Differences Between Metal Fabrication and Welding – Learn from the Welding Expert in Griffith, Australia
January 14, 2022 – Based on Topweld General Engineering’s experience working with different types of customers over the years, they have noticed that there is a common misconception surrounding welding and metal fabrication. Some customers seem to treat the words interchangeably and think they are essentially the same; it’s wrong. There is a clear distinction between the two, and failure to recognize it could result in miscommunication between the customer and their fabrication or welding contractor. These miscommunications result in poor product quality when not corrected. It is understandable, however, why such cases occur. After all, the two professions share many overlapping procedures and common practitioners, but that doesn’t mean their distinction is negligible.
For the convenience of their future clients, Topweld – an organization that provides metal fabrication services in Griffith, NSW – has compiled a short list of key differences they can refer to before committing to commissions.
Welding vs metal fabrication
WELDING is a process in which the surfaces of two or more metal objects are melted together in order to create a pool through which they can be fused when cooled. Examples of this process include stainless steel welding, aluminum welding, and pipe and tube welding services, all of which involve combining separate parts without necessarily reshaping them. Although it is considered a metal fabrication process, most self-contained welding work cannot be considered metal fabrication on its own. Along with manufacturing, welding is also often used for repair and modification. Thermoplastic is a material that can be welded in the same way as metals, but with a few differences.
Different welding methods
The welding process is further divided into different techniques that involve the use of specific tools which include, but are not limited to:
- Shielded arc welding (SMAW or stick welding) – uses a consumable electrode that works with an electrode holder. The stick acts as a filler metal and melts when an electric arc passes through it, creating a weld puddle on the surface of the metals to be welded together. The stick is coated with a substance called flux, which disintegrates to create a shielding gas that protects the weld pool during the welding process. It also contributes to the formation of slag which further protects the pool when it cools.
- Gas arc welding (GMAW or inert gas welding) – instead of a consumable electrode stick, GMAW uses a wire spool which essentially does the same thing but in a much more simplified method due to the convenience of a continuous feed mechanism. The shielding gas is forced out of the torch instead of having a flux coating. It’s considerably easier and faster than most welding methods available.
- Flux core welding – also uses a continuous feed mechanism to provide the electrode and filler metal needed for welding, the main difference is that the wire is hollow and contains a core of flux which is consumed during welding. Its simplicity makes it popular in rapid stainless steel fabrication and aluminum fabrication;
- Tungsten inert gas welding (TIG welding) – Unlike previous welding methods, TIG welding uses a tungsten electrode which does not melt. The shielding gas and electrode are still handled with a torch, but the filler metal is carefully applied using the welder’s free hand. This is one of the most time-consuming and difficult methods, but its results are much cleaner in comparison. That’s why it’s used in most shops like the ones Topweld operates in Griffith for aluminum fabrication.
METAL FABRICATION is the whole process of designing, cutting, assembling and welding of complete ironwork projects. It aims to produce a finished product, unlike the means goal of welding. As such, welding can be said to be a subset of procedures involved in manufacturing. For example, installing steam lines will usually involve welding pipes together in a system, but unless the process includes these pipes made of sheet metal, it cannot be considered metal fabrication. In short, a metal fabricator is usually also a welder, but not all welders are metal fabricators. There is also a difference in the number and diversity of workers involved in the two trades, as manufacturing will not only require the manual labor of welders, but also other specialists such as designers and blacksmiths.
When to hire a welder?
With enough skills, knowledge, and the right equipment, almost anyone can become a welder. It is best suited for work involving fusing, sealing, reinforcing, etc. metal objects without having to make complex changes to the shape of the parts involved.
When to call on a metalworker?
It might be misleading to refer to it as a singular name, since the steelmaking process may involve more than one person. Designing a final product, measuring project parameters, shaping key materials into usable parts, and assembling those parts (which may or may not involve welding) are all necessary steps during the process. metal fabrication company whose responsibilities can be delegated to various people working collaboratively.
Metallurgy is a multi-faceted field that encompasses a wide range of professions. By distinguishing between them correctly, customers can accurately determine the set of services they will need for a specific project. This foresight will ensure that the work is efficient and well executed by a professional. Not to mention, it’s a sign of respect towards people in the industry. Customers are strongly recommended to take this into account.
For aluminum and stainless steel fabrication services in Griffith, NSW, Australia, as well as other fabrication and welding jobs, Topweld General Engineering is a choice customers won’t regret. They accept work in their in-house shops or with their mobile welding services.
Company Name: Topweld General Engineering Pty Ltd
Contact: Lai Marangit
E-mail: Send an email
Call: +61 401 185 953
State: New South Wales