Metals play an important role in modern society. And unbeknownst to some of us, we are practically surrounded by metal.
From the tools that we use to fix a broken pipe to the components that allow a car engine to work, to the structural metals that keep homes and buildings from collapsing to the machines that allow us to perform laborious tasks with ease – metal is indeed everywhere.
And we have metal fabrication to thank for that.
This article will explain everything you need to know about metal fabrication – from its most basic definition to its uses in modern society.
What is Metal Fabrication?
Metal fabrication is a manufacturing process that involves shaping raw metal materials into products or pre-made shapes for assembly use.
For instance, the metal parts of a standard washing machine are made through custom metal fabrication processes, which are usually done at an off-site fabrication facility and then sent to an appliance manufacturing plant.
In other applications of metal fabrication, raw metal materials are shaped into products or parts that are ready to use and don’t have to go through an assembly line.
What Are the Uses of Metal Fabrication?
It is used in a wide range of industries that include, but are not limited to, agricultural, construction, aerospace, alternative energy, consumer goods, medical devices, mining, shipbuilding, and military and defence.
These industries utilise metal fabrication to create a wide variety of products: car parts, pipes, cans, hand tools, metal windows, hand railings, equipment attachments, structural metals, cables, faucets, lighting fixtures, fasteners, and heavy machinery and equipment.
Even the kitchen utensils we use are created through metal fabrication.
What Are the Processes in Metal Fabrication?
Metal fabrication is a complex process that has numerous processes. Oftentimes, metal fabricators have to use many of these different processes just to create a single customized metal part. And obviously they use different tools and machines to perform each process.
Here’s a list of the most common metal fabrication processes:
In the reduction process, parts of the metal are removed to get a piece into the right size and shape. Several techniques are used in this process, including shearing, blanking, and notching.
This process is used for when a metal needs to be shaped instead of cut. Stamping and folding are two techniques that fall under the shaping process of a fabrication process.
Welding is a popular metal fabrication process that involves the joining of two pieces of metal. This process has several types, such as TIG welding and MIG welding.
This metal fabrication process involves using a machine to remove portions from blocks or pieces of metal. One of the most common types of machining is CNC machining, which uses a combination of a computer and different types of cutting tools to make high-precision cuts in metals.