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a man is doing welding
  • Welding And Metal Fabrication: Is There A Difference?

Featured Image Caption: A Man is Doing Welding

Human beings are great at solving problems. We can create and build simple to complex structures, buildings, equipment parts, etc. There are thousands of different ways we can use this skill, but they all have the same goal: to get something done. The metal fabrication process is something we use to create certain objects from metal. From sheds, handrails, balustrades, fences, and many other things we see as part of our everyday lives undergo fabrication that shows innovation and creativity. Metal fabrication and welding services in Canberra, can help you with your metal needs.

So, is there a difference between welding and metal fabrication? Metal fabrication creates a product from metal parts cut to specific shapes and sizes. Welding is just one of many metal fabrication processes. Welding involves joining two or more pieces by using heat and pressure.

In this article, we’ll go through what metal fabrication and welding are and the other things involved in each process.

Why is metal fabrication important?

Metal fabrication is an important industry because it produces high-quality products. Fabricators use metal to create various products, from plumbing to sculpture. Speaking of plumbing, in Baulkham Hills, professional plumbers greatly use metal equipment and materials, such as;

Metal fabrication can produce various types of products, making it a great choice for businesses looking for high-quality products.

Aside from the fact that metal provides structural strength and durability, it is extremely versatile. It is also cost-efficient and quick to produce.

Fabrication processes

welding sparks during welding

Welding Sparks During Welding

Compared to welding, metal fabrication is much more complicated. Fabricated materials have a specific purpose and use. These are the key components of the metal fabrication process.

Bidding

The first step in the fabrication process is bidding. The customer will bring a description of the project and a budget to the fabricator. The customer will provide details about the project, such as the materials used and the project size.

Plan

This is an important step in the fabrication process. This stage sets the stage for all subsequent phases. Engineers and designers collaborate closely with clients to determine the purpose, concept, and specification of the project. The project design, material selection, and fabrication techniques can be developed by the planning team.

Production

After the contract has been awarded through bidding, production begins to work on the project. The production team will begin by setting up the equipment and tools necessary for the project. The parts will be manufactured by the production team based on the specifications given by the client.

The raw materials are cut to the required size and shape during production. Finally, they are cleaned and inspected. There are three stages to the fabrication process: roughing, finishing and inspection. You can use shears, or more advanced techniques such as laser and water cutting.

Once the critical components are shaped by cutting, bending and forming it is time for them to be assembled. This is true for most fabrication projects.

Welding Processes

Welding involves joining metals together to form a solid piece. Fusion is a method of welding that uses heat and pressure. This allows the metals to fuse. This technique allows machines and other metal equipment to be made. It is a huge advantage in many industries, such as food, retail, and paper packaging manufacturers. Welding can be done with many tools and techniques.

Welding is only a part of metal fabrication. However, it’s a very skilled job requiring much practice and training. Because many welding techniques and a wide range of metals are used in metal fabrication, most welders go from apprentice to expert.

The two most common processes in metal fabrication are solid-state welding and fusion welding. Fusion welding involves heating metal parts and adding a filler. They can then be fused. Solid-state welding, which is similar to metal-joining, does not require filler. These are the most common welding processes:

  • Tungsten Inert Gas welding (TIG): This method is the most advanced due to its high-quality welding. The tungsten electrode protects the welding rod from the elements and generates small amounts of electricity to create the welding flame. TIG welding can be used to weld thicker materials such as pipes, beams, and metal plates.
  • Oxy-acetylene welding (OA): The metals are melted using this method, which uses a mixture of oxygen and acetylene. A filler rod allows for metal fusion while the flame heats the metal. This is used for welding pipes, tubes, or thin metal sheets.
  • Shielded metal-arc welding (SMAW): This is the most popular welding process in the world. This involves connecting a welding machine to a welding rod. A welding rod is heated with an electric current to create a protective shield between it and the metal parts. This protects the welding rod against metal reaction. Also, the welding rod creates a pathway for the molten material to travel.
  • Another popular welding method is a gas metal arc welding (MIG). Similar to TIG welding, it uses a welding rod and shielding gas. A wire is used to replace the welding rod. The welding flame is created by the wire. This wire is used to weld thin metals.

Other than the four mentioned, there are many other welding processes. Submerged Arc welding (SAW) is another method. Exothermic welding involves extreme heat and an aluminum-based charge to join the metals.

Metal Fabrication and Welding Tools

man doing welding with welding helmet

Man Doing Welding with Welding Helmet

Welding and fabricating metal are complex and specialized jobs. It’s only natural that the tools used are precise and complicated. There is a lot of overlap between welding and fabrication tools. However, there are distinct differences between the tools used in each trade. Fabricators use tools that allow for joining, while welders often use tools.

It is important to remember that welders depend on the heat for their work. Fabricators who do a lot of cold rolling and dry bending are not affected by this. Here is a list of equipment you will find in fabrication and welding shops.

  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Abrasives
  • Arc welders
  • Benders and breaks
  • Chipping hammers
  • Angle grinders
  • Consumable electrodes
  • Water cutters and lasers
  • Acetylene, oxygen, and other tanks
  • Shears
  • Software and computers for CAD
  • Soapstone
  • Vice grips and vice grabs
  • Clamps for welding

Safety gear is another essential tool for welding and fabricating workshops. Safety gear (or personal protective equipment) is essential for any welding or fabrication job. You will be working with high-temperature, sharp metals, and other heavy materials due to the nature of your job. Here is a list of common PPE used in welding and fabricating tasks:

  • Hearing protection
  • Eye protection
  • Protect your face with goggles or face shields
  • Respirators
  • Safety-toed shoes
  • Leather gloves and apron
  • High-visibility clothing

Safety in the workplace is a key concern for any skilled metal fabrication or welding business. They should also be sensitive to the needs and expectations of their customers. TopWeld can be trusted to complete your project safely and reliably.

Conclusion

In conclusion, welding and metal fabrication are very important because they allow for the construction of various items, from cars to houses and parts of machines, that most industrial corporations use for their manufacturing. Both processes require skills and expertise. Welding is just one step in the entire fabrication process. However, it is an important component.

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