Fabrication Welding: The Ultimate Guide

You can make many metal parts and components through fabrication welding.

In this guide, you will learn all the fundamental aspects of the fabrication welding process – let’s dive right in.

What Is Fabrication Welding?

Fabrication welding is a procedure you can use to design metal structures. In fabrication welding, the structure goes through a whole process that entails planning, manufacturing, and installing big structures. The fabrication process involves several methods such as welding.

Advantages Of Fabrication Welding

Some of the main advantages include:

  • Fabrication welding gives the structure a very smooth appearance and simplicity in design.
  • Fabrication welding is an affordable and economical process.
  • During the fabrication welding process, you do not need a big space or a designated place.
  • Fabrication welding guarantees a great surface finish.
  • Fabrication welding gives the material additional strength compared to what it was before the fabrication process. The additional strength guarantees the longevity of the structure.
  • You can use several materials during the fabrication welding process.
  • Though the fabrication process requires a skilled technician, it is quite easy process.
Advantages Of Fabrication Welding
Fabrication Welding Materials

Fabrication Welding Materials

Here are the fabrication welding materials:

  • Stainless steel – stainless steel is relatively easy to weld especially ferritic stainless steel.
  • Aluminum – the 2000 series in aluminum grades cannot be welded.
  • Titanium – only needs a shield from contamination to achieve great results.
  • Cast iron – this can be a bit difficult to weld because of its high carbon content.
  • Copper and brass – two have the advantage of corrosion resistance.
  • Magnesium alloy – the properties of magnesium are similar to those in aluminum.
  • Low carbon mild steel – this is the most weldable material.

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding

Tungsten inert gas welding is an arc welding procedure that produces weld using a non-consumable tungsten electrode. Another name for tungsten inert gas welding is gas tungsten arc welding.  To protect the weld area and the electrode from any atmospheric contamination or oxidation, you should utilize an inert shielding gas such as argon or helium.

Tungsten inert gas welding is quite a hard procedure and it requires a skilled welder. Most applications need the welder to manually feed a filler metal into the weld. This means it requires two hands since the other hand manipulates the welding torch.

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding
Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding

Metal inert gas welding is a procedure where an electric arc forms in the middle of a consumable metal inert gas wire electrode and the material. Metal inert gas just like tungsten inert gas uses a direct current.

The workpiece remains electrically negative while the electrode remains electrically positive. This allows the production of a lot of heat to melt the electrode. It heats the material until it melts and joins.

To shield the procedure from atmospheric contamination, you can use gas like argon to shield the weld. The gas feeds through the welding gun along with the wire electrode. This whole procedure can be either automatic or semi-automatic.

Brazing

Brazing is a method you can use to join metals.  In brazing, two or more metals are conjoined by melting and flowing a filler metal with a low melting point that the metal into the joint. You only use brazing in instances where metal inert gas and tungsten inert gas are not acceptable.

Unlike the other welding processes, brazing does not involve melting the materials. Brazing can join different or the same metals with considerable strength. During The brazing process, the filler metal flows into the gap in the middle of close-fitting parts by an action called a capillary.

Brazing
Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Shielded metal arc welding is a manual arc welding process that uses a consumable electrode to lay the weld. The consumable electrode is covered with flux. To create an electric arc between the metals you want to join and the electrode, you can use an electric current. The electric current is in the form of a direct current or alternating current. Additionally, the electrode and the material melt creating a pool of molten metal that cools to form a joint.

Oxy-acetylene Welding

Oxy-acetylene welding is a procedure that utilizes fuel gasses or liquid fuel and oxygen to weld or cut metals. Here, you use a torch to weld metals.

For the flame temperature to increase to allow the material to melt, you should use pure oxygen rather than air. You can use oxy-acetylene welding in areas where getting access to electricity would be a problem. Most small home-based shops use oxy-acetylene welding.

