Welding Processes Used By Steel Fabricators

Versatility, strength, cost and ease of construction are all characteristics of steel that make it the most commonly used material in construction. Steel fabricators shape and form basic sections of steel structures into transformed beams and columns that can be erected on a construction site.

The range of structures you'll see on a construction site are fabricated in detail; such as beams with welded flanges and holes built for bolting or riveting. To achieve varying levels of functionality and detail, there are multiple welding processes that are used. Each welding process has its own target specifications for achieving the right results. The following are some of the welding processes used in stainless manufacturing.

Oxyacetylene Welding

Oxyacetylene welding uses two gases; oxygen and acetylene. The first gas that is turned on is acetylene, which is then gradually fed with varying concentrations of oxygen. The gases are used to heat steel first until it melts, after which filler material is added around the welded site in order to repair and form the steel.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

Gas tungsten welding is also referred to as TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding. This process uses a tungsten electrode. When TIG welding is carried out, the electrode gets hot but it doesn't melt. This enables the flame to remain constantly on and to keep shaping/forming the steel under fabrication. The TIG electrode is also referred to as a non-consumable electrode.

In other welding processes, the metals melt and become filler material that joins the rest of the welded surface. These are consumable electrode processes. TIG works differently from such processes by melting the base metal of the steel surface. The heat necessary for melting steel is generated by an electric arc formed between the base metal and the tungsten electrode.

Plasma Arc Cutting

Sometimes instead of welding metals together, you may want to cut them apart. A great way of doing this is by using plasma arc cutting. Plasma arc cutters will cut anything that conducts electricity, steel, stainless and aluminum. Plasma cutting isn't as bright as welding, but protective glasses are still required from workers.

Speed is important when cutting with plasma. If it is cut at the right speed, all the sparks will head safely towards the floor. But if the welder is moving too fast, the sparks will shoot at the direction of their eyes. In addition, very fast welding speeds may fail to adhere to quality and detail.