Pulse MIG Welding Guide| Pro Tips & Applications


Updated: 23 Nov 2023

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Pulse MIG welding is a unique cutting-edge advancement in the world of welding because it has revolutionized joining metals. This innovative technique offers exceptional control for every weld.

The Pulse MIG process is a variation of traditional MIG (metal Inert Gas) welding that involves the usage of pulses for its welds. These pulses allow the welder to alternate between high peak current and low background current for good fusion, which results in a controlled and efficient weld process.

The Pulse MIG weld gained its prominence because of its ability to weld various materials with precision, reducing distortion and minimizing the spatter. It is used in various industries, from aerospace to automotive.

We have prepared a detailed guide for the pulse MIG technique, so let’s get to it.

Table of Content
  1. What is Pulse Mig Welding?
  2. How Does Pulsed MIG Welding Work:
    1. Setting up Equipment:
    2. Pulse Current:
    3. Frequency and Timing:
    4. Transferring Droplet:
  3. Double Pulse MIG Welding:
  4. How Does Double Pulse MIG Weld Works:
    1. Main Pulse:
    2. Background Pulse:
  5. Advantages of Pulse MIG Welding:
    1. Reduction of Fume and Spatter:
    2. Heat Reduction:
    3. Better Productions:
    4. Better Weld Quality:
    5. Saving Gas and Wiring:
    6. Better at Thin Material:
    7. Safer Environment:
    8. Control over The Weld Pool:
  6. What is Pulse MIG Welding Used for:
    1. Automotive Industries:
    2. Aerospace Industry:
    3. Normal Fabrications:
    4. Ship Building:
    5. Construction in Heavy Machinery:
    6. Beverage and Food industry:
    7. Repairing and Maintenance:
    8. Artistic Work:
  7. Pulse MIG Welding Vs. Other Transfer Welding:
    1. Pulse MIG Welding Vs. Short Circuit Transfer:
    2. Pulse MIG Welding Vs. Spray Arc Transfer:
    3. Pulse MIG Welding Vs. Globular Transfer:
    4. Pulse MIG welding Vs. Dual Shield Welding:
    5. Pulse MIG Welding Vs. TIG Welding:
    6. Safety Precautions:
    7. Protective Gear:
    8. Ventilations in Workplace:
    9. Safe Setups:
    10. Training and Certification:
  8. FAQs:
  9. Final Verdict:

What is Pulse Mig Welding?

Pulse Mig is a transfer, variation, and advanced MIG welding technique in the current pulses between high and low settings. Choosing between hot and warm currents makes it way easier than its competitor.

At the end of the day, It is way better and offers more control than traditional MIG welding in its whole process, especially its precision application.

How Does Pulsed MIG Welding Work:

It is an advanced process of welding that combines the basic principles of MIG welding with Pulse welding techniques. This welding method gives you precise control of the weld pool by reducing heat and minimizing the distortions.

A lot happens in welding, from adjusting shielding gas to choosing material type. We divided the whole process into several stages to fully understand what happened and why.

Setting up Equipment:

Pulse MIG welding is a specialized welding process that requires a special equipment machine that you do all the calibration before, and you don’t have to make adjustments to it. You will need a wire feeder, a welding gun, shielding gas, which is usually a mixture of argon and CO2, and a power source cable.

In that machine, the power source is programmed to control the pulsing frequency of its background current.

Pulse Current:

Pulse MIG Welding Current Graph
Pulse MIG Welding Current Graph
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During the Pulse MIG welding, the current changes between two levels: peak current (high current) and background current (low). Now, when the current is in the peak phase, the electrode wire is rapidly melting, and that is from a droplet.

That high-energy phase provides stability for the fusion and penetrations. After that, the background low current maintains the arc at a lower level to cool down the weld pool slightly and solidify it.

Frequency and Timing:

During each pulse, it’s controlled by its power source and the time between those pulses. The setting is usually saved in your machine by default, but you can change it whenever you like and set it according to your needs.

But usually, the typical frequency range ranges from 30 to 500 p/s (pulse per second), and its duration can vary from a fraction of a millisecond to several milliseconds.

