Selecting the Right MIG Welding Consumables

MIG welding gun configurators, like the Bernard® BTB Semi-Automatic Air-Cooled Configurator, allow you to choose specific styles or types of consumables to match the demands (amperages and waveforms) of your application.

Product shot of AccuLock® S Nozzle, Contact Tip, Gas Diffuser with Liner

Selecting contact tips
Know the wire size and type when choosing the size and style of contact tip.

  1. Contact tips with coarse threads help speed replacement since they require less turns and they minimize cross-threading.
  2. Some consumable systems also feature a contact tip that is buried in the gas diffuser, which keeps it cooler and helps it last longer.
  3. For more aggressive welding waveforms, like pulsed MIG welding, choose a more durable contact tip. Chrome zirconium is a good option.

Welding nozzle options
Joint access, operating temperatures and arc-on time are important considerations in choosing the right welding nozzle.

  1. Brass nozzles are good for reducing the spatter adhesion in lower amperage applications, but do not perform well at higher temperatures.
  2. Copper nozzles are a better choice for higher amperage applications.

MIG gun liner selection
Having the right MIG gun liner helps minimize downtime to address wire feeding issues. It is important that you always trim the liner to the proper length. Consider these tips:

  1. Liners are available that require no measurement for error-proof replacement. These liners lock and concentrically align to the contact tip and the power pin without the use of fasteners for smooth wire feeding.
  2. When the weld cell has a wire feeder mounted on a boom, front-loading liners help make changing liners faster, easier and safer by eliminating the need to climb up to the feeder.
  3. Specialty liners can aid in the feedability of the wire, especially in metal-cored or flux-cored applications.

Note, selecting the same welding consumables across multiple weld cells, when possible, can help with inventory management and can be more cost-effective.

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This article is the third in a three-part series discussing how configuring a MIG gun can improve the welding operation, as well as what to consider in the process. Read article one, Configuring a MIG Welding Gun for Your Application and article two, How to Choose MIG Welding Gun Parts.