Metal Inert Gas, or MIG, is a type of welding process used for the welding of aluminum and other non-ferrous metals. Developed in the 1940s, MIG welding was designed as an automatic or sometimes semi-automatic process where a wire connected to a current act as an electrode to combine two pieces of metal passed under a welding gun. Acting as a shield to keep airborne contaminants out of the weld zone, inert gas is also transferred through the welding gun. Learn the various components of the welding process with this MIG welding for beginners guide.
Welding Various Metals
MIG welding can be used to weld together a wide range of metals in a fast and efficient way. While stainless steel, mild steel, and aluminum are the most common metals used in MIG welding, the process can also weld many more alloys and metal combinations. MIG can also be used to weld dissimilar metals, such as stainless steel to steel or copper to titanium.
Producing a Power Supply
Power supplies using in MIG welding are referred to as Constant Voltage, or CV. These power supplies are crucial to the welding process as they are needed to produce an electrical current needed to create an arc in which to weld metal with. Heat settings in the welding process are controlled with voltage and the machine keeps the voltage at a controlled level.
Starting the Welding Process
MIG welding also requires a wire feed system which is what feeds the electrode to the weld joint. Finally, the MIG gun features a handle that is attached to the wire feed through a cable. With a press of the trigger, the gun shields the weld area from the air, creating an arc, and starting the welding process. Consider these crucial components of MIG welding for beginners when learning how to accurately weld.