TIG vs. MIG Welding - What's the Difference?
Which one is right for you?
Though similar in the name, TIG and MIG welding have quite a few differences. Deciding which one is suitable for your company depends on the precision of weld required, time allocated for setup, utilization and initial cost.
Definition of TIG Welding
Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding joins reactive metals using a non-consumable Tungsten electrode. Inert gas, commonly Argon, is released at the same time as the electrodes to produce a weld without air contaminants. Tungsten is not the filler, it just creates the arc between the electrode and metal, but a filler may be used if needed.
Benefits of TIG Welding:
- Cleaner - Using Tungsten to provide its electrical current, TIG welding decreases the amount of sparks, smoke and fumes produced.
- Precision - TIG welding has less contamination in its weld, providing more precise and higher quality welds.
- Autogenous Welds - These welds do not require a filler material to be used. TIG welding can create a weld by melting one part to the other. Autogenous welds are most commonly used when welding thinner materials.
Disadvantages of TIG Welding:
- Setup - TIG welding requires more setup time and is not as user-friendly.
- Price - These welds tend to be more expensive and take longer than MIG welding, especially in thicker metals.
- Complexity - TIG welding is more complex and requires more skill than the MIG welding process.
Definition of MIG Welding
Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding combines two metals by using a filler wire with a current to produce the electrode. Inert gas is also used simultaneously to protect the weld from any air contaminants.
Benefits of MIG Welding:
- Quick - MIG welding is known for its quickness in producing welds.
- User-Friendly - These welds tend to be more forgiving and are easier to make. Setup takes less time and is easy to automate.
- Price - Equipment is more accessible and costs less for MIG welding.
Disadvantages of MIG Welding:
- Reliability - Less stable arc, some irregular wire feedback and burnback can occur with MIG welding.
- Dirtier - More sparks, fumes and smoke are produced during this welding process.