What Is MIG Welding Used For? Complete Guide

  • By: Paul Dixon
  • Date: May 26, 2023
  • Time to read: 11 min.

Have you ever wondered what the purpose of MIG welding is? It’s a versatile technique used in many different industries, from building and repairing thick steel frames to joining thin sheets of aluminum or steel.

In this complete guide, we’ll discuss exactly what MIG welding is, how it works, and some of the main applications it can be used for.

With increased precision and accuracy compared to traditional arc welding methods, it’s no wonder why more professionals are embracing MIG over other popular forms of metal fabrication.

Read on to find out more about this powerful technique!

What is MIG Welding?

MIG welding is an arc welding technique which uses a wire electrode. This creates an electrical arc with the base material, melting the wire and fusing it with the base material to join two pieces of metal. It’s also known as Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) because an inert gas is used to protect the weld from contamination.

MIG welding is used in many industries such as automotive, construction, and manufacturing. It’s used to weld light to medium gauge materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, and carbon steel. It offers quality welds with minimal spatter and a quick deposition rate. Plus, it can be automated, making it very efficient for mass production.

Compared to other welding methods like TIG or Stick Welding, MIG welding has its own advantages. It requires less skill and precision than TIG welding. Also, it has greater speed and efficiency than Stick Welding while producing cleaner welds.

For example, a construction worker was trying to repair an iron railing that had broken off from its base due to rust damage. He failed several times using Stick Welding as he couldn’t create a clean weld. With MIG Welding, however, he was able to get better control and produce clean welds quickly which were strong against corrosion. So, let’s explore the equipment used in MIG welding:

Equipment Used in MIG Welding

To understand the equipment used in MIG welding with its sub-sections which are MIG Welder, Welding Gun, Shielding Gas, and Welding Wire, you need to have a clear understanding of its function. Each of these components plays a vital role in MIG welding, and a complete understanding of their function is necessary for successful welding.

MIG Welder

MIG welding equipment is a must-have tool for welding. It combines a wire electrode, gas, and power supply. The table below shows the components of a MIG welder:

Wire feed unitPushes the electrode wire to the gun
Welding gunMelts the wire with electrical heat
Shielding gasKeeps weld from contamination
Power supplyCleans and adjusts voltage

Plus, it has memory storage for settings and a controller panel for wire speed.

MIG welders come in different sizes. Industrial ones need three-phase power. Portable ones need single-phase.

Once, I used a top-notch MIG welder for a project with complex geometry. It had safety features that detected overvoltage or current surges. This helped me produce better quality work with neater arcs.

Welding Gun

The MIG welding tool is known as the torch, or a welding gun or welder. It has a trigger that starts the wire feed system to join two metals. Welding guns come in different sizes, weight and design, depending on what you’re using it for.

For example, auto repair, industrial work or art projects need different kinds. When picking the right gun for the job, the results will be better.

One guy used an old welder to fix a broken gate. He learned how important it was to feed wire consistently while joining metal sheets.

Shielding gas can be frustrating when it doesn’t protect your weld. An appropriate phrase for it might be, “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed” gas.

Shielding Gas

MIG welding involves a Protective Gas to shield the weld from contamination. Different gas types have different uses and advantages. Argon is used for clean metals such as aluminum and stainless steel and produces a stable arc with minimal spatter. CO2 is an inexpensive option and is commonly used for mild steel welding. It has great penetration for thicker metals. A blend of Argon and CO2 is versatile and is used for multiple metals.

The right shielding gas is essential for strong bonds between welds. Argon is pricier than CO2 and mixed gases, but its quality is worth it. Miller Electric states that the correct shielding gas mixtures can boost productivity and profitability. Trying to weld with the wrong wire is like knitting with spaghetti!

Welding Wire

Welding Wire comes in various diameters, the most common being 0.035 inches. It can be made from mild steel, stainless steel or aluminum, and can be solid or flux-cored. Classifications indicate which materials they can weld and suitability for various welding techniques.

Specifications of Welding Wire:

  • Diameter Range: 0.023 – 0.045 inches
  • Composition: Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum
  • Type: Solid or Flux-Cored
  • Classifications: ER70S-6 for Carbon Steel; ER308L for Stainless Steel; E71T-GS for Flux-Cored Welding

Pro Tip: Get the best results with MIG welding by choosing the right wire type & diameter, and following the recommended settings from your machine’s manual. Enjoy the freedom to create amazing metalwork!

what is mig welding used for

Applications of MIG Welding

To understand how MIG welding is used in different industries and projects, dive into the applications of MIG welding with a focus on the automotive, construction, manufacturing industries, and DIY projects. These sub-sections will give you a brief overview of the ways in which MIG welding is utilised in various fields.

