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The Difference Between Welding and Fabrication

The two most important metalworking processes are welding and fabrication. Some people think they are the same thing but PTL wants you to know the difference between welding and the technique of metal fabrication

Many people use fabricating and welding as interchangeable verbs but that’s not quite the case. In its most basic sense, fabrication is the process of creating a project out of metal, and welding can be a singular operation during that process. 

Welding

  • Welding involves fusing two or more pieces of metal. 
  • Common welding techniques include
    • Shielded metal arc welding
    • Gas metal arc welding
    • Gas tungsten arc welding
    • Flux core arc welding

Fabrication

  • Fabrication begins with layout and design.
  • Designers concern themselves with layout creation
    • Cutting
    • Machining
    • Forming of metal parts
  • Fabricators use different tools and techniques in order to fabricate metal products.

Tools

  • Fabricators usually begin the process by cutting sheets of metal down to the appropriate size, using
    • Cutting machines
    • Mechanical saws
    • Laser cutters
    • Plasma torches
  • Welding, by contrast, uses a different set of tools that include
    • Torches
    • Consumable electrodes
    • And the need for auto-darkening welding helmets to protect the workers’ eyes from the ultraviolet rays that welding produces.

Skills

  • Metal fabrication utilizes a broad array of metalworking techniques to create the structures and components necessary to achieve the desired results

Metal fabrication deals with the entire process: the welding, cutting, bending and assembling of metal parts. In manufacturing and construction, certain tasks revolving around fabrication are often performed by welders, while fabricators also perform welding occasionally. However, the two positions are not interchangeable.

When you want to know about metal, turn to the experts at PTL Fabricators. We utilize more than 30 years of industrial experience to tackle our industry’s toughest challenges with inventive solutions. Contact us today.

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