The Metal Worker from Down Under

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I may have just found my new favorite welding website: The Metal Worker.  It’s Australia’s “premier metalworking news website” and it’s keeping me up to date on all the latest international welding news.  They even have some helpful tips – check it out:

Ten things about MIG welding

10 July 2009

WELDING Industries of Australia has listed ten things which not many people know about MIG welding.

1.    A MIG welder operates by creating an arc between a continuously fed filler metal (consumable) and the material being welded.

2.    MIG welding can weld all common metals, including carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium.

3.    The MIG welding process caters for either light gauge material, such as sheet metal or thick plates, such as structural steel.

4.    MIG welding is up to four times faster, with nearly double the metal deposition rate when compared to the Stick welding process.

5.    Welders are classified by how much amperage they can generate at a given duty cycle.  Basically, amperage equals heat. Amperage required also varies with wire size, welding position and shielding gas being used.

6.    Duty cycle is the amount of time during a 10-minute period that a welder can operate at any given amperage without overheating. For thicker metals or bigger jobs, choose a welder with higher duty cycle capabilities.

7.    MIG welders can be used for both solid wire or flux cored wire. Switch the polarity links near the drive system to change from solid to flux cored wire.

8.    MIG welders offer the versatility to run different diameter wires.  Using thinner wires, such as 6mm, minimizes the chance for burn-through on thin materials.  Conversely, using thicker wires, such as 1.2mm will deposit larger welds and can help ensure excellent fusion on thicker metals.

9.    The shielding gas required varies with the type of application and metal being welded.  Most mild steel applications call for a mixture of 75% Argon and 25% CO2.  Aluminium requires pure Argon, whereas stainless steel welds best with a tri-mix, or Argon and 2% Oxygen.

10.    MIG welding can be used across a wide range of applications and welding positions, including rural work, metal fabrication, manufacturing and automotive.

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