Metal Fabrication

Metal Fabrication Welding

Introduction to Metal Fabrication Welding

The use of metal fabrication welding is a technique used for joining two pieces of metal together. The two most common welds are a butt joint weld which is when flat pieces of metal are laid flat and two ends are welded together, and the other weld is the L weld where one piece is placed on one end in an L shape and then welded together.

Metal Fabrication Welding

Types of Metal Fabrication Welding

There are few different types of metal fabrication welding used for different applications. A shielded metal arc weld (SMAW) or informally stick welding is a welding process that uses a manual arc and a flux coated electrode coated to place the weld. Then, an electric current from a welding machine provides an electric arc between the metal to be welded and the electrode. As the weld is being laid the electrode's flux coating disintegrates and gives off vapours which provide a shielding gas that produces weld slag. This works to protect the atmospheric area from contamination.

The process versatility and simplicity of the arc weld is the most commonly used type of weld; it dominates other welding techniques in the maintenance and repair industry for metal fabrication welding. Metal arc welding continues to be extensively used in constructing steel assemblies and is primarily used to weld steel, iron and stainless steel. Also aluminium copper and nickel alloys can be welded using this method. One other not so popular way of metal fabrication welding is MIG welding which uses gas as a shield and an automatically fed wire that feeds through the handle. But this is used for lighter gauge materials.

The discovery of the electric arc welder was made by Humphrey Davy in 1800 but it wasn't fully developed until the late 1950's where iron powder was introduced to the flux coating making it more of a proficient welder. It also wasn't until the 1960's when it gained popularity for its use in Japanese shipyards for metal fabrication welding.

Cautions with Metal Fabrication Welding

SMAW welding as well as other type of welding can be dangerous when the proper protective wear is unused as it can cause serious burns and blindness. Protective wear consists of heavy gauntlet style gloves, a long sleeved shirt or jacket as well as a welding helmet which protect your eyes from the UV light that is emitted during welding. This UV light can burn your Retina if a welding helmet is not being used. New helmet designs consist of an auto darkening lens that allows the person who is welding to see their finished weld without lifting the helmet.

To protect bystanders especially in outdoor environments a transparent welding curtain is used to surround the welding area. This curtain is made of poly vinyl which protects surrounding workers from the harmful UV light during metal fabrication welding. SMAW welding also produces harmful vapours during the welding process with gasses such as carbon dioxide and ozone as well as various other oxides and so the metal fabrication welding process should be performed in a well-ventilated area.

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