Metal welding and fabrication are two important processes in the world of manufacturing. They both have their own unique purposes, and it can be difficult to determine which one is right for your project. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between metal welding and fabrication, and help you decide which process is best for you.

What is Welding and Metal Fabrication?

Welding is the process of joining two pieces of metal together by using heat and pressure. This process can be done with various types of metals, including steel, aluminium, and brass. Welding is often used in the construction industry to create bridges and buildings.

Fabrication is the process of creating metal products from raw materials. This process can involve cutting, bending, and assembling metals to create the desired product. Fabrication is often used in the automotive industry to create car parts and components.

So, What’s the Difference?

The main difference between welding and fabrication is that welding is used to join two pieces of metal together, while fabrication is used to create products from raw materials. Welding is a more permanent process, as it uses heat and pressure to fuse two pieces of metal together. This makes welding ideal for projects that require a strong bond between two pieces of metal. Fabrication, on the other hand, is a more flexible process, as it allows you to create products from raw materials. This makes metal fabrication ideal for projects that require more creativity and customization.

So, which process is right for you? If you need to join two pieces of metal together, welding is the best option. If you need to create a product from raw materials, metal fabrication is the best option.

What are some examples of when you would use each process?

An example of when you would use welding would be if you were creating a steel structure like a bridge or a building. An example of when you would use fabrication would be if you were creating car parts or components out of raw materials.

Both processes have their own unique benefits, so it’s important to choose the right one for your project.

On the right-hand side you can see a recent example of the work by BLV Engineering.

Welding example

The Metal Fabrication Process

If you’re looking to have some metal fabrication completed, then it’s important to know the ins and outs of the fabrication process. Here, we’ll give you a rundown of the metal fabrication process, from start to finish.

The first step in the metal fabrication process is cutting. This can be done with a variety of tools, including shears, saws, and plasma cutters. Once the pieces have been cut to size, they need to be shaped. This is done with machines like press brakes and hydroformers. After the pieces have been shaped, they need to be welded together. This is done by using heat and pressure to fuse two pieces of metal together. Finally, the finished product needs to be cleaned and polished. This is done with a variety of tools, including sandblasters and polishers.

What are some benefits of metal fabrication?

Some benefits of metal fabrication include its flexibility and creativity. Fabrication allows you to create products from raw materials, which gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of design. Additionally, fabrication is a creative process that allows you to add your own personal touch to a product. What’s more, fabrication is a versatile process that can be used on a variety of metals, including steel, aluminium, and brass.

What are some benefits of metal welding?

Some benefits of metal welding include its strength, durability, and versatility. Welding is a strong bonding method that can join two pieces of metal together securely. It is also a durable method that can withstand high temperatures and pressures. Additionally, welding is a versatile method that can be used on a variety of metals, including steel, aluminium, and brass.

The Welding Process

Welding is the process of joining metal-based materials together. This can be done by using heat and pressure to fuse two pieces of metal together. Welding is a strong bonding method that can join two pieces of metal together securely. It is also a durable method that can withstand high temperatures and pressures. Additionally, welding is a versatile method that can be used on a variety of metals, including steel, aluminium, and brass.

The two main welding techniques used are fusion welding and solid-state welding. In fusion welding, the heat required to melt the metal is generated by an electric arc. In solid-state welding, the heat required to melt the metal is generated by friction.

Both processes have their own unique benefits, so it’s important to choose the right one for your project. Other main welding processes include:

Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW)

Shielded metal arc welding is probably the most common form of welding . It’s a manual welding process that uses an electrode to create an arc between the metal and the welding rod. The arc creates heat, which melts the metal and the welding rod, joining them together.

Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW)

Gas tungsten arc welding is a manual welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to create an arc between the metal and the welding torch. The arc creates heat, which melts the metal, joining it together.

Gas metal arc welding (GMAW)

Gas metal arc welding is a semi-automatic or automatic welding process that uses a consumable wire electrode and an inert gas to create an arc between the metal and the welding torch. The arc creates heat, which melts the metal and the wire electrode, joining them together.

Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW)

Flux-cored arc welding is a semi-automatic or automatic welding process that uses a consumable wire electrode and a flux-cored tube to create an arc between the metal and the welding torch. The flux protects the weld from atmospheric contamination, while the molten slag provides additional shielding.

Submerged arc welding (SAW)

Submerged arc welding is an automatic or semiautomatic welding process that uses an electrode to create an arc between the metal and the welding torch. The arc is submerged in a granular flux, which protects the weld from atmospheric contamination.

Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW)

Flux-cored arc welding is a semi-automatic or automatic welding process that uses a consumable wire electrode and a flux-cored tube to create an arc between the metal and the welding torch. The flux protects the weld from atmospheric contamination, while the molten slag provides additional shielding.

Electric resistance welding (ERW)

Electric resistance welding is a welding process that uses electrical current to heat the metal and create an arc between the metal and the electrode. The arc creates heat, which melts the metal, joining it together.

Spot welding

Spot welding is a type of electric resistance welding that is commonly used to join thin pieces of metal together. It works by passing an electric current through two electrodes, which heats up the metal and creates an arc. The heat melts the metal, joining the two pieces together.

Seam welding

Seam welding is a type of electric resistance welding that is commonly used to join sheet metal together. It works by passing an electric current through two electrodes, which heats up the metal and creates an arc. The heat melts the metal, joining the two pieces together.

Submerged arc welding (SAW)

Submerged arc welding is an automatic or semiautomatic welding process that uses an electrode to create an arc between the metal and the welding torch. The arc is submerged in a granular flux, which protects the weld from atmospheric contamination.

Laser beam welding (LBW)

Laser beam welding is a type of energy-based welding that uses a laser to create an arc between the metal and the electrode. The heat created by the laser melts the metal, joining the two pieces together.

Electron beam welding (EBW)

Electron beam welding is a type of energy-based welding that uses an electron beam to create an arc between the metal and the electrode. The heat created by the electron beam melts the metal, joining the two pieces together.

Ultrasonic welding (USW)

Ultrasonic welding is a type of energy-based welding that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an arc between the metal and the electrode. The heat created by the ultrasonic waves melts the metal, joining the two pieces together.

Plasma arc welding (PAW)

Plasma arc welding is a type of energy-based welding that uses a plasma torch to create an arc between the metal and the electrode. The heat created by the plasma melts the metal, joining the two pieces together.

Electroslag welding (ESW)

Electroslag welding is a type of energy-based welding that uses an electrical current to create an arc between the metal and the electrode. The heat created by the electrical current melts the metal, joining the two pieces together.

Thermit welding (TW)

Thermit welding is a type of energy-based welding that uses a thermit reaction to create an arc between the metal and the electrode. The heat created by the thermit reaction melts the metal, joining the two pieces together.

As you can see, there are many different types of welding processes available to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. When selecting a welding process for your project, it is important to consider factors such as material compatibility, joint design, and welding speed.

Welding and Metal Fabrication Tools

There is a range of specialised tools that can be used for welding and/or metal fabrication. Here is a list of tools commonly used:

  • Welding torch
  • Plasma torch
  • Electron beam welder
  • Laser beam welder
  • Ultrasonic welder
  • Spot welder
  • Seam welder
  • Thermit welding equipment
  • Arc welder
  • Shears
  • Vices
  • Welding Clamps
  • Chipping Hammer
Welding Tools

PPE used for metal fabrication

Lastly, when working with metals, it is important to wear the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or safety equipment as it is also known. PPE includes items such as gloves, safety glasses, and ear protection.

Some of the hazards associated with metal fabrication and welding include:

  • Noise
  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation
  • Infrared (IR) radiation
  • Sparks
  • Hot metals
  • Chemicals used in cleaning and/or etching processes.

Conclusion

We hope this blog post has helped you understand the difference between welding and metal fabrication, as well as the different types of welding processes. If you’re looking to have some metal fabrication or welding completed, then be sure to contact a reputable metal fabrication shop like BLV Engineering that can get the job done right. We can handle a small or large metal fabrication project and can complete mig welding, tig welding and other processes as well. Thanks for reading!

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