Oxy-acetylene Welding
Flux-Cored Arc Welding

Flux-Cored Arc Welding

Flux-cored arc welding and metal inert gas welding are almost similar. They both use continuous wire and power supplies. The flux-cored arc welding procedure can either be an automatic or semi-automatic process.

To generate the necessary atmospheric protection, you can at times use a shielding gas that is supplied externally. Although a flux is what you can rely on most of the time. This method of welding is common when welding thicker metals. A flux shield protects against weather conditions when welding outdoors.

Submerged Arc Welding

Submerged arc welding is the process of forming an electrical arc between a material and a continuously fed electrode. This welding method also has a protective shielding gas and a slag that shields the weld zone. Submerged arc welding involves a flux and an electrode.

Submerged Arc Welding
Thermit Welding

Thermit Welding

Thermit welding uses heat to produce a coalescence between metals from an exothermic reaction. The thermite mixture has metal oxides that have low heat formation and metallic reducing agents that have high heat of formation when oxidized.

Resistance Welding

Resistance welding is sometimes referred to as electric resistance welding. This welding procedure involves connecting metals together by applying pressure and conducting a strong electric current for a long time through the metal combination. It, therefore, heats the metal at the welding joint and then melts the metal.

Resistance Welding
Forge Welding

Forge Welding.

Forge welding is a welding method that involves joining the metals together by heating them to a high temperature. You then hammer the metals together. This whole process involves heating the metal and forcing them together creating a metallic bond between the atoms of the metals.

Performing Fabrication Welding

Performing Fabrication Welding
Performing Fabrication Welding

The process of fabrication welding involves several steps that you should follow step by step to achieve great results. Before the process begins an outcome is already in mind. The following are the steps that are involved in performing fabrication welding;

Bidding

Here, any company willing to undertake the fabrication welding must compare the amount of money they have to their capacity. The fabrication welding process has a lot of aspects to it. The company must assess whether they can manage everything on their own or if they have to seek assistance from other organizations.

Bidding helps you get the best possible price with the best quality.  You should ensure the main contractor gets the best and the most reliable details for you to get the best quality.

Planning

Before any project is done, proper planning must be done. When you plan properly the outcome will be so much better and you can go through all the possible scenarios. The engineers will take you through the whole requirements, design, and functions.

You can know all techniques that they will use and all the materials they need for the whole process. When planning, all the experts that will be part of the fabrication welding are involved in the planning, as well as everybody else who will be part of the process.

Production

This is where the actual fabrication welding is done. You select the material that will be fabricated, then it is cut to the required size. You should use equipment such as shears, or techniques like laser cutting or water cutting to do the cutting.

Welders and fabricators are the most useful people when it comes to this section. They go ahead to fabricate the metals and weld them into different things depending on their application.

Surface Finishing After Fabrication Welding

Surface Finishing After Fabrication Welding
Surface Finishing After Fabrication Welding

Surface finishing is the process whereby a protective coating is added to a metal. The protective coating protects the material from corrosion, improves the aesthetics of the metal, protects the material against chemicals and so many others.

The following are the types of finishes you can use after fabrication welding;

Polishing – polishing produces shiny metal surfaces by either using chemicals or physical rubbing. You can use this surface finishing method on both new and old parts.

Anodizing – you can use this method if you won’t add to the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of the metal. Anodizing increases the chances of wear and corrosion resistance.

Grinding – a grinder is utilized to remove irregularities from a metal surface. Typically you should grind your metal before applying any paint or coating on the surface of the metal.

Powder coating – for this method electricity is used to put dry powder on the coating of the metal then the metal is inserted into an oven.

Pickling – here you use an acidic substance called pickle liquor. Pickling removes irregularities obtained from the fabrication welding.

Lapping – here they make use of a soft metal tool with a mild abrasive. This method is common for applications that require surface flatness and refinement. This process is done without any machine.

