Welding is one of the fundamental services within the custom metal fabrication world and nearly every project will eventually funnel to the welding team at some point in the manufacturing process. Understanding the different welding practices, specifically MIG and TIG welding, provides greater insight and clarity into the fabrication process, as each method has its own strengths and situational roles.
What is MIG Welding and When is it Used?
Metal inert gas (MIG) welding is a welding process in which two pieces of metal are joined when a consumable wire, fed through the welding gun, connects to an electrode current. A shielding gas protects the electrode from contaminants as the wire passes through the gun. The electrode heats the workpiece metals, causing them to melt and join.
MIG welding is an excellent option when speed is required. Adjustments to the weld gun do not need to be made as frequently, allowing welders to focus on individual welds for a longer period of time. When performed well, MIG welds aren’t typically as clean as TIG welds, but the increased efficiency can be beneficial. Additionally, MIG welding is user friendly and relatively easy to learn for newly trained professional or amateur welders.
What is TIG Welding and When is it Used?
Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding is an arc welding process that differs from MIG welding in that it uses a tungsten electrode to produce a weld rather than a consumable wire. Like MIG welding, a shield gas protects the electrode from contaminants in the air.
TIG welding allows for the greatest operational control relative to MIG welding and creates stronger welds. TIG welding is more complex and difficult to learn, however, and is a much slower process than MIG. Stainless steel is a common working metal for TIG welding, as is aluminum, magnesium and copper.
Welding Manufacturing with Anchor Fabrication
The welding manufacturing department is the largest at Anchor Fabrication and offers both MIG and TIG welding operations. Depending on project specifications, one welding process will be more beneficial for the manufacturing of a given part. Certified Weld Inspectors (CWIs) allow Anchor to customize welds for specific parts, granting even more flexibility in the design process to create the perfect parts. CWIs help train welders to perform even the most complex TIG welds. Complimented by laser/plasma cutting, forming and machining, quality preparation of parts allows the Anchor welding team to execute the cleanest welds possible.