Types of Mig Welders

mig weldersThere are various types of welders  but there is one in particular which is used much more than others. One of the most used welders  is the MIG welder which unlike many other types is a wire feed welding machine. This is in contrast to welding methods that make use of a stick or electrode, and it is generally much more efficient for general purpose welding.

When looking for a MIG welder you will generally hear it called by a number of different names and sometimes it can be difficult to tell exactly what it is you are purchasing. That being the case, take this list into consideration when you are looking for a MIG welder, and remember that a MIG welder by any other name is still a MIG welder:

  • Metal Inert Gas (MIG)
  • Metal In Gas
  • Gasless Mig Welder
  • Wire Feed Welder
  • Mas Metal Arc Welding

Process Notes

Throughout the welding process the weld puddle will be shielded by a gas known as the Inert Gas or Active Gas. It is possible to use a wire without a shielding gas, and this process will be known as Gas-less wire Welding. Argon Gas is the most common type of shielding gas used in because it does not have any reaction to the MIG welding process and is therefore safe to use.

Gas-less MIG welders are normally only used by home users who operate outside on a regular basis. Note however that these can also be used on job sites and other outdoor locales. The benefit of using a gas-less MIG setup  is that one would not need to worry about wind blowing the shielding gas aside and creating a hazard during the welding process.

Uses

MIG Welders can be used for a number of different applications. For instance you will find that they are used in both the professional and personal circles for virtually any project. From professional vehicle plants to the garage where you are working with wrought iron, these types of welder have a home anywhere.

Power Requirements

Meeting power requirements for the purpose of a MIG welder is not difficult so long as your working area meets the standards.

Power Approximations:

Single Phase MIG Welder: 230-250 Volts

Three-Phase MIG Welder: 400-420 Volts

The power outlet for a MIG welder will need to be considerably bigger than your standard outlet. This of course is to handle the start up current, or that initial power surge as you activate the device. Note that industrial machines will create a larger power surge, and there is a strong chance that you have seen these outlets on several other devices around the house. The majority of standard house plugs will not have the amperage to handle a MIG welder which means you will need to seek out higher amperages. If you are not an experienced electrician it would be in your best interest to call on professional help.

 

MIG Welding Basics

MIG welding stands for metal inert gas welding. It was originally used to weld non-ferrous metals such as aluminum. It eventually was used on steel too. It is a quicker method of welding as compared to other methods of welding.

mig weldingSome of the advantages of MIG welding include the speed of the welding process. It has the ability to weld many metals and many thicknesses of metal. The biggest advantage to MIG welding is that it can be automated so that the human element can be removed all together. That’s why robotic mig welders are commonly found is on an assembly line in an automobile factory. As mig welding machines utilize a wire feed system this makes them ideal for robotic purposes as they can carry a great amount of filler rod or wire.

Mig welding utilizes a wire feed technique which feeds a wire electrode from your welding handgun to the weld. This wire electrode is available in numerous coil capacities or spools dependent upon the welder sizing, that may contain 100s and perhaps 1000s of feet/meters of wire. The actual wire feed includes a pair of drive wheels to the wire plus a continual speed electric motor to move the drive wheels. The majority of Welders contain numerous features enabling timed feeds together with adjustable speeds.

You need the right safety gear. This includes a face mask to protect your eyes and skin. You also need to have a heavy leather jacket. Keep the jacket fastened all the way up. You need to wear heavy cotton pants and close toed shoes. Heavy work boots are best. Make sure that you are welding in a well ventilated area, and that you have some kind of barrier between you and others, and you have a warning sign that advises people to avoid the area.

When you start welding you need to make sure that you have the valve on the machine for the shielding gas is open. Your welding machine needs to be on, and the grounding clamp either on the metal or on your welding table.  Make sure that your metal is clean and sharp edges are ground down. Clean edges make your welds better. You can bevel the edges to create a valley for the weld if you choose to, this is more important on thicker metals.

After you have done that and set your machine up, it’s time to start welding. You want to make a zig zag or concentric circles with the tip. It’s smart to practice before you start welding. Make sure the mig welding machine is at the right setting. If you are getting holes in your workpiece your setting is too high. Your settings are too low if your welds are being formed in spurts. You have the right settings when your bead is nice and smooth.

How To Mig Weld

how mig to weldLearning how to Mig weld is probably the easiest of all the welding processes. There are basic fundamentals to understand but once mastered you will be able to weld most metals in various positions with a mig.

The act of welding is simply fusing two metals together with the aid of a filler material. You first need to get enough heat into the metal to begin the fusion process. For this the power of the welder needs to complement the job to be done. For example it will be difficult to bring 1 inch steel to any sort of melting point with a 120 Amp welder.The more power in the mig welding machine the thicker the metal you can weld.

Filler materials or welding wire in the case of MIG welders will need to be the same as the work to be welded, e.g. welding aluminium requires aluminium welding wire. Also the wire gauge should also complement the work to be welded. For light welding of sheet metals you would use a .08 mm wire gauge. For thicker metals you will use 1.2 mm wires.

The basic set up with a mig is that the welding wire is fed through the welding cable to the welding gun; pull the trigger of the gun and the wire feed pushes wire to the job. The power level and wire speed must be consistent with the job to be done. Getting the two synchronised can be a challenge when you are learning how to mig weld. Once the combination is right the welding will be smooth and relatively quiet without splattering.

The power of the welder in relation to the work is most important, especially when the job being done could be a safety issue if the welded joint is not fused properly. A poor weld is often referred to as a cold weld or cold lap. A weld such as this can look perfectly fine but have no strength at all due to lack of penetration.

To prevent poor weld penetration the power of the welder must be sufficient to melt the parent work and fuse the metals together. Always weld with as much power as you can to ensure correct fusion of the joints.

How to mig weld with Gasless wire.

Mig welders will generally require a shielding gas however gasless wires are commonly available. Gasless wire is excellent for the welding of galvanized iron. Gas-less wire is also convenient where portability is needed or for site work when wind and breeze can blow away the shielding gas from the work.