25 Feb What is the Difference Between Metal Fabrication and Welding?
Many people use “welding” and “metal fabrication” as interchangeable terms, but the fact is that they are not exactly the same thing. While welders can be custom metal fabricators and vice versa, the definitions differ. What is the difference between metal fabrication and welding? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Welding?
Welding refers to the act of fusing two metal pieces together using heat. A blowtorch or electric arc melts the metal just enough to fuse the two pieces together. Then, external pressure from a hammer or other heavy tool forces the new fusion to keep its bond.
What is Metal Fabrication?
On the other hand, metal fabrication is the art of creating an entirely new part or object from metal. The plan, design, framework, and building all fall under the same umbrella of “metal fabrication.” In fact, welding often falls under this umbrella as well. A custom metal fabricator uses welding to create the end result. However, welding simply refers to an operational task, while metal fabrication refers to the project as a whole.
Differences Between Metal Fabrication and Welding
Let’s take a closer look at the primary differences between welding and metal fabrication.
First, both skills require separate sets of techniques. Welding requires careful application of heat and pressure depending on the materials in question. To successfully weld different materials of different sizes and shapes, welders must employ careful fusion techniques. On the other hand, metal fabrication uses a wide variety of metal shaping techniques to create custom parts and accessories. While custom metal fabricators may use welding techniques when necessary, fabrication typically encompasses other skill sets as well.
Of course, different techniques require different tools. Shops strictly dedicated to welding contain a wide selection of clamps, heating tools, torches, electrodes, and special protective gear for professionals. Metal fabrication shops use additional tools such as saws, laser cutters, special hole punching tools, etc.
Finally, welders and metal fabricators possess different levels of experience. Again, a welder might be called upon to fabricate, and a fabricator might be called upon to weld, but the overarching areas of expertise differ. As a result, it is important to visit the correct shop when you have a special need.
As a truck owner, whether you would go to a welder or a metal fabricator depends on the project. Do you need a custom part, or do you need an after-market item attached to your vehicle?
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