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Types of MIG Welding Nozzles

Apr 16, 2021 ·

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There are a number of tools and kinds of equipment a welder has to have to complete a task successfully.

The right instruments allow a welder to complete the process of molding metals and other materials together to form new shapes. Heat, pressure and filler material are applied during the process of welding. It’s important that the tools being used can handle the work that’s being done.

The metal inert gas (MIG) welding torch tip is composed of different consumable parts. The end of a welding torch, also known as a welding nozzle, is one of these, and something that a welder cannot be without. The welding nozzle directs gas into the weld puddle and also protects the contact tip from molten metal.

Different nozzles exist and a torch can be fitted for certain types to accomplish desired results and effects. Keep on reading to find out more about the various kinds.

MIG Welding Nozzle Varieties

When talking about welding nozzles, it’s important to understand the type of joint to be welded to make sure the weld has the appropriate gas coverage. MIG welding (sometimes referred to as gas metal arc welding, or GMAW) is a process that requires the use of a nozzle, as it uses a shielding gas. MIG nozzles direct the shielding gas into the weld puddle and help protect it from contamination.

The types of MIG welding nozzles on the market are available in a range of sizes and shapes. Choosing one will depend on what the application is, the welding process that is being used and joint access. Typically you can get nozzles in slip-on or thread-on varieties, as well as heavy-duty or standard styles.

Heavy-duty nozzles are going to be thicker in construction and have more insulation than standard nozzles. This makes them fit for jobs that are between 400 and 600 amperages. Standard nozzles with thinner walls are more suited for 100- to 300-amp applications.

When it comes to choosing threaded or slip-on nozzles, it will likely depend on the type of MIG welding gun you have, as some can only accommodate one or the other. Threaded nozzles will connect more securely to the torch, which helps prevent gas from leaking. One potential downside is that they can be hard to remove.

Slip-on welding nozzles are quicker and easier to remove. They are typically better-suited for overhead welds and can be lower priced than threaded nozzles. However, the nozzle can sometimes become displaced and cause things to sit off-center.

MIG Welding Nozzle Shapes

Whether the nozzles you choose are threaded or slip-on, there are some different nozzle shapes to choose from that will affect the welds being worked on. These include:

  • Bottleform: These types of nozzles have an outer diameter that is smaller on the work end, resembling the shape of a bottle. Bottleform nozzles provide good visibility and accessibility to the work piece. Gas coverage is tighter compared with other nozzle shapes, which can put them at a higher risk for contamination.

A welder makes a cut on a piece of metal.

  • Conical: These welding nozzles allow for the shielding gas to cover a wider area near the weld pool compared with other shapes, thanks to the inner cone shape. Compared with bottleform nozzles, there might be less accessibility and increased spatter buildup.
  • Cylindrical: A cylindrical welding nozzle is sometimes referred to as a straight nozzle because it has a large, straight bore. These nozzles are commonly used on higher-amp welds as they can support spikes in gas flow. They do have some limits in terms of accessibility.

MIG Welding Nozzle Sizes

The sizes for MIG welding nozzles can vary, with bottleform and conical nozzles available from 3/8 of an inch up to 7/8 of an inch. Cylindrical/straight nozzles are usually available only in larger bore sizes.

When choosing a nozzle size, using the largest bore size possible is best since it helps to optimize gas coverage during a weld. It also helps lower the chances of spatter buildup that can cause porosity.

Make sure you don’t choose a nozzle so large that it compromises your accessibility to the work piece or welding joint.

MIG Welding Nozzle Materials

Just like there are choices when it comes to MIG welding nozzle types, sizes and durability levels, there is also some variety when it comes to materials. Some of these include:

  • Brass: Brass is one of the most common materials used for welding nozzles. Brass nozzles are used for lower amp levels (between 100 and 300) and shorter jobs, as they tend not to be as durable as other options.
  • Copper: Unlike brass, copper nozzles are highly durable and useful for both short- and long-term applications. They can be used at higher amps since they absorb heat better.
  • Nickel-plated: Nickel-plated nozzles are made with a copper core coated in nickel, used to help insulate and keep the metal cool.
  • Ceramic: These are newer and less common than brass, copper or nickel-plated nozzles. They are manufactured to be more durable for high heat and long-term use.

Storing and Maintaining MIG Nozzles

When it comes to all welding gear and equipment, something to keep in mind is proper storage and maintenance. Taking care of MIG welding nozzles will ensure they last longer and deliver peak performance.

MIG welding nozzles should be stored in their original packaging, which is usually a small plastic bag. Keeping them separated from each other and other equipment will ensure they stay free from dents or scratches. When handling nozzles, wearing gloves can help prevent contaminants from adhering to them.

Keeping MIG nozzles clean will ensure that dirt or other debris doesn’t enter the weld puddle by mistake. Inspecting nozzles for spatter buildup and cleaning them using recommended tools or with anti-spatter compound is the best way to keep them looking and performing great.

Learn About Welding Tools & Techniques at UTI

If the process of MIG welding interests you, why not pursue a career doing it? The Welding Technology program at Universal Technical Institute (UTI) allows students to learn MIG welding techniques as well as other major welding types.

In the 36-week course, students learn all about the procedures and equipment used in MIG welding, as well as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). By the time they graduate, students will be prepared with the hands-on experience and skills needed to pursue a career in a growing industry.1

Learn more by requesting information from an Admissions Representative today.

UTI Campuses That Offer Welding Training

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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

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Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


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