The Benefits and Disadvantages of MIG
As stated earlier, GMAW, or MIG refers to the form of wire welding that utilizes a solid wire, and a shielding gas. The actual shielding gas may vary for the metal being welded, such as pure argon for aluminum, a tri mix for stainless, or any number of variations of Argon and CO2 percentages for steel. Regardless, MIG offers a rapid, highly efficient form of welding to its users. It requires low skill and is a rapidly acquired skill. Too often though, people buy a MIG welder and become discouraged with the results because of the difficulty in setting, and using it in the wrong locations. Sure it is a fast way to weld, but true MIG welding requires still air. This is not the ideal form of welding out in the open or in a drafty area. With the proper preventative measures such as wind screens and canopies in place, it can be accomplished however. MIG generally gives a trouble free, weld on smooth, clean surfaces, but on dirty surfaces, it is nearly impossible to get a real high quality weld. So, thorough metal prep is a must on nearly every weld. But if you are inside, and have clean metal, MIG can offer smooth, rapidly laid down of welds, even on thin materials. Welds are generally bright, and have little or no slag to clean. Occasionally small patches of easily cleaned glass-like silicone can be found on the surface, but that is all. It’s relatively smooth, and spatters free when all things are working correctly. When things are right, it’s a joy to use. However, improper gun angle, too low of flow of gas or improper setting of the welder can result in disaster quite easily.