When it comes to metal fabrication projects, the first thing you need to think about is how you plan to secure your fabrications. The two most common options when you're dealing with metal are welding and riveting. Before you make a choice, you should understand the differences between the two. Here are a couple of things to consider.
The Basics of Rivets
Riveting is a basic mechanical function. Metal rivets, or posts, are inserted into drilled holes in the metal to help secure them together. The top of the rivet forms a head on the surface of the metal while the base flattens out against the metal surface to hold the pieces together without movement between the layers. Rivets can be used to join any two metals together, and the process doesn't require costly specialized equipment to complete.
The Basics of Welding
Welding is a more involved process than riveting. Welding involves heating metals so that they melt and blend together, producing a single, bonded material instead of securing two separate layers. Welding can only be done when the metals are the same. For example, you cannot weld copper and steel together. Steel and steel, on the other hand, can be welded together easily. You will need to invest in a welding machine to do this, and you'll have to choose the power source you prefer. There are electric and gas-powered welders to choose from.
What Makes Welding Better?
Understanding the basics of the two options is a good place to start, but you also have to understand what makes welding a better choice than rivets. Durability is a key consideration. Over time, rivets may weaken. This can lead to broken rivets that can weaken the structure. Welding, on the other hand, is far more secure. Unless you fail to prepare the metal properly, the chances of a weak or brittle weld are far lower than those of a broken rivet.
In addition, when the final weight is a concern, welding is preferable to riveting. Rivets will add weight to the final product while welding does not alter it. You'll also find that welding leaves you with a smooth finished surface as compared to the bumps left behind from the top of a rivet.
These are some of the things that you need to think about when you're trying to choose between rivets and welding for your fabrication process. Contact welding services to learn more.