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What is The Best Gas for MIG Welding?

September 30, 2022

MIG welding is an arc welding process that uses consumable electrode wire along with gas that comes out of a nozzle that is connected to gas cylinders that contain different types of gases based on which metal is welded from here we take a deep dive into the types of gases used.

Types Of Gases that Could be Used in MIG Welding 

There are two types of gases that are used Inert gases which are argon & helium while on the other hand reactive gases are carbon dioxide & oxygen. Inert gases stand out with their stability due to their very low chemical reactivity with the surrounding. Which makes them work as a shield to protect the welding process. On the other side, reactive gases are highly active and chemically react with the weld pool which can cause a change in the properties of the metal in the welding process. 

This also leads us to an important question why is the gas used in the welding process? Well, the answer to this question is in the following points:

  • Shielding
  • Purging
  • Blanketing
  • Heating

Using Inert Gases Only for MIG Welding

As mentioned, that argon has very low chemical reactivity so using it alone for the welding process has its pros & cons.

Advantages of Using Argon in MIG Welding

  • Handles long arc at low voltages.
  • Great results with non-ferrous metals like aluminum, copper, titanium, etc…

Disadvantages of Using Argon in MIG Welding

  • Filler remains on top causing a tall bead.
  • Outer edges of the arc remain cold reducing penetration. 

Moreover, helium is not often used alone but rather mixed with argon to benefit from both gas properties. For example, helium burns hotter allowing the penetration of the welding to become deeper welds.

Using Reactive Gases Only for MIG Welding

In MIG welding Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is the most commonly used reactive gas. It is the only reactive gas that can be used alone without mixing it with any inert gas. 

Advantages of using only CO2 in MIG welding

  • It’s the cheapest option out of the shielding gases. This makes it an attractive choice when material costs are your main priority. 
  • Using only CO2 results in very deep weld penetration, which is useful for welding thick material. 

Disadvantages of using only CO2 in MIG welding

  • It has a less stable arc and more spatter is produced than when it is mixed with other gases. 
  • The short circuit process is the only welding option for CO2 gas.

Oxygen Is another reactive gas that is mixed with either inert gas like argon or with reactive gas like CO2 but adding a very small proportion of oxygen to any of these gases can change the result of welding dramatically.

Mixing Inert & Reactive Gases for MIG Welding

When welding, it is important that the welder uses proper mixing techniques for the inert and reactive gases. Two different types of gases are used in MIG welding which needs a design process for creating an optimal MIG welding mixture that involves several considerations such as cost, availability, and source of each gas property. For example, if high purity helium is not available, lower purity gases can be used with minimal negative effects on weld quality and fusibility. 

In addition to chemical properties, physical characteristics such as temperature, pressure, and composition must also be considered when planning a MIG Welding mix formula. the below table shows some of the mixing techniques used.

What are the Best Practices for Choosing the Right Gas for your Welding Project?

It’s important to pick a gas or gas mixture that matches the material being welded since some materials need certain types of gasses to properly weld. However, it also depends on cost, and availability. For example, the most common gas used for MIG welding is argon because it has less carbon than other gases & doesn’t produce harmful gases to the environment. On the other hand, argon is much more expensive or penetrating compared to CO2.

For the best results consider the following:

  • The penetration of the gas used.
  • Arc Stability.
  • Precautions for every gas & suitability for your welding environment.
  • The availability of the gases used. For example, helium gas is not always available everywhere so replacing it with other gases might be the better option for a given situation. 
  • Cost of the gases. Argon & helium are not cheap while CO2 is very cheap compared to the other two inert gases.

Lastly setting the quality of the weld you want will make the decision much easier & precise in choosing the right gas or gas mixture.

Water Jet Cutting vs Laser Cutting: Comparison of Advantages & Costs

September 14, 2022
Veriform Laser Cutting Machine, a machine pointing downwards with a blue laser hitting the metal below.

What Are The Applications, Advantages & Disadvantages Of Waterjet Cutting?

