If you’re someone who’s new to the welding profession, we won’t be surprised if you want to pull your hair with all those welding options in front of you.
But if you do your homework, you’ll know that the most common welding processes are the MIG Welding and Arc Welding.
Even though effective, both have their distinctive features, and you might have to keep switching between both of them now and then for a different welding job.
Want to know which one is better between MIG Vs Arc Welding? Here’s what you need to know.
MIG basically stands for Metal Inert Gas. So, when you’re saying MIG welding, you’re actually saying ‘Metal Inert Gas’ welding shortly. In this welding process, you basically create an arc that forms in between the metal and the electrode that you’re welding.
As a result, the wire gets melted while it gets completely fused with the base metal. So, in the end, you’re getting a strong weld.
In this process, a shielding gas makes sure the weld area stays completely protected from Oxygen, Nitrogen, and other atmospheric contaminants. These contaminants are a threat to the welding metal and the arc.
When it comes to MIG welding, you’ll need to use electricity to make sure you’re getting a good amount of heat production. Also, to fill up the joint, an electrode will come pretty handy. As for shielding the weld from the air, you’ll need a shielding gas.
Whenever you need to control the feed of the small-sized electrodes, you can use the trigger that comes with the welding gun.
Feeding the electrode, along with protective gas, is the next thing you need to do. As the weld joins the two metal bases, an operator will keep monitoring it.
MIG Welding is basically more like an indoor thing. The winds can have a negative effect on the process. To make sure that doesn’t happen, it’s always wise to get it done outdoors.
Uses Of MIG Welding
Let it be thin metals or the medium-thick ones, MIG welding is perfect for everything. This welding is mostly known for its effective performance in automotive repair. Small vehicles, large cars, heavy ones, you name it, you can carry out a versatile amount of repairing work with this repairing process.
Not just repairing cars though, engineers have been using MIG welding even in robotics, welding joints of pipes, building bridges, fixing the worn-out rail tracks, etc.
Shield Metal Arc Welding, widely known to everyone as Arc Welding, is another effective welding process. In this case, you have to use electricity to join two metals.
This electricity will result in the formation of heat, which will help the metals to get melted within a short amount of time. Later, you can cool them up and bind them.
The heat then melts the electrode as it concentrates on the electric arc. As a result, it fuses metal to the joint.
As you carry out the welding, the electricity passes through the arcs and a rod as they make their way from the welder. This allows them to create a temperature as much as 7000 degrees Fahrenheit.
For which, the rod ends up getting melted, and the flux coating that comes with it creates a shield. This shield contaminates the weld as it goes against the oxygen.
In this welding process, you can use either AC or DC. When it comes to electrodes, you can also use either consumable electrodes or the non-consumable ones that are coated in flux.
Uses Of Arc Welding
When it comes to dealing with metals of different thickness, Arc Welding is your thing. This process is the most common one among welders since it’s versatile and simple.
Gas extraction, shipbuilding, repair work, sand digging, milling, grinding, mining, drilling, machine tending, palletizing, you name it, you can cover a versatile amount of job with this welding process. You can repair bridges as well.
Mig Welding VS Arc Welding
Now, the most awaited part, the differences. Even though both welding processes are widely used, you need to know their differences so that you can decide which one to go for. Here are the notable ones.
MIG Welding is best for beginners. The reason behind this is the single element it comes with. For which, you can easily operate it without giving yourself a hard time.
All you need to do is press the trigger, and it will get started all by itself. To stop it, you’ll simply need to let it go.
Arc Welding, on the other hand, is a bit harder to work with. Since you need to strike the arc, it’s always pretty important to see if the material is not taking any damage. If you’re not an expert, you can end up damaging the arc and the material you’re welding on.
Materials You Can Use
Not all materials can be dealt with MIG welding. MIG welders are perfect for materials that are neither too thick nor too thin. Also, when it comes to MIG welding, the materials you’re going for, shouldn’t be rusty or dirty.
Arc Welders, on the other hand, can go with very thin materials. You can take aluminum, for example, which gets burned pretty easily by arc welders. Moreover, you can use it to weld the thickest materials.
Indoor VS Outdoor Use
Since outdoors have got wind and rain limitations, you can’t MIG weld outside. This is because you won’t get a solid weld on the metals if they’re in contact with air or water.Check our best welder for sheet metal reviews here.
Conversely, you can Arc weld even when it’s raining, or there’s an extremely windy situation. Meaning, this one is perfect for outdoor use.
The Weld Appearance
If you want to make aesthetically appealing sculptures, you can go for MIG welding. This welding system can help you create the design you want with less effort.
Arc Welding, on the other hand, is a bit less pleasing. The reason for this is because it produces a huge amount of sparks and debris. So, you end up getting slag all over your place. Besides, cleaning up this mess can give you a hard time.
Equipment Cost And Portability
Compared to Arc welding equipment, you’ll find the MIG Welding equipment a bit more on the expensive side.
However, if you go for the arch welding apparatus, you’ll see that it’s quite portable. For which, you won’t feel the need to feed it using a protective gas. You can easily keep it in a confined place.
Shielding The Weld
As you carry out the MIG welding process, you’ll need an external gas supply. This will help you prevent contamination that you get from the weld pool.
On the other hand, a wire is used in the case of arc welding, which has got a flux core. This flux core doesn’t need any external source since it can generate its own gas-shield.
If you’re someone who just stepped into the welding job for the first time, it’s better to go for MIG welding. It’s not too friendly of a welding process for materials that are too thick or too thin.
On the other hand, Arc Welding is basically for the pros. If you’re someone who knows all the dos and don’ts and you need to deal with the thickest of materials, Arc welding should be your pick.
And since you know by now all things between MIG Vs Arc welding, you won’t face much of problem picking. So, do your homework, cut the dilemma and go for the welding process that suits you.
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