Design, Fabrication & Welding

The Fabrication Industry

Fabrication IndustryWhether it is made of stainless steels, nickel alloys, nickel steels, nickel-irons, copper-nickel or any other nickel-containing product, proper fabrication is critical for the cost-effective and long lasting use of the equipment.  It is important for designers and specifiers as well as fabricators and installers to understand characteristics of each alloy that might require a slightly different method of fabrication than previously used.  Fabrication potentially involves a number of different operations, including handling and storage; cutting; machining; grinding; hot or cold forming; various types of heat treatments; welding, brazing, soldering or mechanical joining.  After fabrication and/or installation, the proper cleaning of the material may also be critical to ensure the expected corrosion resistance of the selected material.  For further details on this segment, see Fabrication and Welding.

Related News & Articles Showing Good Fabrication

Olympic Domes Olympic Coverage (Nickel Magazine, June 2010)
Twin domes using nickel-containing stainless steel for structural elements are the place to meet at the Vancouver Olympics.


Large Hadron Collider In the Beginning... (Nickel Magazine, July 2009)
Two high alloy stainless steels are able to withstand the extreme conditions in the Large Hadron Collider.


Cladding Pipe Proves to be Cost-Effective (Nickel Magazine, Mar. 2008)
Stainless steel weld overly on carbon steel pipe and fittings can be cost-effective.

See other Nickel Magazine stories about this industry.

Knowledge Base

The Nickel Institute has produced a number of learning modules which are of interest to the Fabrication Industry.  Good Practices Fabricating Austenitic Stainless Steels is an online slide presentation (with accompanying audio) which highlights the good practices that should be followed to maintain the corrosion resistance and aesthetic qualities of austenitic stainless steels.  Topics covered include:

  • How to avoid surface contamination and damage
  • How to cut and form stainless steels
  • How to clean surfaces before welding
  • How the welding of stainless steels compares with the welding of carbon and low-alloy steels
  • How to clean up after welding (by removing heat tint, pickling and electropolishing)
  • How embedded iron affects stainless steels
  • How to bring a stainless steel structure into service.

The presentation contains 64 slides, but it is designed to allow the user to proceed at their own pace. They can also move to any slide in the presentation via a table of contents. Several animated examples and interactive features are included to enhance learning and heighten user interest.

The intended audience is materials specifiers, fabricators and users of stainless steel.

Other Nickel Institute Learning Modules:

Technical Literature

All publications related to the Fabrication Industry.

Guidelines for the Welded Fabrication of Nickel-containing Stainless Steels for Corrosion-resistant Services, NI Publication 11007
Widely specified for applications where corrosion resistance is required, stainless steels are an excellent choice for chemical, dairy, food, architectural, biotechnology equipment and similar services. This publication is presented in three sections: "For the welder," deals with the differences in welding techniques for nickel-containing stainless steels, versus conventional carbon steels; "For the materials engineer," describes various types of stainless steels and how their metallurgical and corrosion resistant characteristics are affected by welding and heat treating; and, "For the design engineer," which demonstrates how the corrosion performance of stainless steels can be enhanced by good design.

Guidelines for the Welded Fabrication of Nickel Alloys for Corrosion-Resistant Service, NI Publication 11012
This publication is presented in three parts with each, in turn, focused toward the primary interests of the welder, the materials engineer, and the design engineer.

  • Part I, FOR THE WELDER, assumes that the welders and others involved in welded fabrication are familiar with the basic techniques used in carbon steel fabrication and have had limited experience with nickel alloys.
  • Part II, FOR THE MATERIALS ENGINEER, describes the types of nickel alloys; it reviews how their metallurgical and corrosion characteristics are affected by welding and covers some of the more specialized aspects of fabrication such as heat treating.
  • Part III, FOR THE DESIGN ENGINEER, provides a number of design examples showing how the corrosion performance of nickel alloys used in process tanks can be enhanced through thoughtful design.

Specifying Stainless Steels Surface Treatments, NI Publication 10068
This paper discusses various stainless steel surface treatments: passivation, pickling, electropolishing, and mechanical cleaning. Also discussed are conditions which would favor one method over another depending on the application. Often the surface treatment chosen can determine the success of the stainless steel being used.

Two Valuable Publications from IMOA (International Molybdenum Association)

  • Practical Guidelines for the Fabrication of Duplex Stainless Steels, 2nd Edition
    This brochure is for fabricators and end users of duplex stainless steels. It presents, in a single source, practical information for the successful fabrication of duplex stainless steels. It assumes that the reader already has experience with the fabrication of stainless steels; therefore, it provides data comparing the properties and fabrication practices of duplex stainless steels to those of the 300-series austenitic stainless steels and to carbon steel.
  • Practical Guidelines for the Fabrication of High Performance Austenitic Stainless Steels
    This brochure gives general information on the fabrication of high performance austenitic stainless steels in comparison to the standard austenitic alloys such as 304L and 316L.  Included are chapters on Care in the Shop; Hot and Cold Forming; Cutting; Machining;, Heat Treatment; Welding, Brazing and Soldering; Mechanical Joining; and Post-Fabrication Clean-up. 

Other publications related to the Fabrication Industry.