Custom Welding & Fabrication Services
At Astro Machine Works, we consider the project plan and materials, your budget, and the intended applications to find the right processes for your project. These processes may include any one of several varieties of welding and fabrication services depending on your project’s unique considerations.
Welding vs. Fabrication
Welding is used in almost every industry to create parts, structural components, and equipment. Construction, automotive, and aerospace industries frequently turn to welding professionals to construct everything from large-scale pieces to intricate assemblies. Welding is even becoming a popular technique for making artwork.
Fabrication is the broad term for the industrial processes that take raw or partially finished materials and turn them into finished parts. Metal fabrication, specifically, refers to manufacturing processes that shape sheet metal and other forms of metal into products.
Welding is a commonly used technique in metal fabrication to create products such as pipe fittings, window frames, automotive parts, tools, and more. Professionals use welding throughout commercial fabrication, industrial fabrication, and structural fabrication processes. The broad stages of metal manufacturing are:
- Part Design: Metal fabricators create plans to fulfill specifications, run virtual tests, and plan stages and processes of production.
- Part Fabrication: Manufacturers shape raw or sheet metal to bring the concept to life. This stage can incorporate several manufacturing, machining, and joining processes.
- Part Finishing: The metal part might be deburred, hardened, painted, treated, or assembled to make it ready for packaging or shipping.
Types of Welding & Fabrication
Welding processes combine two separate pieces of metals, thermoplastics, or (in some circumstances) wood to create a cohesive piece. There are numerous types of welding and fabrication, each of which works best with different materials or in different circumstances. It’s a permanent fastening process that uses a combination of heat and pressure along with a consumable material, or filler, to join two pieces together. Popular options for consumables include filler wire, consumable electrodes, and materials that are similar to the parent materials. Some methods of welding use filler wire to join the two parent parts, while others use an electrode and gases to generate heat.
There are two different types of MIG welding. One uses bare wire as a filler, which joins thin metal parts together. The other uses a flux core to join the parent parts. Because it doesn’t require a constant connection, this MIG welding process is popular for outdoor applications. MIG welding is also called Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW).
Stick welding, or arc welding, uses an electrode welding rod to join two parts together. It works on dirty materials, cast iron, and materials in adverse environmental conditions. Because of the thickness of the weld, it’s regarded as one of the strongest welds. However, the parent materials also play a role in determining the overall strength of a weld.
TIG welding, or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), uses a rod feed and a torch, which generates the heat and arc, to join pieces. This welding method is extremely versatile and works well with aluminum, cobalt, copper alloys, nickel alloys, steel, and titanium.
Orbital welding techniques use a rotating arc that encircles a stationary set of pieces. This method creates a more consistent weld in different circumstances, such as around a fixed pipe, and is well regarded for creating repeatable results. Customers also gain the advantage of working with a certified welding inspector. Astro Machine Works has certified professionals so you can trust the integrity of every job.
Fabrication is a broad category of different processes and stages of production. Some of the subcategories involved in fabrication include the following:
Casting is a process of melting metal into a liquid state and pouring it into a mold. As the metal cools, it hardens into the predetermined shape. With permanent mold castings, fabricators can produce identical metal parts over and over again.
Cutting divides metal workpieces into smaller pieces. It involves techniques such as plasma cutting, waterjet cutting, laser cutting, and cutting with mechanical tools. Metal fabricators can cut metal sheets or bars. They select the right cutting methods based on the materials’ resistance to mechanical, water, and heat damage, as well as the intricacy of the design.
Similar to cutting, machining cuts through the metal to split it into pieces. However, machining processes are used to refine a workpiece by removing excess material, which is then thrown out as scrap or reused. Common machining processes include drilling holes, turning to produce a smoothed shape, and milling to cut away excess material at multiple points.
Welding & Fabrication Capabilities
At Astro Machine Works, we specialize in a wide variety of metalworking and fabrication processes to bring our clients’ concepts to life. Our capabilities include welding and fabricating with the following capacities.
- Materials: We work with aluminum, carbon steel, specialty alloys, stainless steel, and titanium, among others.
- Structural Shapes: We can construct custom and standard welding and fabrication projects in a range of options. Choose between angles, beams, channels, tubes, and other options.
- Services: We provide comprehensive services for machine building, welding and fabrication, and more. We also handle testing and finishing processes, including dye penetrant testing, passivation, and specialty cleaning processes.
We prioritize quality, so we have a certified welding inspector on staff to maintain quality control and excellence. Our company is certified under AWS D1.1 and ASME Section IX.
Learn more about our certifications and affiliations here.
Contact Astro Machine Works for Custom Welding & Fabrication Today!
Expert welding and fabrication services can transform raw metal into intricate specialty parts for any industry or application. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities and how our team can manage the production of your metal parts.