We get a lot of questions about welding at Wiley Metal. One of the most asked questions is “Do you do it?” Let’s us be clear on the welding subject. We do it. We do a lot of it. We also get a LOT of questions about the differences between TIG and MIG welding.
The initials TIG stand for Tungsten Inert Gas. It is also often referred to as GTAW or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding. For simplicity sake, we’ll stick with TIG. This is an arc welding process that uses a tungsten electrode to produce the weld. The process uses an inert shielding gas like argon or helium to protect the weld from atmospheric contamination. A filler metal is normally used with TIG welding and the process is often used when welding metals like stainless steel and some non-ferrous metals like magnesium, aluminum, and copper alloys.
The term MIG welding refers to Metal Inert Gas welding. In MIG welding, an electric arc forms between a consumable wire electrode and the metal being worked upon. The result is highly heated work pieces that cause them to melt and join together. A continuously fed filler metal is used in MIG welding and it is considered a semi-automatic welding process. MIG welding uses semi-inert gasses to prevent contamination and it is generally used indoors. It is often used in projects involving steel.
Advantages and Disadvantages
So which of these two brothers is best for your project? It depends on the project itself.
TIG welding is a more precise process that takes more time and skill. The payoff is the welds are generally very clean, smooth and will need no further polishing or grinding. TIG welding is generally used for smaller run projects who want a finished look.
Since MIG welding is a semi-automatic process with a continuously fed filler metal, it is better for long production runs. MIG welding is the most popular form of welding in metal fabrication. The welds are not as clean as TIG welds and burnishing or grinding is often used to give the welds a more finished look.
Choosing between MIG and TIG welding can depend on a variety of factors including materials being welding, whether the welds are visible, and how big the run is. Because of the differences, MIG welding is more affordable on a per foot basis.
Wiley Metal does indeed perform a great deal of welding projects including both TIG and MIG welding. We can assist you with yours. When you need sheet metal fabrication services, including welding, we invite you to contact us. Let’s talk about your project.