MIG welding can be done with gas or even without using it. So if someone asks do you need gas for MIG welding? It varies considering the operator’s skill level, requirements, and budget. While gasless MIG welding is also easier to apply, gas MIG welding is most suitable for welding different metals. Furthermore, it provides better control over the filler-metal deposition rate while being simple to maintain and cost-effective.
In this guide, we will cover a variety of topics related to gas MIG weldings, such as the different types of gas used in MIG welding, the simplest way to set the gas on MIG welding, and other pertinent information. Let’s go!
Do you need gas for MIG welding?
MIG, which stands for metal inert gas, explains a lot about this welding process, which typically requires gas for shielding. Gas plays a big role in this welding method. It doesn’t let the molten welding pool interact with nearby gases present in the air. So you can’t call it gasless MIG welding. The so-called gasless process uses a flux core wire that performs as self-shielding. This material usually converts the flux into gas as the wire melts. That is why it doesn’t need any external gas cylinders.
Different types of gas for MIG welding
In an industry that mostly focuses on weld quality, reducing post-weld clean up and appearance, argon gas is the right choice for them. It consists of a combined 5 – 25 percent CO2 and 75 – 95 percent Argon. It has the best combination of puddle control, arc stability, and the ability to reduce spatter when compared to pure CO2. This argon gas is also ideal for a spray transfer process to deliver more visually appealing welds with higher productivity rates.
Because it creates a narrower diffusion shape, argon gas is a good choice for fillet and butt welds. So if you have such a query, can I use argon gas for MIG welding or MIG welding mild steel? Yes, you can. Especially if you plan to weld a non-ferrous metal like magnesium, titanium, or aluminum, you should use 100 percent Argon.
Read More: Why Is Mild Steel Good For Welding?
Some people ask, can I use Pub gas for welding since it’s a cheaper option? It’s an acceptable option to use CO2 pub bottle gas for welding. Even some welding companies do the same as well. But I won’t go buy a big bottle since it only needs welding on the floor.
It is another option that can be used for MIG welding. If you don’t know what gas is for MIG welding stainless steel, you can try this mixture. Shielding gas is usually made of a mixture of 90 percent helium with 7.5 percent argon and 2.5 percent carbon dioxide.
How to Set the Gas on a MIG Welder
Ensuring a proper gas setting is essential for not only proper gas flow rate but also quality welding. Shielding gas greatly protects the molten weld puddle from the gas of the atmosphere as it can cause porosity or pinhole imperfections. A typical shielding gas usually consists of 25 percent carbon dioxide and 75 percent argon. Some other MIG welding shielding gases are also used on aluminum and stainless steel, but the setting process is the same for all of them.
Secure the gas bottle
Firstly, set the bottle in the holder and hook the chain around the bottle to make it secure.
Check the hoses
To prevent any accidental situation, inspect the hoses connected with the gas regulator. If you find any signs of damage, replace the regulator assembly with a safe one.
Clear the debris
Unlock and lock the valve handle in a hurry and placed it on the top of the shielding gas bottle. It will help clean out the contaminants and debris from the bottle valve.
Attach the nipple
Now attach the gas regulator’s nipple to the threaded valve. Then make it hand tight, turning the locking nut clockwise. To ensure a proper fit of the locking nut, you can adjust the adjustable wrench. Once you tighten the locking nut, turn on the gas valve.
Check the gas leakage
Inspect all around the hoses, gas regulator, and connections to check the leak. Though the shielding gas is inert, leakage can cause gas loss and asphyxiation.
Switch on the MIG welder
Simply push the MIG gun trigger to turn on the gas valve. Check the PSI level that should be found on the left regulator gauge, which should be between 25 and 30 cubic foot hours.
Now turn the handle that should be found below the left regulator gauge and depress the MIG gun trigger at the same time.
Adjust the gas pressure
Before adjusting the gas pressure, cut the extra wire extended from the MIG gun tip. Now adjust the gas pressure if the conditions demand. Higher gas pressure is usually required if there is a breeze or wind from the fan. Remember that too high a gas pressure can cause turbulence around the weld puddle. It can turn into porosity, which can reduce the strength of the weld.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gasless MIG welders can produce better penetration, thus it is more suitable for welding thicker metal to maintain quality. Besides, it is more efficient and offers higher productivity compared to gas MIG welders.
The answer can vary depending on the situation. If you need applications of welding that require out-of-position welding, gas MIG welding will be a better option. If you need to weld a metal vertically upwards, gas MIG welding will provide a better coating that will work well with solidifying the molten welded materials.
Stick welding is a bit stronger and better than MIG welding due to its ability to carry out substantial welding projects. Besides, the stick can penetrate more compared to MIG welding.
Nevertheless, MIG welding can deliver high-quality welds even without causing the entrapment of slag in the weld. Moreover, its gas shield protects the arc and ensures minimal loss of alloying elements. But when someone asks if you need gas for MIG welding, you can say yes or even no. It’s not compulsory to use gas for MIG welding. However, gas MIG welding is a versatile, versatile process and ensures better control over the temperature.
Read More: MIG Welding Aluminum Without Spool Gun