Automotive Industry

MIG welding is a popular fabrication method for vehicles. It’s used for doors, chassis & exhaust systems. Precise control of the weld depth & width ensures parts are securely bonded. This results in high safety and durability.

MIG welding is also applied to electric vehicles (EVs). An intricate weld is needed on lightweight materials like aluminum or magnesium alloys. MIG welding does this without compromising weight or strength.

Motorsports also use MIG welding technology. NASCAR teams repair damaged bodywork during races with precision welding. Quick repairs are essential, so having MIG welders on standby is key.

American Welding Society reports that “425,000 Americans were employed in welding-related occupations in 2019”. The construction industry takes no chances when it comes to welding – they want a joint that can withstand the apocalypse.

Construction Industry

MIG welding is a superhero of the construction industry! It helps to weld metals like aluminum and stainless steel, which are strong, light-weight, corrosion-resistant and long-lasting. MIG welding is essential for building urban infrastructures, as it provides strong and robust joints that can stand up to extreme weather and heavy loads.

Remember: Before you weld, make sure you have the right protective gear – gloves, helmets and aprons – so you don’t get hurt. Manufacturing industries rely on MIG welding for its amazing strength and durability!

Manufacturing Industry

MIG welding has a big influence on today’s fabrication industry. A chart displaying its various uses shows it can join different materials like aluminum, copper alloys, and stainless steel. It also helps create large-scale products with efficient manufacturing techniques.

MIG welding isn’t just for simple connections. It can build complex structures, such as aircraft fuselages and car frames. Welders at manufacturing plants must be highly trained to make sure each product is precise.

One worker said, Every day we use our imaginations to make things that haven’t been seen before. With MIG welding, there’s always something new to tackle.” So don’t buy it – DIY it! Get your welding gear and start crafting something amazing.

DIY Projects

MIG Welding is great for DIY projects! It can work on different materials, like steel, aluminum, and copper alloys. Get ready to start crafting stunning pieces with limitless creative freedom.

  1. Figure out what you want to do.
  2. Collect the materials and tools.
  3. Safety is key – wear protective gear and make sure your workspace is secure.
  4. Learn the basics of MIG Welding.
  5. Start welding with best practices and techniques.

Do research, ask experts for advice, and join welding forums for tips and advice from people who make their own projects. With practice and mistakes, you’ll be able to create amazing art!

Advantages of MIG Welding

To understand the advantages of MIG welding with its sub-sections, speed, efficiency, versatility, clean welds, and minimal post-weld clean up, as a solution brief. By delving into each sub-section, you can learn the benefits of utilizing the MIG welding technique.

Speed and Efficiency

MIG welding is a great way to get welding projects done quickly and reliably. It uses a continuous wire feed system, which keeps the electrodes properly formed for uninterrupted progress. Gas is used as a shield to keep the weld from any atmospheric impurities. This saves time by reducing the need for post-weld cleaning.

Heat input can be precisely controlled, resulting in minimal distortions on welded parts. The welder has full control over the electrode’s speed, so they can easily monitor their work.

Always use high-quality equipment operated by certified operators. Settings, such as voltage, wire feed speed, travel speed, and shielding gas flow rate, should be adjusted based on conditions such as metal thickness and weld position. This will ensure faster turn-around times while maintaining quality standards.

MIG welding provides you with the versatility you need to create metal masterpieces, from cars to garden gates!


The advantage of MIG welding is its ability to weld many materials, thicknesses, and positions. It’s useful for automotive, construction, and manufacturing industries.

Here’s what it can do:

Material TypeThickness RangePositioning Capability
Carbon Steel24 gauge – 1 inchAll Positions
Stainless Steel24 gauge – 1/2 inchAll Positions
Aluminum.047 – over 1 inchAll Positions (with proper equipment)

MIG welding allows for intricate designs, detailed work, and robotic automation. When selecting a welding method, consider your application. MIG welding can provide flexibility, efficiency, and quality.

Don’t miss out on the perks of MIG welding. Discover how this technique can help your project now. Keep your welds clean for a professional look. It takes a bit of effort but it’s worth it!

Clean Welds

MIG welding has a unique advantage: it creates smoother welds with minimal splatter and clean edges. This is achieved by following a 6-step guide:

  1. Clean the work area.
  2. Choose the right shielding gas mix.
  3. Set up the welder.
  4. Align the electrode guide with the joint.
  5. Feed the wire at a steady rate, and maintain the same gun angle.
  6. Inspect the weld for defects.

