You can typically weld metal with a MIG welder from up to 24 gauge and to half an inch thick. This means that it is suitable for the majority of metals and uses, especially if you are a hobbyist. If you are interested in welding thinner metals than this then you will likely need a TIG welder which can easily deal with these thinner metal pieces.
A good way of remembering what thickness (or thinness, if you want to look at it that way) a MIG welder can weld is by applying the following rule: generally, you can use 250 amps per every ¼ of an inch. With this in mind, it seems that the higher the amperage of your MIG welder, the thicker the piece of metal you may be able to cut.
However, you should bear in mind that a MIG welder may not always be suitable for extremely thick pieces of metal, and you should use the manual that came with your welder to determine exactly what it is best suited for. This will ensure you get a suitable weld each time.
What is the thinnest metal you can Mig Weld?
MIG welding is very versatile and you may be surprised to find out that, provided you can adequately control the temperature emitted from it, you may be able to weld thicknesses of around 0.8mm with your MIG welder! Of course, this will need accuracy and precision, and you may not get the best results possible. However, it can be done!
Some people have even stated that they have had success MIG welding thin metals than this, down to 0.66 mm. However, in our opinion, you would be far better off using a TIG welder for this purpose. This is because TIG allows for better overall control when it comes to the temperature needed. It is also the most accurate in terms of the weld itself as it is least likely to penetrate and damage your material.
MIG is not safe for use on particularly fragile pieces of metal, so you should perhaps use it for slightly thicker pieces where less accuracy may be required such as on structural steel. This is because it has better penetration and can form better joins on these thicker sheets.
Can you weld thick metal to thin metal?
You can weld thick and thin metals together but we want to inform you that this can sometimes be a little tricky. The reason it can be so tricky is that you need to ensure that the amperage setting is set at a happy medium. Too high and it could burn the thinner metal, and too low and you risk not being able to weld the thick metal. With accuracy, precision, and prior research, however, you should be able to weld the two types of metal together.
That being said, some metals cannot be welded together due to incompatibility. These metals are as follows:
- Aluminium and stainless steel
- Titanium and steel
- Aluminium and copper
- Aluminium and carbon steel
The reason why these pairs of metals cannot be welded together is because of the stark differences between them when it comes to their melting points. They also have electrochemistry makeups that do not complement each other, and so the fusion of them through welding is next to impossible.
However, this does not mean they can never be joined. In terms of MIG welding (as we have discussed thus far in the article), it cannot be done. But, this just means that a stronger, more suitable form of joining must be used such as friction welding, laser welding, solid-state welding, diffusion bonding, and mechanically fastening.
Can you weld 2 different metals together?
Yes, two different metals can certainly be welded together! As we mentioned in the previous section, there are some metals in existence that can be fused via welding. Of course, this may be more difficult than the process of welding two pieces of the same metal together due to the difference in electrochemistry makeup and the different melting points of each metal, but it is still possible.
Traditional welding processes such as MIG and TIG welding may well be able to weld together certain different types of metal, but it is more likely that a stronger form of welding will need to be sought out if you have two vastly different metals. For example, a MIG welder would not be able to weld titanium and steel together, but you may have more luck trying to weld them with laser or friction welding.
As well as this, you may also want to consider the welding of ‘dissimilar metals. This can often confuse people into thinking that it is about two different metals. However, dissimilar metals can also be two metals that share the same name but may have a different set of core properties that make it a little difficult to weld.