How Fabricators Minimise Shrink Distortion During Steel Welding

Are you concerned that your steel products will bear visible signs of shrink distortion after they have been welded? Read on and discover some measures that steel metal fabricators use to reduce the magnitude of shrink distortion in metal products. Shrink distortion refers to a change on the surface of a welded metal after the weld material cools and contracts, causing the steel to twist around the weld site.

Alternating Sequences

Metal fabricators can place weld metals at different points on a weld axis. Once welding begins, one weld site will shrink in order to counteract the distortion of the shrinkage caused at the weld site of another weld metal. Once welding is completed, there will be less overall distortion because the shrinkage of the different weld metals almost cancel each other out. By alternating the weld sequence, metal fabricators can ensure that the shrink distortion in your products is hardly visible.

Effective Clamping

Shrink distortion can also be minimised by clamping a work piece properly before welding begins. This can help to keep the work piece in one position until the metal fabricator has completed welding that component. How does this prevent shrink distortion? When a work piece keeps moving as it is being welded, some of the fill material used to weld the piece lands out of alignment on the work piece. This can cause the welder to weld a longer segment of the steel sheet than is necessary. That increased weld surface area creates a greater opportunity for shrink distortion to occur. It therefore follows that clamping the piece can reduce the magnitude of this welding defect.

Balance Welds on Either Side

Another way that steel metal fabricators can use to reduce the extent of shrink distortion is by welding on both sides of the metal sheet. This approach may consume more fill material and assist gas because it is similar to doing double work. However, the chief benefit of this approach is that the shrinkage on one side of the steel sheet will be neutralised by the shrinkage on the opposite side of the metal. This method should be used for steel products where aesthetics is important, such as ornamental products.

As you can see, there are tried and tested methods to minimise how much steel will show signs of shrink distortion after it has been welded. You should therefore have no fears about welding your products. Talk to a steel metal fabricator in case you have other concerns about steel fabrication. He or she will address all those concerns so that your project can go ahead smoothly.

About Me

Optimising Sheet Metal in Building Projects and Other Manufacturing Blogs

Welcome! My name is Fiona. I'm a designer who works in marketing, but in my youth, I dreamed of being an architect. I was especially interested in combining interesting materials into buildings. In this blog, I want to explore that old love. I plan to write about using sheet metal in building, and I may go into the equipment involved or write about other industrial concepts as well. I hope to help you with every aspect of the process from shopping to building. Thank you for reading, and if you like my posts, please share them with others!