Products that are made via metal fabrication are everywhere, from car parts to office equipment. Why, even a simple paperclip, which is made from galvanized steel, is metal fabricated through the processes of designing, cutting, and forming.
Indeed, metal fabrication is one of the most popularly used processes for shaping metals for a wide variety of purposes. In addition to cutting metal and forming metal into shapes, metal fabrication entails things like melting, bending, and assembling metals.
Here are some other crucial things you need to know about metal fabrication.
Metal Fabrication Stages
There are various processes that go into metal fabrication. But the three main stages are as follows.
The Design Stage
The first stage in metal fabrication is the design stage. Engineering drawings for metal parts and products are created by mechanical design engineers.
Those drawings include precise design specifications to ensure the finished model is accurately manufactured.
The Cutting Stage
The next important step in metal fabrication is cutting the required metals to the appropriate sizes, weights, and structural shapes detailed in the design drawings. Different types of metal cutting equipment can be utilized to cut metal sheets into the pre-designed forms.
Most manufacturers use Computer Numerical Control machinery with high-speed lasers to ensure metals are cut accurately into the required shapes.
The Forming and Assembly Stage
The last major stage is forming and assembling the metal components that have been cut into finished products. After the assembly stage has been completed, a quality control check will be performed to ensure the finished item meets the exact specifications of the engineering drawings.
Equipment That Is Used in Metal Fabrication
Metal fabrication requires the use of various types of equipment, such as saws, press brakes, laser cutters, and a sheet metal shearing machine, to name just a few.
The precise tools that are used for metal fabrication simply depend on the item being produced and its specifications. More complex tasks will typically require a wider variety of tools.
Pretty much any equipment that can be used in manufacturing metals can be used at one time or another during metal fabrication processes.
Software is also an integral part of metal fabrication, as CAD software is needed to create engineering drawings, and CNC machines use G-Code, which basically turns CAD drawings into instructional code.
Metals That Are Used in Metal Fabrication
While various kinds of metals can potentially be used in metal fabrication, typically, the most well-rounded metals to use are steel, iron, and copper. That is because those metals are dynamic and robust enough to suit the needs of most metal fabrication scenarios.
Also, professional metal fabricators have a good knowledge of the unique features of different types of metals, so they will know which metals are best for specific projects.
Not all metals can be fabricated and customized in the same way. For example, stainless steel is less versatile than aluminum. Even so, stainless steel is one of the most widely used metals in metal fabrication processes, alongside other steels like carbon steel and alloy steel.