Getting Started - Need to know - Starting off MIG welding?
Gathering information on what you will need? Look no further. Over the next few blogs, we are going to be dealing with the elementary aspects of MIG welding. These are the things you need to know to make an informed purchase, or to get you started. One of the first areas you absolutely must know is the difference between true MIG welding and Flux core welding. As the MIG welding market has grown, it has been common to refer to any style of semi automatic welding with a spool of wire, and a gun to feed it with as MIG. This is not correct. Officially, the term used to be called MIG or “Metal Inert Gas”. The gas is used to shield the molten weld pool until the metal has solidified to protect it against oxidation, and porosity that is introduced from the atmosphere. Nowadays it is referred to more specifically as GMAW or “Gas Metal Arc Welding”. Note that both former and latter terms use the word “Gas”. In fact, there is no such a thing as gasless MIG welding. Anytime Gas is removed from the equation, you must deal with the terms cored wire, or more accurately Flux core welding. The look of the welder may be the same, but the wire is where the difference is. Internally, within the wire, is a soft core of flux, which substitutes for the shielding gas used in MIG. Officially these days it is referred to as F-CAW or “Flux Core Arc Welding”. It performs the same operation, by sheltering the molten weld pool from the atmosphere as it cools to prevent oxidation and contamination without the gas used in true MIG. There is a form of welding that is called dual shield which allows both shielding gas and flux filled core wire to be used. This is in high end commercial applications for specialty welding, and is not something that you’d likely consider at the outset. Commonly all forms can be referred to as wire welding, and the units as wire feeders. But it is important to know which is what and how and in what situation each process is favored and used.