A large part of the economy relies on metal fabrication processes, from making your cars to your phones to your tools and electric appliances. Metal fabrication is essential for houses, kitchens, businesses, computers, and vehicles to function well.
Still, not many people know what metal fabrication is and how it works.
In this article, let’s take a look at the definition of metal fabrication, the technology used for it, and the different types of processes involved in making metal fabrication possible.
Definition of Metal Fabrication
Metal fabrication is the process that takes any metal material to create products or structures. This often involves cutting, bending, stamping, welding, or assembling sheet metal or flat metal to make them conform to different shapes.
Metal fabrication is used by many industries. Industrial metal fabrication is involved in large-scale production used for aerospace, alternate energy, pollution engineering, material handling, water treatment, car parts, engines, and others.
Some fabricators focus on structural metal fabrication involving construction materials like the foundation and beams. Others still work in commercial production for creating parts used in commercial venues.
These include guardrails, awnings, sinks and other appliances, conveyors, shelving and the like.
Technology Used for Metal Fabrication
To make metal fabrication possible, the strength of a hand isn’t enough. This industry makes use of different technology to ensure precision.
The following technology are commonly used by metal fabricators:
- Machinery. Metal fabrication relies on machinery to make processes such as cutting easier. Laser technology, plasma cutting, and waterjet cutting are commonly used to cut through thicker materials.
- Automation. Automation allows metal fabrication to be completed with minimal human involvement. This makes the processes less dangerous, but also allows for reproducibility and precision.
- CAD Software. Computer-aided design (CAD) software is used by engineers and metal fabricators to develop designs. This software makes the production of 3D models easier, and also allows for quick updates and design changes.
Types of Metal Fabrication Processes
In metal fabrication, there are many processes involved that allow fabricators to create any shape or form they need out of a sheet of metal.
Take a look at the common types of metal fabrication processes below:
- Cutting. This is one of the earliest forms of metal work and can be performed by hand or using technology.
- Drilling. This involves the use of a circular bit to dig holes.
- Forging. When fabricators want to bend and shape metal, this typically requires high-pressure machinery to compress the raw material.
- Casting. For creating specific shapes, metal fabricators may sometimes use a mold where they pour molten metal. When it dries and solidifies, the metal takes the shape of the mold.
- Welding. This technique is used when joining two metals together.
- Extrusion. This is the process used to create cylindrical parts like pipes and wires.