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Different Types of Welding Joints

In any steel working process, there are a number of ways to shape metal; to give it the shape and structural prowess it needs for additional strength, aesthetics and functionality.

Welding services in Johannesburg have been meeting the local need for these services for a long time now, in being one of the most effective and widely used approaches to shaping and joining alloys of a wide range of types.

Here we will take a closer look at the act of welding, how it benefits the manufacturing process, the different types of joints that can be welded; including butt joints, corner joints, lap joints, tee joints and edge joints, their advantages, drawbacks and uses.

We will also explore a few ways that you can ensure that the welding service you are opting for is the right one for your needs, by looking at their experience, what their customers are saying, and whether or not they can show you examples of the quality of their workmanship..

So, let’s explore these concepts in a little more detail, starting with a broad definition of what welding actually is:

What is Welding?

Welding is a process of joining materials by applying extreme heat to their joints to melt them together. Typically, the process is used when joining certain types of alloys or thermoplastics that can be affected by the application of such heat, allowing the materials to soften.

From there they can be joined together and cooled, forcing the materials to be fused together.

There are, as we will explore a little later, various types of joint welding. But before we get into that, let’s take a flyby of some of the top advantages offered to local manufacturers through welding services in Johannesburg.

The Benefits of Welding?

These benefits apply to the concept of welding as a whole. As we explore the different types of welding available in more detail, we will have a look at the specific benefits offered by each one.

But before we get there, however, let’s take a look at some of the top advantages offered across the board with any type of welded joint.

These benefits include improved aesthetics, unbeatable structural integrity, and improved efficiency and turnaround times:

Improved Aesthetic Finishes

Welded joints offer a much neater, more aesthetic finish when conducted instead of using butted joints or rivetted joints. Because welding merges materials together with a tidy seem, structures that make use of them are far less bulky and easier on the eyes.

This is an important consideration, particularly where welding forms a part of product manufacturing or construction, where aesthetics are as important as reliability and functionality.

Enhanced Structural Integrity

Welded joints also offer incredible strength when compared to other methods of joining materials. Since no cavities are placed on the material as part of the process, welded joints offer more surface area and are able to take heavier loads.

Since welding requires no use for filler plates and connecting angles, welded structures also generally have a reduced overall weight.

Less Labour Intensive

Welded joints offer a fairly economical approach to fabrication, particularly where labour intensity is concerned.

With the right experience and skill behind them, professional welders can complete jobs with much less effort. Additionally, structures that undergo welding can be manipulated and altered quite easily.

Faster Turnaround Times for Manufacturing

Welded joints also offer faster turnaround times for fabrication tasks, particularly when compared to riveted joints. This means that it is the ideal solution for large-scale fabrication tasks where a loss in manufacturing time can cut into profitability.

The Drawbacks of Welded Joints

Of course, with any fabrication process, joint welding also comes with a few drawbacks that you should consider before opting for a service from a local supplier of welding services in Johannesburg.

These drawbacks include the tendency for the joint to lose structural strength as part of the process, the risk of warping, and the level of skill required to be able to do it effectively.

Of course, these drawbacks, when approached correctly, can be fairly easily looked past.

So, let’s explore them in a little more detail:

Lessened Fatigue Strength

As part of their aesthetic function, welded joints are generally smoothed. This often results in them being brittle, offering far less strength than the materials being joined.

This may result in a lessening of the structures overall integrity, but is still an improvement on the strength offered through something like rivet joints.

Distorting from Heating & Cooling

The process of welding includes applying extreme temperatures to the materials being fused. As the seem heats it softens, and fuses together once cooled.

With many types of materials this produces another concern for those who are fabricating, especially where alloys are concerned. The uneven application of heat to these surfaces may cause them to begin to distort.

When this occurs, there is always a risk that the structure will lose a large amount of its strength due to additional stress being placed on the structure.

High Skill Levels are Required for Welding

Welding isn’t something that just anybody can pick up and do, but is rather done according to a very particular set of carefully crafted skills. IT takes a lot of training and experience for a welder to get to a point where they can work with consistent, confident results.

Because of this, when having objects fabricated, it is essential to find a welder who has extensive experience, not only with their industry, but also with projects that were similar to the one you need to have completed.