Water jet cutting is a process that uses high-pressure water to cut materials. Waterjet cutting can be used to cut a variety of materials, including metal, stone, glass, and plastics. Waterjets are really popular in marble & stone factories as it makes it easier for them to cut & shape these types of materials. However, the major focus is on the main advantages & disadvantages of this type of cutting technology.

 Advantages of waterjet cutting

  • Can cut all types of materials including high reflective materials or unequal material thickness. 
  • The cutting process doesn’t result in overheating of the materials. 
  • Waterjets don’t produce any hazardous fumes or smoke while cutting any materials.

Disadvantages of waterjet cutting

  • High noise output than other cutting machines available commercially. 
  • Precision becomes challenging with large thicknesses. 
  • High-Pressure forces used by the cutting process on small-sized parts can cause deformation of the material shape.

What Are The Applications, Advantages & Disadvantages Of Laser Cutting?

Laser cutting is a technology that uses laser with special optics & computer numerical control to focus the laser beams on the material to start the cutting process. From CO2 laser cutting plastics & plywood to industrial application with the fiber laser cutting metals & strong materials & lately seen the YAG/YVO lasers for rust removal & even human hair removal with high-quality results that lead us to what are the advantages & disadvantages of this type of cutting technology.

Advantages Of Laser Cutting

  • Laser cutting can achieve very high accuracy that can reach a quarter of the width of a human hair. 
  • Noise is a very important factor in the cutting process but laser machines provide very low noise compared to all other cutting machines commercially available. 
  • As laser cutting is very common in production lines nowadays some machines can achieve cutting speeds that exceed 100m/min.

Disadvantages Of Laser Cutting

  • From the overheating caused by cutting leaving burn marks on the material. 
  • The working principle of laser technology is based on reflected optics which makes laser cutting not applicable for any type of highly reflective materials. 
  • As high heat is generated it results in producing hazards & toxic smoke from some materials which leads to higher safety & health regulations.

What Are The Cutting Costs For Both Technologies?

When it comes to cost laser cutting is cheaper than waterjet for several aspects.

  • If we are looking at the same machine specs for both technologies a laser machine can cost around $10,000 while a waterjet can cost up to $30,000 which is 3 times the cost of laser machines.
  • Laser machines are also much faster it can cut more meters/min than the waterjet machines making it consume less time.
  • The operation cost of laser machines per hour is lower than waterjets which makes it more applicable for production lines.

Conclusion: Who Wins?

Finally, when we come to who wins it depends on the application you will use either the laser or the waterjet. For example, if you are keen on cutting all kinds of materials without producing any kind of hazardous or toxic gas then waterjet is your total win. On the other hand, if you are looking for speed & cost wise then laser cutting is your winner. So, who is the winner from your point of view?.

LASER CUTTING SERVICES AT VERIFORM

If you’re looking for premium laser cutting services, look no further than Veriform. Our experts have over 20 years of experience using CNC laser cutting technology. We have provided high accuracy cuts on some of the largest pieces of metal for clients across North America.

Our laser cutting offers up to 3/4 inches x 80 inches x 160 inches with an accuracy of +/- 0.005 inches. Besides laser cutting, VeriForm also offers numerous metal fabrication services and capabilities including, bending, rolling, welding and more. Contact VeriForm to get an estimate for your cut today!

What is Steel Fabrication?

August 30, 2022

Steel is an alloy of iron and other metals that is used for structural and fabrication purposes. Steel fabrication specifically is the process of transforming raw steel into a tool, part, or other asset used in assembly or construction.

This is a simple and straightforward definition, but steel fabrication today is an advanced and even sophisticated process. In this blog, we provide a brief overview of the fabrication process and discuss the key methods, many of which are in use at VeriForm.

Which Steel is Used for Fabrication?

  • Carbon steel is one of the most commonly-used materials due to its versatility, strength, and sturdiness. It is available in a variety of thicknesses and stock sizes and can withstand harsh conditions in industrial environments.
  • Steel fabricators commonly use stainless steel because it is relatively easy to work with. Due to its ability to bend readily, this material is ideal for welding. Applications requiring corrosion-resistant properties typically require stainless steel.

