Exploring the Different Types of Metal Fabrication Processes
Metal fabrication is the process by which raw materials are transformed into usable components for various industrial applications. It requires both specialized equipment and expert craftsmanship to perform correctly.
The first step is cutting, where the metal is trimmed to a specific size. It can be done by various tools, from power scissors to more advanced laser and plasma cutters.
The welding combines two or more metal pieces by applying high heat levels. Depending on the process, the resulting weld can be stronger than the parent material. Some welding processes also use pressure.
It is a versatile, effective method for joining components of an assembly. It can be used for various applications, from joining pipes to creating brackets and other parts. It also has the added benefit of being less expensive than other forming methods, such as punching or rolling.
After cutting metal, metal fabrication companies may need to bend it into the desired shape. It can be done manually by hammering (manual or powered) or via machine-based bending tools like press brakes or tube benders. The latter method is more efficient as it requires little manual labor and produces fewer scrap parts. It’s a great way to create complex shapes that wouldn’t be feasible using other forming techniques.
Various cutting machines are used to cut raw materials into parts for various metal fabrication projects. These include jigsaws, band saws, wire cutters, and electric arc welding (EAW).
Welding is a resistance joining process that uses an electrical current to form welds. Many methods can do it, including spot, seam, and projection welding. Some welding processes use filler materials with a different composition than the parent material to achieve greater strength.
Bending is a deformation process that can be applied to various metals. It is most commonly used to create curved metal shapes. There are several types of bending, such as roll bending, V-bending, and U-bending. Rotary bending is also ideal for forming components with sharp corners, including those with angles of 90 degrees or more. Other bending methods include bottoming, air bending, and coining.
Everything metal you use probably went through a metal fabrication process, from your laptop to the car you drive. The process turns raw metal materials into a wide range of different sizes, shapes, and forms.
Bending involves manipulating a sheet of metal to create an angle. There are several methods for bending, but air bending is the most popular. This method allows for tighter tolerances and less spring, which describes the partial recovery of a bent metal part to its geometry before bending force is applied.
Other bending techniques include bottoming and coining. They both use a punch and die to form a flat, raised area in the middle of a metal piece.
Industrial metal fabrication produces considerable machining and equipment for various industries, including alternative energy, aerospace, material handling, water treatment, and pollution engineering. Custom parts are also made for particular projects by industrial metal fabricators.
The final part of the fabrication process is assembling, which involves joining the separate metal pieces into the combined final product. It can be done with adhesives, binders, rivets, or threaded fasteners.
Cutting includes shearing, which uses two tools to make one extended cut across the raw material. Notching is a similar process, but instead of dividing the metal, it removes a portion to create a specific shape.
Bending is the opposite of cutting, forcing a metal to bend at a particular angle. It can be done manually with a power or manual hammer or with a more complex machine like a brake press.
Another way of bending metal is through drawing, which involves stretching the material to narrower shapes. It can be accomplished with different types of machinery, including powered and manual hammers, abrasive grinders, or honing machines. For this type of work, it’s essential to know the bending force required, as different types of metal have different compressive and tensile strengths.