Posted on: 15 October 2018
Metal fabrication - the process of turning metal materials into finished products – can take a variety of forms. Welding is one common method of fabrication used for many types of metals, including steel. Gas metal arc welding is a welding technique in which an arc of electricity is used to heat and join metals.
Metal inert gas (MIG) welding is a particular method of gas metal arc welding that uses an inert gas to prevent contaminants in the air from interacting with and spoiling the weld. Other common forms of welding include metal active gas (MAG) welding and shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), which is sometimes referred to as "stick" welding.
Welding and Fabrication
Steel is an incredibly common and highly adaptable material used for a variety of applications, and welding is an excellent technique for steel fabrication. Welding can add to the overall strength, toughness, and reliability of fabricated materials. When highly skilled technicians create welds, there is no loss of structural strength at the weld point, allowing for welded materials to be used in places where other fabrication techniques (such as riveting) may fail.
Although other steel fabrication techniques are still widely used for specific applications, welding is now one of the most common methods of fabrication. With properly chosen methods and equipment, welding of workpieces can be accomplished either in the shop or on the job site.
Advantages of MIG Welding
MIG welding is commonly used for structural steel fabrication as it offers a number of advantages over other techniques. It is primarily used in commercial shop settings rather than on job sites, as environmental conditions such as wind can make the use of gas welders significantly more complex. There are several solutions to this and other problems faced by MIG welders working on a job site, but many fabricators will choose to use a different process for welding in the field rather than going to the extra expense and trouble of dealing with them.
In the shop, however, the advantages of MIG welding are more easily realized. MIG welding allows welders to work more quickly while still producing very high-quality welds, increasing the overall efficiency of the fabrication process. This is especially useful for jobs where a large number of similar welds must be made over many workpieces. MIG welding can also help to reduce overall fabrication costs since the skill barrier to operate MIG welders is lower than other welding techniques and parts of the process can be automated.
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