Transferring Droplet:

how does pulse mig welding work, mig pulse droplets transfer cycle
MIG Pulse Droplets Transfer Cycle
Source: https://weldguru.com/pulse-mig-welding/

So, during the peak current phase, the droplet melts down and drops or detaches from the head of the wire electrode and falls into the target area, which is, in this case, the weld pool.

After that, the background low current cools down the droplet on that target area by preventing excessive splatter and maintaining the stable arc.

Double Pulse MIG Welding:

This is an advanced version of the MIG welding technique; in fact, it is double the pulse welding process, which is why it is sometimes called “POP,” which means pulse-on-pulse welding. This process involves two pulses during its welding process.

It has a first pulse, its traditional pulse, which uses its primary control of heat input into the weld. While another pulse comes to enhance its quality, versatility, and management of its weld. Simply put, pulse MIG welding is on top of another pulse, which means double the weld and double the stability.

How Does Double Pulse MIG Weld Works:

MIG Pulse Cycle on off example
MIG Pulse Cycle On-Off Example
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It has two main pulses, of which one is its main pulse and another one known as the background pulse.

Main Pulse:

The main pulse of the welding is responsible for doing all the work. It creates the main welding pool and provides all the necessary energy for metal filler wire to meld into this weld pool.

You can adjust the intensity and duration of its main pulse according to the second (background pulse) or your required welding needs.

Background Pulse:

The background pulse has main critical functions and sometimes refers to interpolates because it follows the main pulse.

One of its functions includes cooling down the heat input to allow the weld pool to cool slowly and slightly.

It is also responsible for solidification, which helps keep the weld in perfect shape. Its solidifications help its molten metal, keeping its weld from getting defections and undercut.

It also keeps the metal filler from transferring too much and automatically minimizes spatter, resulting in precise and cleaner results.

Advantages of Pulse MIG Welding:

Reduction of Fume and Spatter:

In traditional welding, most of the wire turns into a spatter and causes bad fumes, but not in Pulse MIG welding. It reduces the fumes and splatter by preventing less spatter and fumes in the first place. This also requires less cleaning up after welding.

Heat Reduction:

As discussed and mentioned above, Pulse Mig welding has control input heat that affects the overall process and keeps the heat to a medium level. The controlled heat reduces heat production and gives a big favour to its different materials.

Better Productions:

As you probably know, Pulse MIG welding has one the Best and highest deposition rates as compared to other welding; that’s why it’s simple to learn and adapt quickly, and that’s why it gives you better quality and production. Its high deposit rate gives you better speed and works better at welding, especially filling those large groves.

Better Weld Quality:

The weld which results from the pulse MIG technique has better quality because of its stable arc. Due to double-pulsed MIG welding, you can create and provide better results in welding, which is sometimes better than TIG welding. The Pulse MIG process can give better results than TIG welding. The weld becomes good due to its stability and the environment it provides.

Saving Gas and Wiring:

In Mig welding, you can save wire and shielding gas compared to other welding processes. Let me explain. In MIG welding, you will need and use more than one wire for different work purposes, and that’s why you have to buy different stocks of wire, but in Pulse MIG welding, you can do almost all the work with the same wire.

Same for the wire, you only need one shielding gas that will do your job just fine. That’s why instead of buying two or three different MIG welding wires and multiple types of gas, you will only need one wire and one type of gas. Which is not only cost-saving but also works very fast.

Better at Thin Material:

Usually, when you weld thin material, you usually end up damaging it, but in Pulse MIG welding, its low heat input changes the whole game. That’s why most welding recommends it for thin gauge materials like thin aluminum and steel.

Safer Environment:

Pulse MIG welding provides a safe and healthy environment for welding because it produces less splatter and fumes than other welding processes like NIOSH, CDC, etc. The reduction in its fumes is caused by converting less wire into vapour, affecting your entire welding environment.

Control over The Weld Pool:

In pulse, MIG welding gives you proper additional control over its welding puddle, which is now an absolute choice for any welding pipe, especially its root weld. Before, the TIG was responsible for the road pass welding, but now pulse MIG welding makes it way easier than before; that’s why most pipe welding is not dealt with.