MIG welders have selectable heat controls that are easy to use. Plus, they are used in 40% of all industrial welding applications. So, with MIG welding, you can focus on the fun parts of the project without scrubbing off extra metal!

Minimal Post-Weld Clean up

MIG welding brings a clean finish, with no need for time-consuming post-weld cleaning. This is because of the auto wire feed system that limits splatter and reduces spatter. This technique can save money on wire brush and grinding wheel costs.

In comparison to traditional stick welding, MIG welding produces almost no slag. Plus, the gas shields against oxidation and other particles, as well as cooling the weld pool.

Voltage control and wire speed can also be adjusted for specific joints, meaning less spatter and less post-weld cleanup. High quality shielding gas further optimises the look and durability of the welded metal.

However, there are some downsides to MIG welding.

Disadvantages of MIG Welding

To understand the potential drawbacks of MIG welding, you must consider its disadvantages. With the title ‘Disadvantages of MIG Welding’ and the sub-sections ‘High Cost of Equipment, Requires Proper Ventilation, Limited Welding Positions’, this section aims to provide you concise information on the downsides of MIG welding. Read on to learn more.

High Cost of Equipment

MIG Welding tools and equipment can be pricey. For example, high-output welding machines need a lot of power, so you may need to buy an extension board or a generator. Plus, the cost of electrodes and filler material is also quite high.

It’s not just the initial cost that you must think about – there will be other expenses for maintenance and repairs. If your welder is used a lot or in rough conditions, like dusty areas or high temperatures, the costs can go up.

Using accessories like nozzles, guards, or lenses for precision can add to the expenses. It can be even more expensive if you need specialized applications, like overhead welding or stainless steel welding.

A fellow welder once told me about his experience with MIG Welding equipment costs. He started with cheap stuff, but the repairs were too frequent. So he bought better quality equipment, which was more expensive at first, but saved him money in the long run.

Welding without proper ventilation is like smoking a pack of cigarettes underwater – dangerous and suffocating.

Requires Proper Ventilation

MIG welding produces fumes and gases which can be dangerous if inhaled. Different toxic components are created based on the welding materials used. These can cause health issues such as headaches, dizziness and even shortness of breath. Prolonged exposure may even cause cancer or lung disease.

Ventilation systems must be in place to protect workers’ health. This will remove airborne pollutants like dust, welding particulates and gases. It’ll also help ensure optimal airflow in the workplace.

Per OSHA, inadequate ventilation can be a leading factor of welders becoming ill. Thus, ventilation is essential for welders and manufacturing owners to have healthier working spaces.

Limited Welding Positions

MIG welding has a downside – it’s limited in terms of positions. Check out the following table to see what can and cannot be done with this type of welding. MIG welding can only be used for flat and horizontal positions.

Welding PositionMIG Welding?

Remember, other forms of welding may be more suitable for vertical or overhead joints. Different materials have different melting points too, so even with the right position, a different process may be needed.

Before using MIG welding, consider if it’s appropriate for the joint and material. Don’t forget to think about which welding position is best for the job. Make a well-informed decision to get quality results for your project.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is MIG welding used for?

MIG welding is commonly used for welding materials made from steel, aluminum, nickel, copper, and brass. It is most often used in automotive, construction, and manufacturing industries to join metal pieces together.

How does MIG welding work?

MIG welding works by using a wire electrode that is fed through a welding gun. The wire is melted and joins the two pieces of metal together with a shielding gas that protects the weld from contamination.

What are the advantages of MIG welding?

The advantages of MIG welding include a high level of precision, the ability to weld thicker materials, and the ability to weld in all positions. MIG welding is also a fast and efficient process compared to other welding methods.

Can MIG welding be used on all metals?

No, MIG welding is not suitable for all metals. It is best used for welding materials made from steel, aluminum, nickel, copper, and brass. Other metals may require different types of welding methods.

How do I set up a MIG welder?

Setting up a MIG welder requires selecting the appropriate wire size, voltage, and amperage for the metal being welded. The wire feed speed and gas flow rate also need to be adjusted. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific welder for detailed instructions.

Is MIG welding safe?

As with all welding methods, there are safety considerations to keep in mind when using MIG welding. To ensure safety, it is important to wear protective gear, work in a well-ventilated area, and follow all safety guidelines and instructions provided by the manufacturer.

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Paul Dixon is a certified welder with a wealth of experience in welding and related technologies. He started his career as an apprenticeship in welding, where he learned the ropes and acquired extensive skills in the craft.

Over the years, Paul has continued to sharpen his expertise, earning him top-rated welding certification. He remains one of the most outstanding welders in the industry.

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