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Difference between Welding and Metal Fabrication Even if metal fabrication and welding make use of a common raw material, which is metal, the difference between them lies in their process approach, in the sense that metal fabrication is the process of creating a project out of a metal, but which welding can be used as a means of operation during the process, while welding joins together two pieces of metal or other preferred materials with similar melting points and compositions using the principle of fusion. The work advantage of any craftsman, who is into these processes, is that a welder can fabricate, as well as a fabricator can weld. Tools used for metal fabrication can’t be used for welding because the metal fabrication process requires different and more specific instruments, such as: abrasives, adjustable wrench, benders, chipping hammers, consumable electrodes, cylinders with custom carts, electrode holders, hand file, soapstone, Tungsten inert gas consumables, vice and vice grips, welding clamps. Both processes are similar with respect to the use of cleaning supplies for disinfecting the metal and these are a wire brush and organic solvent, like acetone or mild alkaline solution or a citrus-based degreaser without butoxyethanol to scrub away any grease, oily deposits, and germs. There are four ways to weld: shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, which is common in fabrication shops, gas metal arc welding (GMAW), and flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), but in metal fabrication, the process entails using many other processes, such as: die cutting, finishing, hydroforming, roll forming, shrinking, spinning, stamping, stretching.
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The process of metal fabrication comes in stages, such that the first stage is the design and layout, where the kind of shape is first determined based on a metal design that is created by the metal fabrication company and lays out the design for the metal fabricator to apply the process of fabrication, then the cutting, bending and shaping follows next.
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Stick or shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) makes use of an electrode or welding rod to carry the electric current and provide the majority of the weld metal and this type of welding is used in steel erection, heavy equipment repair, construction, pipeline welding. Tungsten inert gas welding (TIG) or Heliarc is a welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to heat the base of a metal and create a molten weld puddle and this welding type is applied in aerospace welding, piping systems, motorcycles or bikes. Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) or MIG is a process that uses a continuously fed, solid wire electrode through a welding gun and this type is used in small to large manufacturing, auto body, fabrication. Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) is a similar process to GMAW in that it uses a continuously fed electrode, but instead of a solid wire it uses a tubular wire filled with flux and this type of welding is used in thick materials, steel erection, heavy equipment construction or repair.