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What is MIG Welding? – Applications | Advantages | Types | Basics

Last updated on August 23rd, 2022

Welding is a procedure that involves applying intense heat and pressure on two metals to fuse them together. There are many types of welding methods used around the globe. Some of them are easy, while others are tough. MIG Welding is considered an easy but technical process for creating some artistic beads or completing industrial tasks in a short time period.

The mig welding guide is designed for people who are unfamiliar with the technique and find it difficult to acquire all relevant information from one place. We’ve discussed its definition, basics, perks, and types.

what is mig welding


Definition of MIG Welding?

Metal inert gas welding ( MIG ) is defined as an arc welding strategy in which the welding gun heats the solid wire electrode and is fed into the weld pool that melts the two base metals and creates a strong joint. Shielding gas is applied by the gun alongside with electrode to protect the weld pool from airborne contaminants.

How does MIG welding work?

The process of mig welding is technically simple and easy to understand. An arc is initiated between the wire electrode that melts both metals to form a weld pool. This wire act as filler metal and a heat source.

The wire is fed by a copper contact tip that passes current into the wire. The wire is operated from a motor drive mechanism and this wire can be solid or cored. The shielding gas saves the weld pool from surrounding impurities. You can select the gas type according to the metal and its thickness.

You may call it a semi-automatic method because, in this method, the power source controls the arc length and wire feed rate, but you have to manually set the wire position and travel speed. The process gives you excellent productivity and creativity if used properly.

Types of MIG Welding

types of mig welding explained with diagram

These types are created based on the transfer modes through which metal is welded.

  1. Short Circuit Transfer
  2. Globular Mode
  3. Spray Transfer
  4. Pulsed Spray Mode

Short Circuit

Short Circuit Transfer Mode

In this low-heat input method, when the wire touches the workpiece, the current passes through the gun and creates a short circuit. This wire is then melted on the material surface creating a puddle to join two metals. Instead of argon, carbon dioxide shielding gas is used in this process. The interesting fact is that a very low amount of gas is required for it. It’s quite an inexpensive and affordable procedure.

Globular Mode

Globular Mode mig welding explained in image

Rather than low voltage, it uses high voltage and argon as a shielding gas. This transfer is a little bit complex because the wire is melted and collected at the gun’s tip. After that, it’s inserted into the joint parts a few times per second. You will face the spatter issue in this mode.

Spray Transfer

Spray Transfer mode diagram

This mode allows you to create a neat & clean arc between the metal and gun. In this process, the wire is melted and collected in the form of a few drops. A gas mixture with 15% Co2 and high voltage is required to achieve this.

Pulsed Spray Transfer Mode

In this transfer mode, the unit pulses the voltage many times per second rather than providing a continuous flow of voltage. It creates the droplets at the end of wire and pushes the arc into the puddle. It has very low spatters and lack of fusion defects and high resistance that assist to create excellent beads. You need high-level welders with a low voltage supply to achieve this. Users may get the best mig welder from here.

Applications of MIG Welding

The most common use of mig welding is in the auto sector. It efficiently repairs the automotive parts because of its robust weld to 0.5mm. The production unit relies on metal inert gas welding. MIG Welding safety should be the first priority.
It’s been used in a large number of sectors and industries due to its specs. Some of them are listed below:

  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Steel work
  • Pipe work
  • Fabrication
  • Repairing
  • Ship building

Advantages & Disadvantages of MIG Welding

Every welding process has some pros and cons and below is the complete list:

  • It’s easy to learn
  • Process control is easy as compared to others
  • Creates less spatter
  • Versatile process
  • Four transfer modes
  • It can weld many types of metals
  • Metals of various thicknesses can be welded
  • It’s quite easy for newcomers and novices to start
  • The overall cost is low which makes it an economical process
  • Has low welding fumes which secure the worker’s health
  • Welding in tough positions is possible with it
  • Didn’t need very high input power
  • Electrode efficiencies are about 92%-98% which is quite higher than others
  • Very close to the automatic process
  • Its components are widely available at low rates
  • Low duty cycle can be an issue
  • First time setup cost is high
  • Not much effective in outdoor projects
  • Not suitable for thin metals.
  • Overhead welding is tough with it.
  • Surrounding atmosphere should be stable.

Common Questions

Q1. Why MIG welding is better than TIG?

When compared to TIG, GMAW ( MIG ) is much easier and simpler. Mig is superior due to a number of factors, including low-cost welding units, an easy-to-learn and implement a process, fewer technicalities involved, more diversity, high welding speed, and low total cost. For more information, give a read to tig vs mig welding.

Q2. Which is the easiest welding for beginners?

Mig process is easy for novices and starters because of its simple features and overall easy technique.

Q3. What is the most common mig welding gas?

In mig welding, the most typical gas is CO2, which should be utilized in its purest form. It’s commonly used due to the fact that it is less expensive and produces effective welds.

Q4. What are the hazards of mig welding?

Arc radiations, fumes, and electrical short circuits are the main dangers of metal inert gas welding. Other issues like noise, heat, and fire are common with all welding methods.


MIG welding is common as you can weld almost all metal with it such as aluminum, copper, steel, stainless steel, etc. Although, weld quality isn’t high as compared to GTAW, but versatility, speed, and cost are its main attributes.

Josh Rogers

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