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Welding Skills and Minimizing Weld Distortion

Welding skills are an art, and it takes some experience to get the technique down right. For those new to the metal fabrication industry, or looking for a metal fabrication company to take on an important project, it’s important to know what welders do and how they take steps to minimize weld distortion.

Welders cut, shape and join pieces of metal for both industrial and architectural projects. A good welder needs a skillful hand, a discerning eye, excellent mathematical skills, the ability to understand engineering drawings and, of course, knowledge about different types of metals and how to effectively operate different welding equipment and methodologies. It’s also critical for welders to stay up to date on technology and to adhere to safety standards.

Three of the most common welding fabrication processes used for metal fabrication are MIG, TIG, and Stick welding. The process used in a given project is determined by metal thickness, finish, location and application. MIG welding is a great starting point for new welders, and can be used with all types of metals and alloys. TIG is a more versatile welding process, and requires a high level of skill. As a manual welding process, Stick welding requires an even higher skill level.

High-end metal fabrication projects can be ruined by low-end end welding skills. Weld distortion or warping can occur during the expansion and contraction of the weld metal and base metal during the welding process. Distorted welds can affect the structural integrity of an industrial metal fabrication project. Messy welds can also ruin the sleek lines associated with quality architectural metal fabrication.

Even normal welding processes can warp light-gauged materials fairly quickly. One method used at All Metals Fabrication to reduce metal warping and weld distortion caused by heat during welding is the application of a chill bar directly under the weld. Chill bars, usually aluminum, absorb the heat of the weld and can reduce warping significantly. By following best practices from start to finish, All Metals Fabrication takes every step to minimize weld distortion.

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