Metal fabrication is a process, which has been done throughout the centuries. Metal fabrication is basically done for shaping and forming of metals into functional or decorative objects. Some of the earliest metal fabrication techniques were used to form primitive weapons for hunting such as arrowheads, spears etc.
By definition metal fabrication involves the process of cutting, bending and forming metal into structures. It is a number of processes which follows a series of steps in order to give us a finished product. Some of the examples of common materials produced by metal fabrications are loose metal parts, heavy machinery, structural frames for buildings, hand railings, ornamental pieces etc. Now you can find many metal items in the market such as metal furniture, machines, accessories, decorative and home improvement items and industrial manufacturing machineries. So all your need to fabricate the metal sheets to develop the desire shape and this metal fabrication process can be done by trained and professional fabricators only.
Processes Followed During Metal Fabrication:
This is one of the first steps of the metal fabrication process. The first type of cutting metals usually involves sawing or shearing of metals generally performed by machines. Some techniques like Oxy-acetylene torches, plasma cutters etc. are also used to do it manually. The most common ways of cutting metals are by using NC(Numerical Control) or CNC(Computer Numerical Control) machines which allow for the design to be loaded on a computer. in this stage fabricator can use different types of cutting options such as laser cutters, manual cutters and high pressure water jets to cut the metal into intricate designs and shapes.
As the name suggests joining is the process of putting together two or more ends of metals together. This is either done with the help of welding or riveting or by the use of adhesives which hold the pieces together with or without the application of heat. Another method of joining uses bending the sheets together in a crimped sheet.
Structural steel and steel metal are usually wielded together using a flux and a filler metal. Nowadays in metal fabrication welding process can also be performed by automatic welding machines which need the input instructions of where exactly the weld needs to be made and the flux and filler metal is added to the location by the machine.
- This is a common second step which follows the cutting process. Hydraulic press brakes are used to form the metal into various shapes. It is performed using shaped dies and mandrels to bend tubular sections smoothly and rolling presses are used to bend flat sheets. This process helps in creation of stronger metal structures as they do not have any joints.
- Machines are used to regulate direction and force of the pressure to get delicate precision bends at the correct measurements. Through this bending process, people can bend the metal sheets and make their desired shapes.
This is a process of removing unwanted material to give it a desired shape. Metal fabrication shops will all usually entail and number of machining processes such as metal lathes, magnetic drills etc. Components such as gears, nuts, bolts etc are made from machining process.
The workers for quality at each step always check the finished pieces from the workshop and corrections are made to the process if required based on the product being created.
Metal fabrication is a skilled process thus there are two broad ways to learn it, one is to do a certified course in metal works and the other is to learn the skill while working in a metal fabrication shop.