Aluminum is popular as a metal fabrication material because it’s lightweight, which is ideal for industries that need metal but can’t handle the weight. The automobile and aerospace industries are among those that often use this lightweight material.

What is the Fabrication Process?

Steel fabrication can be performed in a variety of ways. Some of the methods employed at steel fabricators like VeriForm are highlighted below.

Bending

Bending involves applying a massive force to a steel piece, usually using hammering or press machines, in order to change the shape. During the bending process, the steel piece is bent using press brakes or tube benders. 

Rolling

Rolling is a metal fabrication process where metal stock is passed through one or more pairs of rolls in order to reduce the thickness, to make the thickness uniform, or to deliver a mechanical property.

Welding

In welding, pieces of steel or other materials are welded together or bent using the fusion process, which involves heating steel parts to a high temperature, joining or bending them while they’re pliable, and letting them cool. VeriForm uses advanced welding methods such as:

Machining

This method uses tools such as drills, lathes, mills, and others to shave away metal to form a specific shape. Veriform uses the following machining methods to fabricate steel components:

  • CNC Countersinking: By countersinking, you create a conical hole in your part that matches the angle and head size of a screw.
  • CNC Drilling: Using a rotating cutting tool, CNC drilling produces round holes in stationary workpieces
  • CNC Laser Cutting: A CNC laser cutter uses a laser beam to vaporize, melt, or otherwise gradually remove materials. We offer laser cutting services up to 3/4” x 80” x 160” with an accuracy of +/- 0.005”.
  • CNC Tapping: With tapping, a thread is cut inside a hole, which must be drilled with tap drills and chamfered at the end.

What Industries Require Steel Fabrication Services?

Steel fabrication services are needed across a wide range of industries, illustrating how versatile and reliable steel has become. These industries include commercial and residential construction, aerospace, the military, mining, automotive, and shipbuilding. 

VeriForm Inc.: Steel Fabricators You Can Trust

As experienced steel fabricators, VeriForm offers a wide range of steel fabrication services that can be customized according to client requirements. We maintain strict quality control throughout the whole fabrication process to meet and even exceed customer expectations, which is why so many of them have been trusting us with their steel fabrication needs for over 20 years.  To learn more, please visit our website, call 519-653-6000 or contact us online. 

What is Roll Forming?

August 15, 2022
A picture of a roll forming machine. There is a line of steel rollers and a metal sheet passing through them to be formed into the desired shape.

Roll forming is a metalworking process that uses rollers to incrementally bend a strip of metal. In a roll forming machine, the rollers are mounted on consecutive stands. Each one completes a small step in the process, to create products like:

  • Cylinders and cylinder segments
  • Metal piping, stacks, and ductwork
  • Both concentric and eccentric cones

As a process, roll forming has been greatly impacted by technological advancements. Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines can be programmed to control and direct the entire process, from sequence of operations to part dimensions. The overall measurements can be continuously adjusted, allowing for non-symmetrical shapes and changes in sheet thickness. 

What is the Roll Forming Process?

While the actual process can vary from one metal fabricator to the next, the basic steps for producing roll formed steel are the same.

Roll forming starts with a large coil of sheet metal. After being uncoiled, the metal is loaded into an uncoiler and fed through a flattener to eliminate any distortion before being trimmed to allow smooth feeding into the pre-press.

Typically, a roll forming machine consists of 10 to 24 roller die stands. Metal ribbons are forced through rollers that gradually shape them to the right dimensions. During motion, parts are cut to length, which increases efficiency and speed. Cut pieces are discharged to a run-out table for shipment or further processing.

In some cases, secondary processes accompany roll forming. Many of them can be completed as soon as the part leaves the cutoff. They include:

  • Notching
  • Punching
  • Straightening
  • Adding components
  • Minor assembly

What is Roll Forming Used For?

With its high quality, exacting tolerances, rapid production, dimensional accuracy, and lower cost, roll forming has become the preferred method of manufacturing metal products. Roll formed steel is often used in:

  • Aircraft and automotive components
  • Construction materials
  • Hardware for windows and doors
  • Metal and steel fencing
  • Metal roofing
  • House siding and rain gutters
  • Metal furniture components

Advantages of Roll Forming

Below are a few of the advantages of roll forming.

