Metal fabrication is a broad term that is used to refer to the process of cutting, shaping, or molding a metal material into a final product. Instead of the final product being manufactured from a wide range of independent components, fabrication creates an end product from a single raw material- metal.
If you look around your environment, you will notice many products that have been manufactured using the process of metal fabrication. Things ranging from aircraft parts to paper clips and vehicle parts are all in the form of a metal or metal alloy.
We have various metal fabrication processes, and the technique used usually depends on a wide range of factors such as the metal material to be fabricated and the desired quality of the end product. Here are some of the common metal fabrication processes.
This is one of the most common types of metal fabrication processes which involve cutting a metal workpiece and splitting it into smaller sections. Although sawing is the oldest method of metal cutting, many companies now rely on modern metal cutting methods such as waterjet cutting, laser cutting, plasma cutting, and power scissors.
Metal cutting is usually the first stage in a longer fabrication process, but it may also be the only process used. There is also a wide range of complexity and price when it comes to metal cutting machines with some machines costing millions of pounds.
Folding is one of the most complicated metal fabrication processes. In folding, a metal surface is greatly manipulated to shape at a specific angle. In most cases, the intent is to make the metal fold at right angles or something else that either more or less blunt.
But folding isn’t performed in any metal fabrication shop. It is a highly specialized process that can only take place in facilities that are well-equipped with high-tech equipment such as Edmo. In most cases, where metal folding is needed, joining of two metal panels at specific geometric angles would be the more practical and affordable alternative.
Machining is the process of shaping metal into the desired end product by removing all the unwanted material from it. This metal fabrication process can be done in different ways, including milling, turning, and even drilling.
Turning uses a lathe to rotate the raw metal while a metal cutting tool moves in a linear motion to remove the unwanted parts along the diameter hence creating a cylindrical shape.The metal cutting tool can be angled differently to create different shapes.
Drilling uses a rotary cutting tool to drill a hole into the metal while milling uses a rotating cutting tool to remove the unwanted sections of the metal progressively.
Casting is one of the oldest types of metal fabrication processes. In casting, molten metal is poured into a pre-designed mold and left to solidify into a specific shape. This is one of the most flexible and easy-to-use methods of metal fabrication suitable for various complex projects.
In most cases, casting provides the most viable solution to metal fabrication problems that would otherwise take several other methods to solve. The most common metals used in casting include copper, iron, steel, gold, magnesium, and silver.