High level of wielding skills needed to accomplish the task3.
3. High cost of labor compared to the MIG process4.
4. Taking apart welded metal pieces destroys it all.5.
5. To perform this kind of welding, one needs to use both of his hands and feet, which can be tiresome.

Difference Between MIG And TIG Welding

TIG WeldingMIG welding
In the TIG process, the electric arc is formed between a non-consumable tungsten electrode and the workpiece metal you need to weld to produce the weld and join.  In this method, an electric arc is formed between the workpiece metal used and the consumable MIG wire electrodes that heats the metal until it melts and joins.
The process utilizes its non-consumable electrodes, meaning it will remain intact and static during welding.A consumable electrode is constantly fed into the welding zone from its wire pool.
High level of skills needed to maintain the arc by weldersAnyone with a bit of welding skill can use the MIG method to complete the task, thanks to its simplicity.
The process is carried out in AC and DCEN polarity to increase the electrode life. The process is carried in AC and DCEP polarityTo melts and deposit electrodes faster rate. 
TIG utilizes Argon gas onlyMIG normally utilized a combination of argon and carbon dioxide by the MIG method.
The process can result in a tungsten inclusion defect.It doesn’t result in a tungsten inclusion defect.
Welders can work in any position. The process is also free from spattersA certain position is needed for the welder to perform the task. The method usually produces.
TIG is suitable for autogenous mode weldingMIG is more suitable for homogenous welding
The welding filler comes in a small diameter, i.e., 1-3mm, and short length (60-180mm) rod.The welding filler generally comes in the form of a small diameter, i.e., 0.5-2mm, and long (numerous hundred m) wire wound in a pool.
Filler replacement is needed frequently.Filler electrode can be fed for a longer period without replacement.
The method uses a constant current power supply for welding.A constant voltage is used or directs current power for welding.
Ability to weld materials like toolboxes or sink etc.Ability to weld materials like mild steel, aluminum, and stainless steel, etc.
The process may or may not require filler metals from outside.No filler metals needed to perform any task
The welding process is slow and time-consuming.The process is normally faster and saves you a lot of time.
The finishing surface quality is great with a good and decorated appearance.The quality of the surface finishing is not appealing at all; it’s less attractive.

Similarities Between TIG And MIG Welding

We have seen the major differences between TIG and MIG welding. But can you imagine the two methods also have similarities that still mesmerize people? Let check out!

1. Both need the electric arc to generate heat and utilize the bare electrode.

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2. Shielding gas is needed in each method to protect hot weld workpiece metal from contamination and oxidation

3. Both require the supply of shielding gas from different sources.

4. TIG and MIG welding can join metals only

What Is A TIG Welder Used For?

A TIG welder is used to undertake an intricate metal project that needs to be joined. The process works well on small and thin metals like ornament pieces, toolboxes, small repairs, etc. The method is quite popular in correcting precise details and equipment pieces in aircraft, transportation, and some military-grade materials.

Precisely, due to these reasons, professional welders are needed to complete those tasks. The quality and the surface finishing on the welded workpiece metals are breathtaking, simply by looking at their good appearance.

What Is The Best Welder For A Beginner?

For a beginner, we highly recommended MIG welding. The process is very simple to understand, and its ease ability to control makes it even more suitable for a starter. Yes, TIG welding is also good, but it needs expert welders to complete a given task. If you are a fast learner and pays attention to details, you can use both methods easily without difficulties.

Is TIG Stronger Than MIG?

This is a quite challenging and interesting question to answer. Normally, different factors are considered, and the bottom line of all to complete it even though TIG is strong. So, it’s the responsibility of every welder out there to determine which method will give out outstanding results than the other.

Why Are TIG Welders So Expensive?

The cost mainly depends on ones estimated budget and their financial stability. Normally quality things tend to cost more, but we are not saying cheap things aren’t quality though they sometimes apply. TIG welders use copper wires to build, which might, in turn, increase the cost of welding. 

Final Thought 

TIG and MIG are great processes used to join metals and work great, especially when used for the intended purpose. As a welder, understand both of them, use precisely for a specific task meant for it, to get quality results. Our article has discussed it broadly to help you choose the best process that suits your task. TIG is typically slow and considered the costlier method than others, but it is the best for a high-quality seal weld joint.

On the other hand, MIG welding offers fast and great results at a lower cost though it doesn’t have a good appearance on the finished surface. A beginner usually likes MIG welding, but the process is commonly known across the manufacturing industry.  The best results will be achieved if only the right process is used based on the welding needs. 

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