What is Pulse MIG Welding Used for:

Pulse MIG welding takes the whole MIG welding to another level by making it precise and versatile. This pulse MIG technique is used in a lot of industries, and that is because of its accuracy. Below, we provide some leading sectors that used this advanced technique, so let’s get to it.

Automotive Industries:

As you probably know, most automotive companies used MIG welding in the past, but now they are more focused on using pulse MIG welding due to its accuracy. They used it for its body components, exhaust systems, and chassis.

Most of these works need precision while doing high-level welding, and that’s why pulse MIG welding is here because it’s an ideal choice for creating those welds with safety and reliability.

Aerospace Industry:

The aerospace industry works with precision and safety, and that’s their paramount. That’s why they employ pulse MIG welding because of their low heat input and reduction distortion characteristics, which help maintain aircraft components’ integrity.

Normal Fabrications:

Normal MIG welding could be better around thin sheets and other different sheet metals, but Pulse MIG welds the work fine on thin material. That’s why nowadays, all the welding shops utilize pulse MIG welding for its different materials and have it in their shop. It is used in all normal fabrications, whether it is in the building, repairing, or bridges; it is just best.

Ship Building:

Most shipbuilding companies rely on pulse MIG welding for their ship construction. The MIG pulse process is just the thing to acquire for most of its joints of plates, rims, pips, and other components. The ship constructors mostly used MIG welding but relied on the pulse technique whenever they needed quality and safe welds.

Construction in Heavy Machinery:

Machines used in large construction sites are made by welding and joining small, oversized components. In those welding processes, pulse MIG welding is at the top of the list because only it can ensure strength and durable welds on which the machines can rely.

Beverage and Food industry:

Most cans or other food and beverage equipment are made from thin stainless steel. So pulse welding is used to weld those together because they are thin and need clean, hygienic welds.

Repairing and Maintenance:

There are a lot of industries that have different machines, and most of the machines rely on pulse MIG welding for their maintenance and repair. It could either be restoring or fixing worn or damaged components.

Artistic Work:

There is an area called artistic sculptural creation, and most of those works need pulse MIG welding to create something unique and sculptural. This is because the process is controlled, and you can do whatever you like if you are an ingenious artist.

Pulse MIG Welding Vs. Other Transfer Welding:

Welding Transfer Modes, Spray, Short Circuit, Globular and Pulse transfer
Transfer Modes Diagram
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As mentioned a couple of times, pulse MIG welding is one of the versatile welding processes with distinct advantages compared to other transfer welding systems. We made a comparison of pulse welding to some main transfer methods.

Pulse MIG Welding Vs. Short Circuit Transfer:

MIG Welding Short Circuit Transfer Mode
Short Circuit Transfer Mode
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The Pulse MIG Welding: Pulsed MIG welding has the risk of having a short circuit by controlling its input heat and providing a high-energy pulse. As a result of this, you can weld on thin material with less possible spatter.

Short Circuit Transfer: The short circuit transfer is used for thinner materials. It involves short but rapid wire for its welding. It is recommended for small applications, but it can cause a lot of spatters.

Pulse MIG Welding Vs. Spray Arc Transfer:

mode of spray transfer
Spray Transfer Mode Process

Pulse MIG Welding: The process is preferred over spray arc transfer welding, especially for aluminium and stainless steel materials. It provides better control, reduces and controls input heat, and is suitable for all different positions.

Spray Arc Transfer: Spray arc transfer has to continue a stream of small molten droplets for its weld. Instead of thinner materials, it is best against thicker materials. It is also less controllable and produces a high input head and spatter.

Pulse MIG Welding Vs. Globular Transfer:

Pulse MIG Welding: It is preferable over globular transfer for most applications. It reduces the risk of globular transfer that can lead to porosity, spatter, and inconsistent bread appearance.

Globular Transfer: The globular transfer is known by its extensive, irregular droplets of molten metal that transfer from its arc. It has only specific quality, but most of its result needs better weld.

Pulse MIG welding Vs. Dual Shield Welding:

Pulse MIG Welding: This technique suits various materials, including stainless steel, aluminium, and Mild Steel.

