As you’re going over search results for a query like “welding shops near me,” it’s good to have a general understanding of welding fabrication processes, types of welding and their benefits.
When forming continuous structures is either impractical or impossible, joining is necessary. Welding is a process that for structural purposes joins two or more pieces of metal (and sometimes other materials). This fabrication process employs heat, pressure, or both to join the parts, creating a permanent bond.
Welding fabrication is critical in construction and industrial applications. Since most businesses in need of welded parts don’t have the equipment or training to perform their own welding, they rely on local welding shops for custom welding.
The Basics of Welding Fabrication
Aside from knowing that welding is the joining of two pieces of material, there are some other useful things for the average person to know about welding:
- Welding and metal fabrication are not the same; welding is a type of metal fabrication.
- Most welding is metal welding such as aluminum welding, but sometimes it involves the fusion of wood or thermoplastic parts.
- Welding involves the fusion of the types of materials (example, metal/metal or wood/wood). Fusion occurs via heat, pressure, or both.
- The completed joint is referred to as a weld joint.
- In the welding process, the parts being joined are called the parent material while material that helps form the joint is known as the filler material.
- Welding is a high-skill process, not merely heating two pieces of metal to the point where they can be joined and shaped and then letting them cool. For instance, the welder can add metal to the joint to strengthen it. At the same time, it’s necessary to protect the weld from oxygen and other elements that can contaminate and weaken it. To do that, the welder uses a protective shield of a gas like carbon dioxide around the joint. The welder also has to be mindful of extreme heat, which can weaken the metal.
- Welding is high-risk work. Safe operation requires safety glasses, welding helmets and gloves, heat-resistant jackets, earplugs, and leatherwork glasses. Much of today’s welding is robotized due to the inherent hazards.
The Benefits of Welding Fabrication
Here are some advantages welding offers:
- It’s an excellent fusion technique and creates a permanent bond.
- With proper filler material, the joint can have exceptional durability.
- In terms of equipment, materials, and efficiency (one of the fastest fabrication types), welding is a relatively economical process.
- Because welding is flexible and versatile, it can be performed both indoors and outdoors.
- The finished joints look smooth and polished.
Types of Welding Fabrication
There are five principal principal welding techniques:
- Arc Welding– The most common form, and also highly susceptible to defects, which requires protective measures like the one mentioned above. Melting occurs when electrodes supply high currents and voltages to the base metal.
- Gas Welding– Oxygen and a fuel gas heat metals to their melting points.
Radiant Energy Welding– This process uses an electron or laser beam. A key advantage is that it enables the fusion of different types of metal or metals of different thicknesses. It is more expensive but yields some of the strongest bonds.
- Resistance Welding– Pressure holds the pieces together, and an electric at the point of contact performs the fusion. This is a cost-effective process that doesn’t require filler material and sees wide usage in the auto industry.
- Thermite Welding– This is how railroad tracks are joined. A mould encloses the rail ends and is then heated, after which a filler metal (thermite) is poured into a seam and then allowed to cool.
Sustainment: The Answer to “Welding Shops Near Me?”
When you do a web search for something like “welding shops near me” or “welding fabrication near me,” you may get more results than you need, and you won’t have any reliable way of vetting them.
Sustainment makes this easier on you. As a member of the Sustainment community, you’ll have access to a powerful search tool that will yield nearby results for reputable welding shops and other critical manufacturing businesses, which will save you time and trouble in meeting your company’s needs.