Steel Fabrication Welding

Many of today’s infrastructures rely heavily on the steel fabrication industry; modern buildings and bridges would not be possible without it. Vehicles from ships to bicycles also require steel fabrication in the construction process; in fact lives in the UK would not function in the same way if it were not for the process of fabricating steel.

There are different elements to steel fabrication; welding, cutting, forming and assembly are all done using different techniques and tools.

What is steel fabrication?

Despite seeing structures every day, many people do not quite know what steel fabrication is, and how it is done. Steel fabrication is basically manipulating steel so that it can be formed to a size and shape which suits a design.

Steel fabricators will work to drawings and models provided by draughtsmen and based on engineering requirements. The drawings and models will show the sizes and shapes of the steel involved and a fabricator will effectively work to bring the drawing or model to life.

The process of fabrication involves the cutting forming and welding of steel. The cutting will ensure that the steel is the right size; it is then formed to produce the required shape. Once all of the pieces have been cut and formed they are then needed to be welded together, this is regarded as the most important part of the fabrication process.

Types of steel fabrication welding

Steel fabrication welding can be done in many different ways and new methods introduced over the years have advanced the ability to achieve a high precision of weld.

Welding has been around for centuries and from the days when blacksmiths carried out welds by heating metal in a forge and hammering pieces together, technology has advanced greatly over time but the main element is still heat.

The most common forms of welding on steel fabrication projects are:

  • MIG welding
  • TIG welding
  • Stick or arc welding

There are other forms of welding such as laser welding which is carried out by machine to provide a concentrated heat source allowing for narrow and deep welds. Laser welding is commonly used for high application welding when there is a constant stream of steel needed to be welded, industries such car manufacturing rely on the use of laser welding a great deal.

The methods of steel fabrication welding listed are the techniques used by most trained and experienced welders in fabrication shops and on site.

MIG welding or Metal Inert Gas welding to give it a full name uses electricity to melt and join pieces of steel together. It is considered to be one of the most effective and easiest methods of welding to learn.

TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding is also common and uses a Tungsten electrode to heat up the steel and the inert gas protects the weld puddle. The type of weld gives more precision over the MIG welding method.

Stick or arc welding also uses an electrical current but also involves using a rod to melt between joints; this form of welding is thought to be beneficial when welding outdoors.

 

 

 

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