There are more than thirty types of welding methods. And the most popular and frequently-used are MIG, TIG, and Stick welds.

But what does that mean?

BMC Metalworks, a Nashville-based welder, explains the differences between these popular styles of welding.

MIG Welding

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding is a means of joining two base materials together. It is an example of an arc welding process which is done with the use of a welding gun. There is a wire spool inside the gun that is heated and fed into the weld pool. A gas is sent through the gun at the same time as the wire to protect the weld pool from contamination.

Think of the wire, which is heated by an electrical current, as the glue which holds the two pieces of metal together. The weld pool is the area which you want to join, and the MIG welding simply lays the heated wire over the top of it.

This is a popular style of welding because it is fairly easy (comparatively) to learn. This allows non-professionals in Nashville the ability to perform basic welds, although an expert welder is recommended for anything beyond a simple DIY project.

In fact, some people say that MIG welding is almost as easy as using a glue gun. This is a bit of an oversimplification of the process, but we mention it to highlight the approachability of MIG welding.

Proper safety equipment including a thick, non-flammable coat, safety glasses, and a welding helmet should always be worn to avoid injury.

Need a welder in Nashville? Contact BMC Metalworks today.

TIG Welding

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding is another very popular form of arc welding. It was created by the aircraft industry in the 1930s and 1940s to weld magnesium. This process involves separate items in each hand of the welder which makes the application a bit more difficult.

The heat comes from a non-consumable tungsten electrode. This allows the material to be heated to great temperatures without degrading it. The electrode is used to create a weld pool in the base metal. A wire is fed into this weld pool which melts it, providing the material that joins the two pieces of metal.

As with MIG welding, an inert gas is used to protect the electrode as well as the weld pool from contamination.

TIG welding is often used in auto body repair shops, particularly on fenders because of the anti-corrosive properties of the resulting welds. It is also frequently used in the aerospace industry, both in the construction of aircrafts and spacecrafts.

TIG welds, when done correctly, provide attractive and strong welds. This is why many metal sculptors make use of the method for their creations.

Many industries make use of TIF welding because of the wide variety of materials that can be used.

Stick Welding

Stick welding is also known as Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW). It is quite popular both because it is fairly easy to learn, and able to be used in a variety of situations. It makes use of a weld gun that has a solid metal rod running through the middle, surrounded by flux coating. An electrical current is used to create the heat needed to melt the metal rod (also called an electrode) which is then used to bind the two pieces of metal.

Iron and steel are the primary metals used with stick welding. The method is frequently employed in maintenance and repair, as well as for heavy steel structures.

Stick welding provides clean welds with inexpensive equipment. The ease of use makes it a frequently-used option for DIY projects and people who need simple jobs done around the house. But although the basics of stick welding can be learned fairly quickly, expert knowledge is required for any high-profile projects constructing large structures.

All Types of Welding in Nashville

Even though the basics of some of these projects can be learned somewhat quickly, experts should be called for anything beyond simple around-the-house projects. All three types of welds can produce strong and clean joints which can be used for a long time. But this is only if they are performed properly.

Those in the Nashville area can call on the experts at BMC Metalworks for all of their welding needs. We frequently work on projects that range in difficulty from simple joints to complex, engineered designs. And even if we don’t directly service your welding needs, we’ll partner with subcontractors to get your job done.

Contact BMC Metalworks for all of your welding needs in Nashville.