Fabrication Welding Tools

Fabrication Welding Tools
Fabrication Welding Tools

Some of the most common tools you will need include:

  • Welding clamps – you can use them to hold together two pieces of material temporarily.
  • Shears – they cut the materials into required sizes.
  • Water and laser cutters – these are used to cut materials that cannot be cut using the other methods
  • Abrasives – they get rid of irregularities and unwanted textures on the material
  • Angle grinders – they smooth over imperfections
  • Vice grips and vices – they hold materials tight for easy cutting
  • Consumable electrodes – they serve as filler metal and melt with the metals to be welded
  • Breaks and benders – these tools are for bending the materials
  • Arc welders – it is used to create heat that melts and joins metals
  • Soapstone – it is for making markings on the materials temporarily
  • Chipping hammers – these are used to remove and clean slag from welds
  • Adjustable wrenches – they make bolts and nuts lose and can also grasp metals
  • Computers – computers are for setting the parameters of welding
  • CAD software – helps create designs to visualize the fabrication
  • Acetylene and oxygen tanks -they are for welding and cutting applications

Other Fabrication Techniques Apart From Welding

Other Fabrication Techniques Apart From Welding
Other Fabrication Techniques Apart From Welding
  • Cutting Metal involves splitting the metal into smaller sizes depending on the parts that will be made from them.
  • Machining Metal is where parts of the metal are removed using a machine. The parts are removed so that the remaining part has a shape that may fit a certain application.
  • Casting Metal involves pouring molten metal into a mold then it is left to cool to form a part. The mold is what will determine what the part will look like.
  • Stamping Metal is used when you want to create a certain shape without having to penetrate the metal.
  • Punching Metal involves creating holes in the metal to form certain shapes. The holes are made using a drill.
  • Bending Metal is a technique where the metal is altered. you fold the metal to get the shape you want.
  • Hydroforming is where hydraulic fluid is used to shape metals into the desired shapes.
  • Spinning Sheet Metal is a technique you can use when you want to achieve hollow shapes. The metal is rotated in a forming tool until the metal takes the shape of the tool.

Applications Of Fabrication Welding

Building And Construction Industry
Building And Construction Industry

Uses fabrication welding to create metals that you can use to build various parts. Structural beams and modern skyscrapers are some parts made through fabrication welding and they have made erecting buildings an easy task.

Automotive Industry
Automotive Industry

This industry greatly makes use of fabrication welded parts such as bolts, screws, and nuts. Every vehicle uses those parts since they all have different functions.

Military
Military

In the military, a lot of the equipment they use has been through metal fabrication welding. Even the cars they use have parts that have been fabricated.

Household Items
Household Items

The household items industry makes use of cutleries such as knives which have gone through fabrication welding. The sharpness of knives is also because of fabrication welding.

Aerospace
Aerospace

The aerospace industry has a lot of parts made from fabrication welding.

Agriculture Industry
Agriculture Industry

The farming industry utilizes equipment such as tractors and parts of the tractors are made from fabrication welding.

Hardware Manufacturing
Hardware Manufacturing

Hardware manufacturing relies so much on the fabrication of welded parts. Most of the hardware components such as hard drives, and motherboards, among many others, are made from fabricated metals.

People Also Ask:

Is Fabrication Same As Welding?

No, fabrication is not the same as welding. Welding involves joining together two pieces of materials with the same composition and melting point using fusion.

On the other hand, fabrication is the whole complete process of creating a metal product from start to finish.

Which Welding Is Strongest?

Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding is considered the strongest of all the welding methods. TIG produces a lot of heat and has the slowest cooling rate which results in very strong products with high ductility.

Which Is The Easiest Welding Technique?

Metal inert gas is the easiest welding technique. Anybody can easily learn the process since it is not complicated. The whole process is quite fast and the welds made from it are precise.

Is Fabrication Welding Hard?

Fabrication welding requires a skilled person to handle the process. This means it is a hard process but can be a bit easy depending on which welding technique you are using.

Fabrication welding requires a lot of experience to be able to make parts without a lot of difficulties.

More Resources:

Fabrication In Welding

Types Of Welding

Metal Welding

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