Is It Better to Weld Aluminum with Mig or Tig?

Is It Better to Weld Aluminum with Mig or Tig?

Welding aluminum is not a simple task to do. Welding skills can be developed from gaining knowledge and years of practice. There are different techniques and processes are available for welding steels, but aluminum has its own techniques and process.

MIG and TIG are two types that are used most for welding. You have to understand the welder for aluminum to achieve the best result. We will help you by giving proper information about both of these processes in this article.

TIG

It is one of the most usual methods used for aluminum welding. It is often used by welders for automotive and professional racing teams. No one can beat this process when it comes to clean-cut. Its current equipment requires an alternating current capability that uses 100 percent argon as a shielding gas. This alternating current cleans off the oxidized layer when it welds. Throughout the process, it prevents aluminum from being contaminated.

MIG

Another method for welding is MIG, which has faster speed and a higher deposition rate. It requires a mechanical wire feeding system and also uses a spool gun to make wire feeding. The metal wire is connected to an electrode. It uses a short-circuit welding process. For extensive and non-stop welds, MIG welding is the best choice. The best thing about the MIG process is it requires much less heat for welding the metal.

Is it Better to Weld Aluminum With Mig or Tig?

People often get confused while picking a welder for aluminum; is it better to do it with MIG or TIG? To understand the best option, you have to compare the strengths and weaknesses of MIG and TIG processes. Here are some basic differences are given below which will help you to make your decision.

Technique

Both processes follow a different technique. In MIG welding, to create the weld, an electrode wire is continuously fed using a spool gun. On the other side, TIG welding, the welder needs to feed an extra filler material into the weld on the one hand, and the other hand will operate the torch.

Difficulty

The MIG method is easier than the TIG method. Because in the MIG process, the wire can continuously feed while welding, which makes it easier to handle. And, in TIG welding, both your hands have to do a different job like one hand will hold the welding torch, and another one will hold the filler material so that it can be difficult for beginners or inexperienced users.

Thickness

For thin metals, TIG could be an effective option. But for thicker aluminum, stainless steel, and mild steel MIG process is best. MIG can weld the thicker metals faster than TIG.

Speed

MIG is faster, and continuous welds can be easily achievable.  Its travel speed moves faster than TIG welding also, making sure of a higher production rate. TIG is a slower process, but it provides detailed finishing, which requires more time.

Project Size

MIG is designed for larger projects; that is why it is best for larger projects that need longer and continuous runs. TIG works better for smaller projects and thinner metals because they provide precise welds.

Control

For beginners, MIG will be easier to handle. On the other side, TIG welding is difficult to control, so it needs an experienced person to balance materials with both hands.

Costs

For every person, the cost does matter most. TIG welding is more expensive than MIG welding, considering its maintenance cost, and also it requires more time. MIG Costs are lower with faster preparation and faster completion of the project.

Appearance

TIG welding is clean and also provides a beautiful finish, so people like it much. This type of welding is mostly used for an attractive appearance like artistic and ornamental purposes. MIG doesn’t look as good as TIG. It’s more like a bulkier, appears to spatter, and struggles to maintain an elegant finish.

ARC

The MIG arc is larger and high heat input than TIG and spreads out over a wider area. As a result, it causes less penetration. The TIG machine has a narrow arc, which is much better than the MIG. It can directly heat into a small point; that’s why it can develop fine weld. 

Diversity

When you consider diversity, then MIG is a better choice. Because it can weld both thinner and thicker aluminum. Not only thick aluminum also, but it can also weld other metals.  TIG is unable to provide effective weld for other metals. So, MIG is more versatile than TIG and can offer you more diversity.

AC and DC Current

For proper welding, you need both AC and DC Currents. The sad part is TIG only has DC current. In contrast, MIG consists of both AC and DC currents. SO, MIG can effectively weld aluminum than TIG.

Weld Quality

In terms of quality, TIG has a better chance to win. It takes time to weld. So, you can get the best result by achieving quality welding for aluminum. MIG welder is designed for larger projects, so it works faster. As a result, quality may fall down.

Weld Aluminum with Mig or Tig

Overview of Mig and Tig Welding

MIG has automatic feed wire, Easier and faster process of welding, cost-effective, requires less cleaning. It produces minor spatter, and it can perform in several ways. On the other side, the TIG process is slower, but its outcome is much satisfactory. It provides precise and fine weld, highly aesthetic, a little bit expensive but provides the highest quality.

Conclusion

Both the process is designed for separate purposes. Depending on your situation, you have to choose between these two welders. If you have a larger project that needs high speed and high efficiency, and low-cost, then MIG would be a better choice.

On the contrary, if you want defined work, best quality, a short project with thin aluminum, you can choose TIG welding. From the above information, you can get some ideas about both these welders. So, first, consider your need and then choose the best welder for you.

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