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Home MIG vs. TIG vs. STICK Welding
There are three main welding types that builders need to be familiar with. In this video, Matt Risinger, master builder, discusses the types of welding that are easily portable and used on site shielded metal arc, gas metal arc and gas tungsten arc, commonly known as Stick, MIG and TIG. Beginning with Stick, or shielded metal arc, there's a power supply and, running electrode positive, means electrons are coming off the base material into your electrode, melting it. You're welding with an electrode that has filler metal on the inside and a flux coating over the outside, that when it burns, creates an atmosphere that displaces oxygen. The metal stays clean and a slag is created over the top that protects the molten material. This is the oldest of the three processes. It's commonly used in the field as it's easy to run the welder off of a generator. The gas metal arc welder uses a solid wire. The machine creates a current through the torch. The electrode is not shielded but is bare so that a shielding gas goes around the arc as welding takes place to protect the molten material and stabilize the arc. This is a good method for thin gauge metal in the short arc settings where there isn't much heat input. It's good for sheet metal and smaller tubing. For thin, intricate work or any time a pretty weld will be visible and not covered or painted, a gas tungsten arc process is used. This is the most complicated of the three types, both from an equipment and operation standpoint. There must be a shielding gas that protects the tungsten. The machine is running electrode negative. This system puts 20% of the heat on the tungsten electrode and 80% of the heat into the base material. There is a filler rod, that is just a bare steel rod covered in a copper coating for corrosion and it can be welded putting the filler material in independently. There is also a weld amperage control pedal on TIG so that the welder uses their foot to create more or less amperage through the arc, resulting in a bigger or smaller weld," as necessary.

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