Lead Forensics

Is there an alternative to welding metal?

Welding is a process to attach one piece of metal to another. Welding is not easy, requiring a high degree of skill. There are alternative methods of joining metal together, some of which are easier. Why doesn’t Steely Products use non-welding methods, especially as some of these methods are cheaper and quicker? To explain why, let’s examine each alternative, its benefits and its drawbacks.


Soldering is a method used on circuit boards and electronics. It uses solder that melts at a low temperature, so this method requires less heat than welding and is quicker. A soldering iron is much safer to use than welding equipment. Soldering is ideal for joining components to make a connection that allows electricity to flow, but compared to welding, solder joints are weak, and this technique is therefore unsuitable for heavy load-bearing equipment.


Glue is one of the easiest ways to join metal pieces and requires little skill. Ordinary glues are not strong enough to hold metal together. There are several types of glue that are formulated for metal. They form a solid bond to join metal together. Gluing is an effective way to join metal, but the bond is not as strong and reliable as welding, making this method far from ideal for heavy-duty warehouse equipment.


Riveting uses metal fasteners to join metal together. This method is used for heavy sections of large objects, such as tankers, bridges and boilers. Riveting forms a strong, solid and permanent bond that requires no heat, but it is a complex process. The heavy metal pieces must be held together. Holes are then drilled and rivets inserted. The rivets need to be struck hard on the opposite side. The process requires a group of up to five workers.

Riveting is great for large structures, but when it comes to fabricating warehouse trolleys, tables and shelving using tubular steel, a skilled metalworker can weld strong joints. Welding done by a single worker is more cost-effective than using a team of riveters.

Nuts and bolts

A popular alternative to welding is nuts and bolts. The joined pieces can easily be disassembled if necessary. This is a reliable method and easy to use, requiring no heat or special equipment except a wrench. Nuts and bolts create a weaker joint than welding and are not ideal for equipment exposed to vibrations, pressure and impact.

Why Steely Products prefers welding

Riveting, nuts and bolts, and glue are effective alternative methods to welding for joining metal together. Though welding requires heat and specialised equipment, for the heavy-duty equipment that Steely Products makes, welding is our preferred method to join tubular steel lengths. Welding creates very strong joints that withstand heavy loads, impact and vibrations. We fabricate equipment that is designed to last a long time. This is why we use strong but lightweight tubular steel and employ skilled metalworkers to make strong welded joints.

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