When to Use MIG Welding vs. TIG Welding?

MIG welding stands for Metal inert Gas welding and TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas welding. These are widely used for joining a variety of shapes and material. Some confusion exists between both processes, as they both use electrical arcs for the production of heat, and both also user inert gases to prevent corrosion of the welding electrode.

TIG welding is ideal for fine work that requires a neat finish, as it is precise and clean, and its finishing requires no finishing, no further clean up or smoothing. Although it is more time-consuming than MIG welding, some applications like furniture and shop fittings’ metal engineering are better produced by TIG welding.

How does MIG & TIG welding work?

The major difference between both is that one process uses a continuously feeding wire (MIG) and the other uses long welding rods and slowly feed them into the weld puddle (TIG).

MIG welding involves the continuous feeding a metal wire into the weld being made, which becomes the filler material to help join the two metal objects. The power source is constant voltage (CV) DC. This means MIG welding can complete welds of thicker materials & heavy-duty welds quicker than TIG welding does. It’s also easier and less technique-sensitive than TIG, so we recommend it for less experienced operators. It can weld up to 40 mm thick metal sheet. It is ideal for production work, for example, furniture and displays as well as industrial components.

TIG welding uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to run a current through the metals being joined, and may or may not use a filler metal. Power source is constant-current DC or AC depending on metal used. This is good for thinner metal pieces up to 5mm thick. Its technique is sensitive in terms of timing & pressure handling, controlling the torch, feeding wire, it is usually done using an automated CNC (computer numerically-controlled) machine.  

What about robotic welding?

This technique is ideal for high-volume production runs and precision welding, as the welding process becomes less technique sensitive, bearing in mind that the welding electrode still requires proper cleaning & polishing between the cycles, especially in case of stainless steel welding. It’s a great technique for repeat production runs, for example furniture and airport trolleys.

In short, choosing the correct welding solution should be done on a case-by-case basis, which is why Ogis Engineering is dedicated to having a range of tools and technologies for completing welds and metal engineering to the required specification. With boilermakers qualified to Australian Standards, we deliver quality welding solutions for an extensive range of materials.