What are the Different Types of Welding Used in Metal Fabrication?
24th September 2019 | Knowhow
In our latest blog, we discussed which types of metals are used at JC Metalworks as part of our metal fabrication process. Metal fabrication is the process wherein metal parts are welded, as well as linished and dressed, to prepare for the finishing process. But what are the different types of welding used in metal fabrication?
What types of welding are there?
Here at JC Metalworks, we use three main types of welding processes in our metal fabrication projects: MIG Welding, Spot Welding, and TIG welding. The type of welding process we choose for each project depends on a number of factors including the type of material, thickness of the material and the desired results.
What is MIG welding?
MIG welding, or metal inert gas welding, is a type of welding whereby an electric arc is formed between a consumable wire electrode and the pieces of metal which are being worked on. This causes the pieces of metal to heat up, which in turn causes the metals to melt and join together.
This is a highly versatile type of welding which can be used for almost any metal. It is widely used within the fabrication industry on light steel and aluminium, and is the most commonly used fabrication process due to its speed and cost effectiveness. This process creates a tidy weld and therefore is suitable for use on metal parts which will be visible on the finished product.
What is spot welding?
Spot welding is one of the oldest methods of welding and fabrication. In this process, no filler material is used to weld the two pieces of metal together. Instead, pressure and heat is supplied to the weld area through two shaped copper alloy electrodes. The welding current is concentrated in a small spot; melting the materials and allowing the two parts to fuse together.
This process is usually used for sheets of stainless steel or aluminium which are in the 0.5-3mm thickness range. Spot welding delivers a lot of energy to the weld area in a short amount of time, making this a very attractive process as it does not cause unnecessary heating to the rest of the metal sheet.
What is TIG welding?
In this process, the arc uses a non consumable tungsten electrode, in contrast to the consumable electrode used in MIG welding. As the electrode in this scenario does not melt, a thin wire of a filler metal is fed into the welding area, which then melts and joins the two parts together.
TIG welding is commonly used on stainless steel and aluminium, as well as magnesium and copper alloys like brass.
Although this process is difficult to master, it gives the welder considerably more control over the weld, creating stronger, high quality welds. A disadvantage of this type of welding is that it is slower than other processes, however this is outweighed by the benefits of a neat and tidy weld.