Types of Welded Joints

With the basic definition of welding out of the way, as well as its major advantages and drawbacks, lets start taking a closer look at some of the different types of welded joints typically used for fabrication, what types of applications they are suited to, and what their specific advantages and disadvantages are:

Butt Joints

The term ‘butt joint’ describes the way that materials are fused together with this type of welding. To put it simply, this type of welding occurs when the ends of two different materials or objects are fused together at a right angle.

It is regarded as one of the most basic type of weld joints, being fairly easy to complete, simply requiring that each object buttresses the one that it is being joined to. Because of this, they also offer one of the more efficient approaches to welding joints together.

They do come with one or two disadvantages, however, particularly where their strength is concerned. Because of the shape of the joint, they are far weaker than other types, often requiring additional reinforcement at the joint.

Because of this, butt joints are not typically recommended where there is an additional requirement for load bearing strength; as their total strength is completely reliant on the seem holding the butt-joint in place.

Corner Joints

Corner joint welding is widely regarded as one of the most popular approaches for the fabrication of sheet metal.

This approach to welding creates an L shape on the materials by welding them at a right angle between two parts. These might come as flush corner joints, half-open corner joints, or full-open corner joints.

Corner joint welding offers a remarkably strong approach to ensuring structural integrity and offers a fairly wide variety of welding possibilities depending on the intended application.

On the downside, however, because of the way they are put together, corner joints generally result in a higher risk of wear and tear on their seems.

Lap Joints

In a nutshell, lap joints are created by halving the thickness of each object being welded at the point where they are going to make content, and welding them together at that point so that they fit together seamlessly. They come in two variations, namely a full-lap joint, and a half-lap joint.

These types of joints are used for everything from temporary framing and tabling, as well as in cabinet making.

It offers a fairly easy approach to welding, reduces the risk of blowing through the weld joint thanks to the presence of a second sheet, and can be given additional strength through the use of double-sided weld.

Tee Joints

In a tee joint, the two parts that are being welded together will intersect at a right angle, where one part is above the other to create a T shape, ensuring that the metals being joined are not on the same plane

They are commonly used where joints need to be attached to a base as is commonly found in structural and machine applications.

They offer the advantage of not needing any preparations, making for faster turnaround times; they do however often carry the drawback of facilitating an environment where corrosion can thrive due to fatigue.

Edge Joints

Edge joints start with a preparation process that ensures that the edges of the object to be welded are straight and smooth. It is typically reserved for workpieces that have flanged edges, or when welding is done to attach adjacent edges, by setting them alongside each other and welding them along the same edge.

Edge joints offer a number of unique benefits.

Firstly, this approach to welding is an excellent choice for metal sheets that are thinner than 3mm in thickness. Because of the types of edges that are used in this approach (ones that are, by their nature, already smooth and even), there is generally no need for preparation before starting. Also, because of the strength offered by edge joints, there is generally no need for a filler material when fusing materials together.

There are one or two disadvantages to be aware of with edge joint welding as well. Their strength is sometimes deemed as dubious since the weld doesn’t penetrate all the way through the joint thickness. This makes it not well suited to applications that work under immense pressure, or are expected to support a lot of weight.

Finding the Right Welding Services in Johannesburg

With this rundown of the different types of welded joints that you can have done by a welding service in Johannesburg, and have decided which would be the most appropriate for your needs, it is time to start looking at finding the perfect welding service for your needs.

There are a great many welding suppliers in Johannesburg, but not all of them offer services in equal qualities, or at the right prices.

This can make finding the right one for your needs a challenge.

However, by asking yourself and your welding service the following questions, you should be able to get a feel for how effective they will be:

How Experienced is the Welder?

The first thing you want to look at is the experience of the welding company you are looking at; and there are two sides to this coin.

You want to be sure that the company has been around for a long time, and that they have, on a number of occasions, handled job-types that are fairly similar to the brief that you have given. This shows that they know their way around your specifications, will be able to identify any complications before they become a problem, will complete the job in the least amount of time, and will do it with minimal mistakes.

You also want to gauge the experience of the actual person who will be doing the welding for you. You will want to partner up with someone that has ample skill and has built up their ability through years of hard work.

What do their Customers Say About Them?

In the modern age, where customers can find out opinions from each other on various online platforms, there are plenty of places to go to find out what they are saying about the welding service in Johannesburg you have your eye on.

Simply Google their name or find them on social media sites like Facebook, and you can find out what their existing customers have to say about their service.

Contact Tru-Butt for Details

If you would like to know more about our specialised local welding services, be sure to get into contact with a representative from Tru-Butt today, or visit our website for additional details on our offers.

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