What Does MIG Stand for In Welding [From Basic Definition To Benefits]

One of the most popular and versatile types of welding is MIG. It is also one of the easiest ways of welding for new learners. But have you ever wondered what does MIG stand for in welding?

Well, today I will be explaining the answer and other aspects of MIG in this article. Therefore, if you are new to such work this article will help to get a better understanding of MIG.

What Does MIG Mean?

MIG Welding meaning refers to a welding process where an electric arc forms between your used metal and the consumable MIG wire electrode.

MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas Welding and if I breakdown it then the metal will refer to the wire used for starting the electric arc. Next, the inert gas which shields the electric arc during the welding process.

When MIG Started:

Do you know when is the first-time people started using MIG?

If you are not aware of that then you are in right place. Because I’m here to inform you that.

During World war 2, MIG was first invented to help in producing the weapons and other relevant equipment faster. Initially, MIG was used in manufacturing war supplies and equipment to save time and money.

But gradually it became a part of the booming manufacturing industries and economies, especially for the large workshops and factories.

How Does MIG Actually Work?

For MIG welding you will need electricity to generate heat then electrode wiring to make filler material. And also, a shielding gas to stop reactions with the air during the welding process. Now remember that each MIG welder utilizes a handle with a trigger, and when you will depress that trigger three constant things will happen-

  1. A thin electrode wire will continuously feed through the flexible tube which is known as a conduit liner.
  2. The shielding gas stored in a high-pressure cylinder will pass through the regulator for reducing the pressure. Then will send through a gas diffuser and out through the nozzle.
  3. Lastly, the welding current is switched on from the welder machine.

Picking the Right Gas, Electrode, and Filler Wire:

For getting the perfect welding experience from your MIG welder, make sure that you are putting the correct combination of gas electrodes and filler wire. While knowing what does MIG stand for in welding, you should also have an idea of this type of welding from the chart below.

Material MIG Equipment Gas Argon (%) Carbon Dioxide (%)
Carbon Steel ER70s C25 75% 25%
Stainless Steel ER308L C2 98% 2%
Aluminum ER4043 100%

What Are the Main Characteristics Of MIG?

Let’s have a brief glance at the specific characteristics of MIG welding that defines the aspects of using MIG instead of the other popular welding methods-

  • This welding process only uses a consumable wire electrode and a shielding gas. For the shielding gas, you can use argon, oxygen, helium, or a combination of argon and helium both.
  • Allows long welds so that you can have a continuous working process without any breaks in between welding your materials.
  • This process also allows you to weld your materials from all angles and positions.
  • When you are using MIG, it provides a uniform weld bead that comes in all four variations.
  • MIG welding also lets you to produce a slag-free weld bead.
  • It is especially helpful method for beginners since you do not require advanced skills to use it.

Advantages of Using MIG:

Now let’s find what advantages you will get if you use MIG welding instead of any other welding processes-

  • MIG welding is versatile and you can weld almost all metals with this process such as mild steel, stainless, and aluminum.
  • It allows both automatic and semi-automatic.
  • MIG has a high productivity range which means while you are welding there is no need to halt for changing the rods, chip, or brush the weld frequently.
  • This process requires almost zero cleaning up compared to other welding processes.
  • MIG also allows you to weld your materials from all positions
  • High productivity equals faster work and MIG ensures that.
  • The gas shield used in the process protects the arc which results in less waste of alloying elements.

Is There Any Drawback of Using MIG?

For a neutral judgment, you need to know both benefits and drawbacks of using this specific welding method.

So, have a glance at these mentioned short comes of using MIG-

  • MIG welding is not good for thick Matel because it lacks in getting the appropriate penetration.
  • You cannot use MIG for vertical or overhead welding positions because of its high heat input and weld puddle’s fluidity.
  • You cannot use this welding process on paint, rust, or even on dirty surfaces.
  • Remember you will need a bottle of shielding gas for using MIG. Also, you have to clean the metal before starting the welding.


Whether to Push or Pull While MIG Welding?

If you are welding with a flux-core or stick wire welder then drag the wire or rod. But if you are using a MIG welder then push the wire.

Is Gasless MIG Welding Good for All types of Materials?

In general, that depends on the machine and technique you will use in the welding process because some can work perfectly and give you the desired result you wished. But some may not work well even when you are dealing with the thinnest metal some may fail to work up to the mark.

Which One Is Easier- Stick or MIG Welding?

If you are considering the user experience, then MIG is definitely easier than a stick for beginners. Also, the cleaning up task is smoother with a MIG welder than a stick one.

But if you consider the initial setup process then with MIG welding you have to deal with a complicated prep work before the actual welding.

What Wire Sizes Are Ideal for MIG Welding?

For MIG welding, the most common wire sizes are 0.7-2.4 mm but you can use wire up to 4mm too.

What Type of Voltage MIG Welding Requires?

In MIG welding, the power sources use a constant voltage as its output characteristic.

Final Words

This article aimed to answer what does MIG stand for in welding. I hope I have answered all the relevant queries you may search for but if you have any further queries unanswered kindly let me know.