How is onsite welding used in the construction industry?

Australia’s construction industry market size in revenue was $479.2 billion in 2022, a sign that the sector continues to grow in leaps and bounds. But what makes the industry tick? While many factors go into construction, we know the vital role onsite welding plays, providing flexibility and convenience of welding operations directly at the site. In this guide, we’ll look at the role of onsite welding and how it is used in the construction industry. 

Steel welding and fabrication industry overview 

Australia’s steel fabrication industry is growing, with a total annual capacity exceeding 1.6 million tonnes. Welding plays a significant role in ensuring the successful delivery of these steel projects. Construction dominates the demand for fabricated steel products at 50.3%, followed by manufacturing at 20.5% and mining at 17.2%, according to Weld Australia. 

Onsite welding in the context of construction 

Onsite welding works for several different construction and infrastructure projects, including: 

Structural steel fabrication

Welding is one of the most common processes for structural steel fabrication onsite. Frames, columns, beams, and trusses are made from structural steel. Welders join these components onsite, creating the framework for construction and infrastructure projects. Onsite welding makes assembling the final structure easier, quicker, and more efficient. 

Joining pipes 

Laying steel pipes is critical to any commercial or industrial construction project because they are needed for water, oil and gas supply depending on the application. Steel pipes can also be used for sewage and stormwater drainage systems. Onsite welders will connect these pipes and ensure leakproof, long-lasting joints meant to last years. 

Infrastructure building 

​​Onsite welding is crucial for infrastructure projects, including bridges, highways, tunnels, and pipelines. Welders join steel or metal components, such as bridge girders, guardrails, and support structures to ensure their structural integrity and durability. Onsite welding allows for efficient construction and adaptation to site-specific conditions.

Equipment and machine repair 

Sometimes machines and equipment can break down at a construction site and getting this back to a workshop can save time and delay the project. Skilled welders can quickly repair broken or damaged components in machines, ensuring your project is up and running with minimal downtime. This can be highly advantageous because project delays cost money. 

Applications requiring onsite welding during construction

Onsite welding is a crucial process in construction and infrastructure projects, whether for buildings, bridges, highways, roadways, commercial properties, industrial facilities and more. Some of the applications that require onsite welding include: 

  • Structural supports, beams, trusses and frames 
  • Pipes – water and gas 
  • Staircases and balustrades 
  • Electrical systems and ducts 
  • Gates and fences 
  • Equipment and machinery 
  • Metal structures, platforms, stairs and handrails 

Skilled welders are crucial to ensure proper alignment, strength and stability of the overall weld to support the construction process, so make sure you hire a welding company that is licensed and experienced to do the job right. 

Safety measures to consider during onsite welding

Safety should be a key priority to safeguard and ensure the project runs smoothly. Some important safety measures include: 

  • Welders should wear adequate PPE and have the necessary training and qualifications to do a proper onsite weld with strict adherence to quality. 
  • Ensure adequate ventilation in the welding area to minimise exposure to fumes and particles. 
  • Check that the welding area is risk-free and protected from hazards such as fire risks and fumes. 
  • Regularly inspecting welding equipment and electrical systems to ensure they are in good working condition. 

Safety should never be taken for granted because it can lead to disastrous consequences. 

Challenges to onsite welding 

Onsite welding can come with its own set of challenges. For example, the job requires the welder to ensure precise measurements, fittings and alignment to maintain the structure’s integrity for years. To do this, the welder must have all the tools on hand, which can sometimes prove more challenging than at a fabrication facility. 

Construction sites also need more workspace, making it harder to set up welding equipment with proper safety measures. Changing weather conditions such as rain, wind and humidity can affect the weld quality and create additional challenges. 

Onsite welding also requires skilled welders who are familiar with different welding techniques and safety protocols. They should also be quick to think when changes are necessary to handle the site-specific demands.

Conclusion 

It’s clear that onsite welding plays a crucial role in the construction industry, as it allows for the fabrication and installation of metal structures, components, and infrastructure directly at the construction site. Putting these together onsite requires the skill and knowledge of experienced onsite or mobile welders who can ensure precise measurements, fittings and alignment to maintain structural integrity and safety for years. 

For an experienced welder who can provide advice or assist you with your next project, contact Sydney Welders today.