When humanity’s ancestors left the Stone Age to found the age of metals, they decided they liked the latter and settled with it. Many of the things you enjoy today, from the tools you use, the home you live in, the works of art that lend beauty to your surroundings—even the food you eat—use metals to varying extents. Metalwork helps keep many of the industries that make the modern world possible running, and technologies like metal fabrication and welding are two of the most important technologies in this sector.
The big difference
Fabrication and welding are used interchangeably in many published articles, but the two are actually distinct from each other. Both deal with metals and are crucial to the creation of most metal products, they use pretty much the same tools, too, but the similarities mostly end there.
Welding is the process of connecting two pieces of metal, thermoplastics or glass through the use of fusion. The two pieces to be joined need to have similar melting points and compositions. There are a number of methods used in welding. These include oxy acetylene, gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding. On the other hand, metal fabrication covers the entire process of creating metal products, from designing down to forming and finishing the result. This process involves cutting, bending and assembling metal pieces. One of its most popular forms is sheet metal fabrication. Considering how competitive the metal industry can be, you can expect that fabricators are well-versed in welding and that welders are fully capable of fabrication.
Both fabrication and welding play an immense role in the formation of metal products that are used in many sectors, from agriculture, to commerce and to medicine, to name a few. Welding is a basic procedure that goes hand in hand with other fabrication methods. In the case of sheet metal, for example, both procedures are utilized to fashion ramps, walkways, containers and a wide variety of tools.
Training for welding and fabrication
If you want to pursue a career in either metal fabrication or welding, the best way to do so is to become an apprentice to experienced tradesmen who will act as your mentors. You gain more than just technical knowledge from an apprenticeship, as your seniors can impart practical lessons that will help you improve your own skills. You may also enrol in trade schools that offer welding and fabrication settings. These are excellent avenues for you to learn the ropes, the practical skills you need to be a competent welder and fabricator.