Metal Fabrication Process & Its Applications – Part 1

Contributed by: Anonymous
April 27, 2021

Metal fabrication is the process of manufacturing metal sheet to make it conform to specific shapes. It takes place through cutting, stamping, shaping, folding and welding. Metal fabrication industry has broad applications across a great many industries and consumer products. Standard raw materials used include plate metal, fittings, castings, formed and expanded metal, sectional metal, flat metal, and welding wire. Below are the different processes & their applications that are usually applied for the metal fabrication –

  • Folding- One of the more complicated processes of metal fabrication involves folding, where a metal surface is manipulated to shape at a certain angle.
  • Welding - Along with cutting, welding is one of the most popular metal fabrication processes among crafts enthusiasts. The process of welding involves the joining of two separate metal parts. The parts used in a welding application could be sheets, panels, bars or shapes, etc.
  • Machining - When a machine is used to remove portions from a piece of metal, the process is known as machining. Typically, the process is performed on a lathe, which will rotate the metal against tools that trim corners and edges to cut the piece down to a desired shape or measurement. As such, the metal drill could be classified as a machining tool.
  • Punching - When holes are formed in a piece of metal, the process involved consists of punching, where metal is placed under a die and submitted to a punch-through by a drill. In other applications — alternately known as blanking — the area with the hole is specifically extracted from the larger panel.
  • Cutting - Perhaps the most commonly used metal fabrication processes involve cutting, where sheets of metal are split into smaller sections. In a lot of applications, the metal being cut is freshly made, and has yet to be shaped. In other applications, pre-shaped metals are submitted for cutting.
  • Shearing - For sheets of metal that require long cuts, the process is known as shearing. In some cases, the sheet is fed horizontally through a metal-cutting machine. In other applications, a cutting tool is applied vertically against the length of a flat metal sheet.
  • Cutting - Perhaps the most commonly used metal fabrication processes involve cutting, where sheets of metal are split into smaller sections. In a lot of applications, the metal being cut is freshly made, and has yet to be shaped. In other applications, pre-shaped metals are submitted for cutting.
  • Stamping - Punching is not the only metal fabrication process to utilize a die. In some applications, however, the intention is not to form a hole, but to raise a certain portion of a metal sheet, without penetrating. For applications like these, the process of stamping is used to form certain shapes, letters or images within a metal sheet or panel.
  • Casting - One of the oldest types of metal fabrication involves casting, where molten metal is poured into a mold and is left to solidify into a specific form. As one of the most flexible methods of metal fabrication, casting is ideal for a wide range of complex shape-making. In some cases, casting provides a solution to fabrication problems that would otherwise take several other methods to solve, such as with assembly parts that would need folding, shearing, and stamping. The most common metals employed in this application include steel, iron, aluminium, gold, copper, silver, and magnesium.
  • Forming - Forming involves the shaping and reshaping of solid metal into the desired part or product. There are several different forming processes available, including bending, drawing, extrusion, forging, pulling, rolling, and stretching. They are commonly used with sheets and plates—as well as other material forms—to produce simple components to complex assemblies.

Additional metal fabrication processes include broaching, honing, grinding and milling. Depending on the needs of a particular application, some metal facilities even perform specially customized types of fabrication.

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