MIG welding or Metal Inert Gas welding is a technique that we use for both thick sheet sections and thin sheet components. As the name suggests, inert gas and thin metal wire are used in the process of MIG welding. Many people around the world prefer the use of braze welding as well. But one of the widely used methods is MIG wire welding over other welding methods like stick welding, TIG welding, etc. as it is easier to learn and is time preserving.
Though it is easier to learn, without proper training and precautions, it could lead to disastrous outcomes as well. So here are some tips for proper MIG wire welding for an excellent finish.
Tips or a better MIG Wire Welding
Take Safety Measures
Before starting the welding work, make sure to ensure proper safety measures around you. Make sure to have proper 'Personal Protective Gears,' which include rubber gloves, boots, flame resistant jackets, a welding helmet, safety glasses, etc.
Apart from your safety, ensure the proper protection of your workplace. Remove every ignitable object from your workplace, and have a fire extinguisher available for any hazardous situation. Check for any loose connection or broken cords before starting.
Before starting the welding job, check all your equipment are in sound quality and are in a condition to work. Adjust the tension on the wire spool and make sure that the flow rate of shielding gas is in the range of 20-25 cubic feet per hour for the favorable results.
If you feel like gas is leaking from somewhere, instantly switch off the gas supply and fix the leak before continuing the welding job. Check all the cables and connections and make sure all the plugs are correctly connected, and check that all the wires are in proper condition.
Oil, rust, dirt, or any other contamination can be quite harmful to the MIG wire welding technique as it is not suitable for those things. Remove every type of contaminants from the metal before starting. You can use metal brushes or grinders for the removal of contaminants from the metal.
Also, make sure that the work clamps are connected to clean metal too. Any contamination will affect the welding performance. Bevel the joints, especially in the case of butt joints, to ensure the weld is done correctly on thick metals.
Select Wire Accordingly
Wire plays an essential role in the MIG wire welding process. In the case of steel, there are two types of Wire used, ER70S-3 and ER70S-6. The former one is used for all-purpose welding jobs; the latter one is used mainly for rusty or dirty steel. You can select wires for other than steel on the bases of the thickness and heat required.
For thick metals with high input heat, wires of diameter ranging from 0.35 to 0.45 inches should be preferred than the rest. For thinner metals, Wire of 0.23-0.35 inch diameter can be used as they can reduce the heat input.
An inert gas is used in the MIG wire welding process to shield the hot welded material from atmospheric gases like oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen. These atmospheric gases can make the weld weak and not durable. For the shielding purpose, gases like Carbon dioxide, Argon, and Helium should be used.
The most common gas used for the process is Carbon Dioxide, as it is the cheapest of all. But in the case of steel, Argon is preferred more over Carbon Dioxide. In some cases, a mixture of both Argon and Carbon dioxide is used for the best results. Thus, the gas selection is quite an essential step for the perfect weld.
Use of Correct Weld Technique
For the best results, try to perfect your welding technique. You must take care of the travel and work angle. A travel angle from 10-15 degrees is the right to work correctly. If found beyond that, it can lead to less penetration and increased instability.
For different types of joints and positioning of welding, there are various techniques. In the case of horizontal welding, the working angle of the gun must be dropped by 0-15 degrees to counter the effect of gravity. In the case of vertical welding, power must be reduced by 10-15 percent in comparison to flat position welding for best results.
Welding can be a dangerous job if done in the wrong way. So if you are still a beginner, then always have an expert with you while doing it. If done improperly, welding can be a dangerous job as well, so always ensure your safety while starting a welding job. It takes practice to perfect any technique. The same is with MIG wire welding. So practice as much as you can and take care of the tips mentioned above.