Dual Shield Welding: Dual shield involves flux core wires mainly used with heavy structural applications, requiring greater heat input and producing more spatter.

Pulse MIG Welding Vs. TIG Welding:

TIG Welding Process
TIG Welding Diagram
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Pulse MIG Welding: It is known for its high deposition rates, which make it the best option whenever you need high productivity. It’s also suitable for less experienced welders.

TIG Welding: TIG welding is used when needing high demand for aesthetics and cleanness. It also needs professional experts because it needs expertise.

Safety Precautions:

Proper safety is whatever you do, and most importantly, when dealing with electricity. In this case, we also deal with electricity and machines that run and operate on electricity. You need to take care of some basic steps whenever you Pulse MIG welding, so let’s hop into it.

Protective Gear:

mig welding safet precautions
Safety Precautions
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Protective gear is very important for almost everything, including welding. The protective equipment includes helmets, aprons, gloves, safety glasses, etc. Having these things is more important than you think because it can protect you from burning and radiation.

Ventilations in Workplace:

A ventilated workspace and workshops is essential for your health because they protect you against harmful gasses and fumes. Pulse MIG welding doesn’t cause that much fumes, but you must ensure the workplace is clean and organized.

Safe Setups:

While setting up the welding machines and all their accessories, make sure to set them properly because people usually expose some wire left open, which could be dangerous. Properly placed into the required place in your workplace or workshop.

Training and Certification:

Only try welding or something else after doing its prerequisite training. Everything, including welding, requires a properly trained and certified welder. If not approved, then you may end up hurting yourself, which is why it is recommended to do its training and certifications and then do the welding.

FAQs:

What is MIG Welding Pulse?

This is an advanced type of MIG welding in which the electrode doesn’t come in contact with the weld puddle. The electrode doesn’t need to touch the puddle; transfer the welding. This process can be accomplished by manipulating high-speed electric current with a welding machine.

What is the difference between MIG and Pulse MIG:

Pulse MIG welding is an advanced variant of standard welding in which the current is a pulse in between. The pulse creates a differentiation that controls the transfer of the metal from low to high level.

What is Pulse MIG Welding Used for?

Pulse welding is used in almost all metal industries with aluminium, stainless steel, copper, etc. It is used for repairing, fixing, building, and other productivity requiring superior welding.

Is Pulse MIG Worth it?

Yes, it is worth it, especially for vertical and overhead welding. It’s worth it for almost every type of construction, but if you have thin materials to fix or repair, pulse is the only thing you need and require.

What are the Disadvantages of Pulse MIG?

Just like all the other things, pulse MIG has a few Disadvantages: limited ranges and positions for welding, high heat input, being expensive for small work, and the need for experienced welders.

What is the difference between a MIG Welder and a Pulse Welder?

The MIG welder runs that basic constant amperage well. On the other hand, the Pulse welder runs a main and background amperage. Other than that, the MIG welder doesn’t need any proper certification or expertise; in fact, one can do it, while the Pulse MIG welder needs some expertise.

What Gas is used in a Pulsed MIG?

The main and most commonly used gas for pulse MIG technique is Argon (Ar). But sometimes helium can be added up with argon to increase the heat, which is suitable for fluidity and penetration of the weld. Most of the time, argon is used as a solo, but it can also be used as a mixture of helium and carbon dioxide.

What are the Pulse Welding Techniques?

Pulse MIG welding techniques are simple; they use high and low pulse welding, transferring the electrode material from the electrode to the target puddle without touching one another. The electrode drops molten metal with each pulse, which makes a weld.

Final Verdict:

Pulse MIG welding is one of the most advanced and yet most used welding processes in recent years because of its accurate and superior results with precision and stable control. It has a lot of different applications in various industries.

I hope you get something from this article, but if you have any questions, ask them in the comment sections.


Abu Bakar

Abu Bakar

Hello, Abu Bakar here, the Mastermind Behind Welding Villa. Test my years of experience through my well-written blogs, where I have covered the overall experience of welding materials and shown all the aspects of Welding, their types and equipment.

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