The ability to put things together to build a useful tool has been important since the dawn of humanity. Early civilizations used vines or rope to tie stones to sticks to make tools such as axes. Later, glues or cement were used to hold parts together. Forge welding (FOW) was used to join smaller pieces of metal that could be heated in a forge and hammered together. At the dawn of the Iron Age, rivets were used to fabricate large metal structures like bridges, boilers, trains, and ships. But with the advent of modern welding, cutting, and brazing, civilization began advancing more rapidly. In fact, modern civilization could not exist without welding.
Today, many things we touch were manufactured using some welding processor that was made on equipment that was welded.
The skills of welding, cutting, and brazing are an essential part of metal fabrication.
•Metal fabrication is the building, shaping, and assembling of a product, equipment, or machine from raw metal stock. Metal fabrication can be done using rivets, bolts, welding, and so forth.
•A welded metal fabrication is primarily assembled using one or more of the following processes: welding, thermal cutting, or brazing.
• A weldment is an assembly in which its component parts are all joined by welding.
In some cases, a welded fabricated part may require some post-weld finishing such as grinding, drilling, machining, or painting to complete the fabrication.
Modern welding techniques are employed in the construction of numerous products. Ships, buildings, bridges, and recreational rides are examples of welded fabrications.
The exploration of space would not be possible without modern welding techniques. From the very beginning of early rockets to today’s aerospace industry, welding has played an important role. Many aerospace welding advancements have helped improve our daily lives.
Many experiments aboard the Space Station have involved welding and metal joining. The International Space Station was constructed using many advanced welding techniques. Someday, welders will be required to build even larger structures in the vacuum of space.
Welding is used extensively in the manufacture of automobiles, farm equipment, home appliances, computer components, mining equipment, and construction equipment. Railway equipment, furnaces, boilers, air-conditioning units, and hundreds of other products we use in our daily lives are also joined together by some type of welding process.
The process of metal fabrication can be divided into several, often distinct steps. Following are the primary steps for fabrication:
• Layout—the process of drawing lines on the raw metal stock according to the parts drawings and specifications.
• Cut out—the process of removing all of the unwanted material around the laid-out part or sometimes just cutting material to the desired length. Some of the most common methods of cutting out the parts are flame cutting, plasma cutting, sawing, and punching.
• Assembling—the process of placing all the parts together in the correct location and orientation with each other. The parts may be held in place with small welds called tack welds or by some type of clamp.
• Welding—the process of permanently attaching the parts together to form the finished part.
• Finishing—can be accomplished by any number of different processes such as grinding, polishing, drilling, machining, painting, etc.
Not all metal fabrication includes all of the steps, and the difficulty of each step varies with the complexity of the fabrication. In addition, sometimes the order in which each step is done may change. For example, it may be necessary to wait until part of the assembly has been welded before laying out the location of an additional part; or a part may be trimmed to fit once other parts have been welded in place.
Openex is a professional heavy machining and large fabrication service provider. We provide a comprehensive range of custom metalworking services to customers around the globe. We not only work with all the typical metals, such as carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and copper alloys, but also rare metals like nickel and titanium alloys.
Any metal fabrication requirements, feel free to contact us.