Both welding and casting are related to metal, so people who are not familiar with these may get confused. If you are interested in the world of working metal then knowing the difference between these is basic knowledge. So, welding vs casting – what’s the difference?
Welding and casting are two completely different processes. Welding is used for joining two parts of metal while casting is just melting the metal and giving it a shape. Welding joins two pre-shaped forms of metal, but casting makes a new shape. No confusion should be made between these two.
Now that you know the basic difference between welding and casting, it is time to learn in-depth about them. In this article, I will discuss welding and casting along with their applications so that you won’t ever get confused between these two. So, without wasting anymore of your time, let’s get on with it.
What Is Welding?
Welding is a process that joins two or more parts of an object using heat. Welding is mostly used for metal and thermoplastics but in some cases, wood can also be welded. A welded joint is often called weldment. Not all materials can be welded using heat. The materials which are unsuitable for welding are called “unweldable”. No, you might not find that word in the dictionary.
Welding often involves joining two materials with a joint forming metal. Those materials used for joining are called “consumable” or “filler”. The materials joined using filler are called the parent materials.
But it can also be done without using filler metals. In that case, the parent materials are heated at high temperatures and joined together through pressure. The parts get joined when cooled to a normal temperature. As the parts to be joined themselves are melted and fused together, a filler material is unnecessary in this case. Usually this is done with TIG welding.
Plastic welding is a bit different than metal welding. Plastic welding does not require a filler material to join. Firstly, the plastic is pressurized and then heated. After cooling the plastic, fusion is created and then the actual welding process starts.
Welding wood is completely different from both plastic and metal. Wood uses friction to generate heat and the parts are pressurized to achieve that. Wood cannot get melted unlike plastic or metal, so the pressure is the way to go. Welding wood is faster than using adhesive to join the parts of the wood.
What Is Casting?
Metal casting is just giving the metal a shape by melting it and flowing it through a cast. The metal is heated so much that it melts and then it is poured into some geometric shapes. After cooling, the metal hardens and forms that geometrical shape of the cast. The metal casting process is older than welding and has a lot of applications.
Don’t take metal as steel only, casting can be used for a lot of stuff. Starting from gold up to stainless steel, all sorts of materials can be used for casting. Casting is done for almost all of the metal objects around you. Even some parts inside your cellphone that are made using metal, have been made with the help of casting.
For casting a piece of metal, a pattern is made first. The pattern is the shape the final casted metal will form. The pattern is made using wood, plaster, or sometimes plastic.
If the final metal should include a hollow, a core is prepared for that. The core should be strong so that the liquid metal cannot do any harm to it. Moreover, the core should also be collapsible so that it can be removed after cooling the metal.
Molding sand is used for the frame around the pattern. The molding frame is called a flask. Enough sand is packed tightly into the frame and then the pattern is removed. The cast remains solid after removing the pattern and can be used for pouring the metal. In some cases, two strong metal molds are created to cast identical parts repeatedly.
After finishing the preparation, the metal is melted and poured into the mold. It is given time to cool and solidify. Once it becomes cool enough to work with, the leftover sand is removed and cleaned. The cleaning process is time-consuming as the mold is just too complex to handle. But the final results are often astonishing.
Application of Welding
Before learning the applications of welding, you need to know the types of metal welding. I will be talking mostly about metal because casting is related to metal, and I am comparing these two.
Arc welding is the most popular welding technique. This category uses a variety of welding processes. If you know about welding, I am sure you have heard about MIG (Metal inert gas) and TIG (Tungsten inert gas) welding. Yes, those belong to the arc welding technique.
Also, there are some other gas welding procedures used in this method. MAG (Metal active gas), FCAW (Flux-cored arc welding), GMAW (Gas metal arc welding), SAW (Submerged arc welding), plasma arc welding, etc. are the members of the arc welding family.
Arc Welding is known for working with stainless steel, nickel and copper alloys, aluminum, titanium, and cobalt. Oil, automotive, gas, aerospace, power, etc. industries use Arc welding for their job.
The most popular forms of arc welding are TIG welding, Stick welding, and MIG welding. Aside from these three, there are a lot of welding processes used by professional welders. But they are not very popular and are not worth mentioning. For knowing the difference between welding and casting, these three are enough.
First of all, TIG welding is mostly used in the automobile industry. Metal parts of cars, SUVs, trucks, or vans are joined using TIG welding. TIG is a very clean process of welding, so automobile industries find it usable.
The construction industry also uses TIG welding for its worksites. Parts of a building or monument can be easily joined using TIG welding. The construction of a building is highly dependent on TIG welding.
Another application of TIG welding is the shipping industry. If you ever traveled using a ship, you should notice that the ship is made from metal. All of the parts of a ship are joined using TIG welding. The aerospace industry also uses TIG welding for constructing rockets and space shuttles.
Another form of metal welding is Stick welding. Stick welding components are portable, and they are mostly used for repairs. Even a newbie or an enthusiast can do stick welding, so it’s used by a lot of people. Stick welding can use a broad variety of metals, and you can use it for repairing the damaged items at your home.
For welding metal sheets and steel structures, MIG welding is a popular method. MIG welding assures you about the welding quality, so it can be used for sensitive jobs. Even if two materials are not similar, the MIG welding process can weld them. It’s mostly used inside of a house and for welding thin metal.
Application of Casting
Casting has a lot of applications in almost all types of industries. If you are using a metal or plastic object bought from the market, it has somehow used casting somewhere in the build. Aside from heavy metal, casting is used for other materials too.
