The Broad Stages of Metal Fabrication
Metal fabricators create plans to fulfill specifications, run virtual tests, and plan stages and processes of production.
Manufacturers shape raw or sheet metal to bring the design to life. This stage can incorporate several manufacturing, machining, and joining processes.
The metal part might be deburred, hardened, painted, treated, or assembled to make it ready for packaging or shipping.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
The stick in question refers to the electrode, which is coated in a protectant flux. An electrode holder holds the “stick” in place and an electric arc is created using either direct or alternating current. This in turn causes the electrode to slowly melt away while also melting the metals to be joined. At the same time the flux coating releases a gas vapor which, together with the slag, creates a shielded environment to protect the weld area from contamination.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
Gas Tungsten Arc (GTAW / TIG) uses a tungsten electrode to produce the weld. Unlike SMAW, the electrode is not consumed during the welding process. Instead, the weld area is protected from atmospheric contamination by an inert gas. It is commonly used for thin sections of various types of metal, including exotic metals and nonferrous metals. The process is highly precise and produces high-quality welds with excellent strength and a clean appearance.
Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
Gas Metal Arc (GMAW / MIG), is a process that uses a spool of continuously fed wire electrode and a shielding gas to create an electric arc that melts and fuses the base metals together. The shielding gas protects the weld from contamination and oxidation. MIG welding is commonly used for mild metals and other alloys. It has become the most common method in industrial settings because of its versatility and relative ease.
Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
Flux-Cored Arc, or “FCAW,” is very similar to MIG; however, it features the use of a special tubular wire that is filled with flux. The flux may be sufficient by itself to protect the welding puddle from contamination or a shielding gas may also be used, depending on the filler material and other circumstances. FCAW is commonly used for thick sections of steel and stainless steel, as well as for welding in outdoor and windy environments, due to the self-shielding capability of flux-cored wire.
Also known as resistance, spot is used primarily for welding thin metal sheets together by applying pressure and heat from an electric current. The process is used to join sheet metal in a fast and efficient manner, without the need for additional filler material, making it a process that can be automated for high-volume production.
The spot stud, also referred to as weld stud, is joined to a metal workpiece by heating both parts with an arc. This is different from other fastening processes because the fastener is attached without marring the other side. It produces a strong and reliable bond that is resistant to vibration, corrosion, and temperature changes.
The process is used to apply stellite alloy to a base metal or substrate. Stellite is a hard-facing alloy that is highly resistant to wear, galling, and corrosion. This alloy can maintain the properties of higher temperatures. It is used to rebuild or repair damaged parts or to apply a protective coating to new parts to extend their lifespan and reduce maintenance costs.
This happens when two or more parts are joined by melting and flowing filler metal into the joint. The melting point of the filler metal is above 420°C and flows into the joint by capillary action. Silver soldering requires a lower heat input than other welding processes and can be used to join heat-sensitive metal parts without damaging them.