MIG nozzle gel does not make the quality of your beads better. It is used to keep spatter buildup from the welding nozzle and the contact tip. As a result, if used properly, your welding gun’s nozzle will last much longer. Also, you will have better gas coverage over your welding puddle, you don’t have to clean the nozzle manually and last but not least you will have less wire feeding problems because it keeps the tip of your welding gun clean.
When to use the welding nozzle gel?
You should use the nozzle gel every time you are welding with a wire feed welder, especially if you are using pure CO2 as shielding gas because it creates more spatter than Argon 75/25 mix. I would say it is even more important when you are welding with self-shielded wire because as you probably already know, flux-cored welding creates a lot bigger mess and there will be more spatter and buildup at your contact tip because of that.
It can also be used when you have to weld in tight spaces where it is impossible to do post-weld grinding and cleaning. You can simply take a painting brush and apply a thin layer of the gel to the surface. By doing that any spatter created while welding will not stick to the base metal. A neat little trick in my opinion.
How to use nozzle gel?
It is not rocket science to use it really. You simply have to dip your contact tip into the gel. First weld for a few minutes so your nozzle is nice and warm, next, you simply take your nozzle and dip it into the gel, about half-inch deep, and take it out right away. If you do not weld before dipping, you will get a huge thick “bloop” on your nozzle. You do not what that much gel.
Next wipe off any excess gel around your nozzle and clean the wire to proceed welding. After 10-15 minutes, repeat the whole process. As an alternative to wiping it off by hand, you can also do a small tack weld on some scrap metal to evaporate the excess gel. Otherwise you might ruin your project by contaminating the weld, the result will be porosity. If it is an important project, it is better not to risk that.
How and why does the MIG nozzle gel work?
The gel itself is not some sort of a magic pill and it will not work if you just use it once. You will have to use the gel regularly to extend the lifetime of your nozzle and tips. As I understand the technology behind the dip itself, by using it over time, you will build up a nice layer of carbon inside your welding nozzle and on your tip. As a result, the spatter will not stick.
A few extra tips for you…
As an extra tip, if you are welding with flux-cored wire, try to keep your wire stick-out slightly longer than with regular MIG welding. It helps to preheat your wire and will create less spatter due to that.
Not to solely rely on the anti-spatter gel, if you are getting too much spatter, or more than you normally do, you might want to tweak your settings a bit and see if that makes a difference. A lot of times you can tweak the settings, and if this does not help, from experience, you might want to check if you are using a quality wire that is in good condition. The problem I have run into is storing the welder in a slightly humid workshop – as a result, I have ruined whole spools of wire with oxidation.
If you are in search of a great wire then this is the best flux-cored one from Amazon I have used, and this one is the solid wire I’m currently using.
What Nozzle Gel Would I Recommend for MIG Welding?
I think you probably can not go wrong when you are buying this stuff. They all work in my opinion. I have never had a negative experience with one, but if I had to recommend one, it would be this one from Amazon. You might also want to grab new contact tips and nozzles too to start using it.
I think nozzle gel for MIG welding is a great little invention that helps to make our lives easier while saving money and nerves at the same time. It is also not that big of investment compared to other equipment, and one jar of this stuff will last a lifetime.