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The Difference Between Metal Fabrication and Welding

Updated: May 4, 2021

Metal fabrication and welding are completely different, but they go together. Both are used in the process of creating metal structures, but the terms are not interchangeable.

Fabrication is the creation of metal machines, parts, and structures using a variety processes including cutting, bending, rolling, and assembling. Welding is also a fabrication process. It is a procedure that uses heat to fuse together metals or thermoplastics.

The difference between metal fabrication and welding

Metal Fabrication and Welding Use Different Tools

Metal fabrication involves many tools that turn metal sheets into fully formed structures or products. Fabricators use machines for cutting, such as mechanical saws, laser cutters, and plasma torches. They also use lathes to remove fragments of metal, rolling for creating uniform thickness, punching machines for creating holes, and other types of machinery for bending and forming. Most fabrication tools are fixed in place and parts are brought to each machine. Fabricators place the metal object on the machine that performs the appropriate operation to accomplish the desired outcome.

Welders also require stationary tools, but much of the process is performed by hand. The

tools welders use include clamps, torches, and consumable electrodes. They also require safety equipment including welding helmets to shield eyes from the ultraviolet rays and respirators to protect against harmful fumes.

Metal Fabrication and Welding Use Different Skills

Metal fabricators know how to interpret blueprints, understand industry quality standards, and keep accurate records. They must apply the concepts of geometry, trigonometry, and physics to create fittings and structures, and most importantly, they must know how to use the tools and machinery effectively.

Some fabricators have experience welding, but the complexity of welding often requires a seasoned welder's experience. It takes years of practice, advanced skills, and precision for welders to create excellent and clean welds.

Metal fabrication and welding may sound similar, but as you can see, there is clearly a difference between the two.

For sheet metal fabrication, including welding, to your exact specifications, you can rely on the experts at Franklin Sheet Metal. Contact us for a quote or to answer any question

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