  • Efficiency:  The self-feeding roll forming machine requires little human monitoring, which lowers labour costs. Adding punches and notches during pre-feeding avoids secondary operations.
  • Cost-Effective: The smooth finish of completed parts eliminates the need for secondary processes such as deburring or trimming. By producing large quantities of parts, the final product is less expensive.
  • Improved Quality: Over the course of a complete run, products are more uniform and consistent. Dimensions are extremely precise with tight tolerances. Die marks and deformities are absent, maintaining sharp, clean contours.
  • Flexible Performance: Both ferrous and non-ferrous metals can be used to produce complex cross-sections. Metal that has been painted, plated, or coated cannot be shaped in some other processes.
  • Less Scrap: It produces only one to three percent scrap per production run, which is far less than other metalworking processes.

VeriForm Inc.: Experts in Roll Formed Steel

At VeriForm, we have over 20 years of experience in producing rolled metal products. We roll sheet metal and structural metal using our Italian metal rolling machine, which is operated by highly trained professionals who know how to achieve superior results.  With 10 foot-wide rolling capabilities, there is no request we can’t handle. To learn more about how VeriForm can meet your parts manufacturing needs, please visit our website, call 519-653-6000 or contact us online. 

Reasons Why You Should Consider Powder Coating

July 29, 2022
This image features a person powder coating metal.

Powder coating is a dry coating process that creates a high-quality finish for various metal industrial equipment and products. Applied as a dry powder through an electrostatic process and then cured with heat. It delivers a high-quality finish that can improve the look and functionality of your metal projects. However, it’s not as simple as it seems. In more depth, let’s go over what it is used for, how this process is done, and why you might want to choose powder coating over paint.

What is Powder Coating Used For?

Powder coating is primarily used to coat different metals, such as those found in household appliances, automobiles, street signs, and other particular metal parts. The result is a smooth, and appealing hard finish that is more durable than traditional paint. Metal fabricators have been using powder coating since the 1940s to make steel parts resistant to heat and cold damage as well as corrosion. Have you ever noticed a steel bench or old balustrade that still looks quite new despite years of use? It’s almost certainly been powder coated.

The Process of Powder Coating

Now the real question, how is it done? This process involves the application of electrostatically charged particles onto the workpiece surface. With most systems, a feeder unit sends the coating to an electrostatic gun, which then emits it as a diffused cloud. The particles, charged by a low-amperage power unit, seek out and adhere to the surface of the metal object. Once the coating has been applied, the workpiece is cured in a specially designed oven. The end result, a strong and durable protective layer.

Generally, powder coatings are cured at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. These parameters may very depending on the type of coating. It is important to note that thorough surface preparation is essential to successful results. This includes removing grease, dirt, and other materials to support coating adhesion. Pretreatments with chemical compounds can also enhance the coating’s durability and corrosion resistance.

The Advantages & Disadvantages

Painting is a traditional method that has several limitations, such as dripping and difficulty controlling thickness. Powder coating is a more advanced technique that delivers a higher-quality appearance while improving the durability. It’s one of the more environmentally friendly options compared to other finishes. Essentially, it’s more resistant to chipping, scratches and fading. It is also less expensive in the long run than alternatives like plating and conventional painting because it uses less equipment, takes less time to apply, and consumers fewer raw materials. However, there are some disadvantages to consider such as:

  • It tends to break down under UV ray exposure
  • It’s difficult to mend when damaged
  • There is less control in terms of speed and amount
  • Colour change difficulties
  • It requires a baking process

Contact VeriForm Inc. For More Information

At VeriForm, we are your one-stop shop for metal fabrication. By using cutting-edge technology and our team’s expertise, we can provide a wide variety of capabilities and services including bending, rolling, welding and more. Plus we have our in-house engineers that can help you optimize your plans and designs. To learn more about our services, please give us a call at 519-653-6000 or contact us through our site if you want the job done right, the first time!

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