Welding & Steel Fabrication are cornerstones of our society. They allow us to enjoy a high quality of living and they also hold the promise of even greater advances in the future. However, the industrial and manufacturing sectors could not exist without the equipment, structures and resources created by welding and fabrication engineering and in turn industrial steel fabrication as we know it could not exist without welding. Let’s take a look at how welding serves industrial fabrication as well as the different types of welding & fabrication services.
Welding and Industrial Fabrication
Welding is the process of securely joining two materials together using the process of coalescence and often also a filler material. Welding releases heat and energy which in turn liquefies the materials at the intended joint. When the materials re-solidify a secure joint is formed. Typically the materials joined consist of metals or thermoplastics. Welding allows advanced fabrication to be undertaken by securely affixing these materials and thus facilitating the creation of a more developed piece of equipment or structure which can then be used accordingly for its intended purpose. In order to accomplish this important role welding must be versatile enough to work with a wide variety of different metals and thermoplastics in a range of varied, often difficult conditions.
Types of Welding Services and Their Applications
Because the conditions, demands and materials to be joined vary widely, different types of welding processes have been developed. Each process serves a different need and has its own set of pros and cons and general applications. What follows is a description of several of the most common and important welding services. Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) – Shielded Metal Arc Welding is also known as “SMAW” or as “stick welding.” The stick in question refers to the electrode, which is coated in a protectant flux. An electrode holder holds the “stick” in place and an electric arc is created using either direct or alternating current. This in turn causes the electrode to slowly melt away while also melting the metals to be joined. At the same time the flux coating releases a gas vapor which, together with the slag, creates a shielded environment to protect the weld area from contamination. Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) – Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, also known as “GTAW” or “TIG welding” uses a tungsten electrode to produce the weld. Unlike SMAW welding the electrode is not consumed during the welding process. Instead the weld area is protected from atmospheric contamination by an inert gas, often Argon or Helium gas. The acronym “TIG” refers to “Tungsten Inert Gas.” Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) – Gas Metal Arc Welding, also known as “GMAW” or “MIG welding” uses a consumable wire electrode that is fed through a welding gun. An inert shielding gas such as Argon or a mixture of Argon and Carbon Dioxide is also sprayed over the welding puddle to protect it from contamination. MIG welding has become the most common welding method in industrial settings because of its versatility and relative ease. However, it is not ideal for use outdoors or in other areas with high air volatility. Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) – Flux-Cored Arc Welding, or “FCAW,” is very similar to MIG welding; however, it features the use of a special tubular wire that is filled with flux. The flux may be sufficient by itself to protect the welding puddle from contamination or a shielding gas may also be used, depending on the filler material and other circumstances. Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) – Submerged Arc Welding, or “SAW,” uses a consumable electrode that is fed automatically. It also uses a characteristic blanket of granular fusible flux, consisting of several compounds including silica, lime, calcium fluoride, and manganese oxide among others. This blanket of granular flux thus completely “submerges” the welding area thereby protecting it. Together these, and other welding services, do an outstanding job of servicing the industrial fabrication industry, especially when they are performed by highly qualified, experienced welders. UMS is proud to offer these high quality welding services to our customers. We have the versatility and skill it takes to undertake welding & fabrication of a full assortment of piping, structural steel, and pressure vessels as needed. Please contact us for further information.
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Choosing the right industrial fabrication company isn’t always an easy decision. It’s not just about the budget and timeline. If a business can’t deliver a high quality project and keep up with demand, it hurts the reputation of the client. Safety standards have to be met and when selecting the organization that will provide industrial fabrication there are three essential elements that have to be carefully examined before making a final decision, The Fabrication Company, Their Business Practices and Their Reputation. The first element of choosing an industrial fabrication company is the actual business itself. Let us show you how choosing UMS Welding & Fabrication can better serve you.