First of all, if someone at your house is wearing a piece of jewelry, know that the jewelry is shaped using casting. From ancient times, casting is used for making jewelry items. Gold is a suitable casting material, and jewelry needs casting to form a shape perfectly.
While the automobile uses welding for joining the metal, casting is used there for building motors. Motors need to be built in specific designs, and you cannot but use casting for forming those shapes.
Weapons like axes and spears are made using casting. Casting is a favorite method of carpenters for building metal objects. The components you use in your kitchen are also built using casting. Back in 1940, there was a huge demand for casted weapons because of World War 2.
Aircraft, bells, and strands need to use casting for their build. Welding is perfect for joining stuff, but not building. Aircraft need perfect finishing for flying, bells require to ring at a high volume and strands need to be built with perfections on every edge. Casting is a must for building these things.
Why Should You Learn Welding?
There are a lot of reasons you should learn welding. Let’s take a look at some of them. Remember, these are not the only reasons to learn to weld and I am not writing them in order. If you want to learn to weld, find the one that matches your own reason.
- Join two pieces of material
It may sound funny but you know that this is the primary reason to learn to weld, right? Although you can use tape, adhesive, glue, or the ways that do not really join the metal.
No way is as efficient as welding for joining metal objects. If your job needs you to join metal pieces a lot, you should learn to weld.
- You can earn a decent income
Learning welding will provide you a job with a handsome salary. Sure, there are a lot of risks in welding, but money is able to beat almost all of them.
It’s a good career opportunity if you ask me. If your target is to earn money and you love working with metal, you should learn to weld.
- Repair metal objects
If you have some metal objects or machines at your home that you want to repair, it’s time for some welding.
Have a broken part of your old car resting at your warehouse? Learn to weld and do the repair by yourself. Let the rest of the world see your skills.
- No educational degree required
If you want to learn to weld and get a job, you do not need an educational degree by spending thousands of dollars.
Although you will need training and education in welding, that’s not like getting a degree. The prerequisites of a welding career are simple, just learn how to weld.
- Join the welding community
The welding community is large, and they are always ready to share the experience with you. If you learn to weld, you can interact with more people and increase networking with people who know to weld. So, without hesitation, learn welding and be friends with people around the world.
- School projects
If you have something to do for your school project, welding is there for you. You can impress your teacher and your college mates by doing a project with the help of welding.
And trust me, it will be helpful for your career. Google now for some school welding projects and start welding.
- Get self-employed
Yes, getting jobs by learning to weld is cool, but creating your own business is cooler. Learn to weld and create your own welding business so that you can get self-employed easily.
I know business has risks but welding business is profitable too. Trust me, it’s not hard to start a welding business.
- Expand your skills
Learning skills is always a good idea, and you can learn welding for that. There are a lot of skills a person can learn. Welding is a major skills that you should learn for applying somewhere in your life.
- Get a new hobby
Believe it or not, welding is a great hobby for enthusiasts. If you want to get a productive hobby that will help you in your life, learn to weld.
Welding requires money, not if you do it as your hobby. Taking welding as a hobby costs as little as $1000, so you shouldn’t have a problem starting to learn it.
- Travel the world
Welders often need to travel a lot of places in the world. If you are someone with the hobby of traveling, you should learn to weld. It will give you enough opportunities to travel the world and expand your knowledge.
- Learn to DIY
Why pay others to do your work when you can do it yourself? Welding can be a great solution for DIY projects and repairs.
You can make your household metal stuff by yourself if you know how to weld. Moreover, it will save you money as you don’t need to pay others for welding.
- Help yourself and others
It may sound weird, but learning and exploring a new skill also enlighten you with its knowledge.
Moreover, you can help your neighbors with their metal works if you know how to weld. Welding is something that has practical application in your life. So, dive into the world of welding, it’s a good skill to learn.
Why Should You Learn Casting?
Should you learn metal casting? Yes. Although the field of metal casting is not as vast as welding, it is good to learn the skill. Don’t get me wrong but you can use welding here and there, unlike casting. But still, there are some reasons you should start learning to cast, and I am going to present them here.
- Plenty of job opportunities
Metal casting is important for most of the large industries in the US. All of the goods manufactured using metal require casting. The modern world is dependent on metal casting. It is the past, present, and future. You won’t regret learning metal casting if your target is to get a job in the industry.
If you want to learn something that will help in your career, you should learn metal casting. It is a demanding job that can help you for the rest of your life.
- You can build whatever you want
Using casting you can build pretty much any sort of metal object you’d like. Things pots, pans etc. can be made using casting. If you are a creative individual who loves making their own things then casting can be quite a nice hobby to take up.
It is pretty complicated for being just a hobby if you ask me. But, I’m not the one to judge others.
- Join large manufacturing industries
Metal casting is mostly used in large manufacturing industries. Making engines, fire hydrants, pipes and sewers, medical equipment, and even cell phone covers are made using metal casting. You can be a proud member of the manufacturing society if you learn how to cast the metal.
I hope now you have a proper idea of the differences between welding vs casting. As you can see these are pretty different things and there is not much comparison between them. Welding is the process of joining two parts together either directly through heat or by using the filler metal.
Casting is the process of running melted metal into a cast or geometric shape to make metal objects. If you are wondering which craft, should you learn to build a career both are wonderful options with plenty of job opportunities. But welding offers comparatively more job opportunities than casting at the moment.