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Types of Metal Fabrication - Metfab

Types of Metal Fabrication-Understanding the Different Types of Metal Fabrication Process

Metal is everywhere throughout what might be referred to as the Modern Industrial Age. There are so many ways that metals play a significant role in making our lives easier.
There are many companies that have been offering custom metal works and steel products to different manufacturing and construction industries.
Have you ever considered how metal is shaped, formed, and treated for the desired outcome?
Metal fabrication is a broad term that most people find challenging to comprehend fully.
The number of appliances we use daily is almost made of metals, including tools, electronic devices, cars, phones, and other items. Metal manufacturing is a tremendously complex process with numerous variations, each ideal for a specific purpose.
We would visit every single one, but first, let us give you a brief background of different types of metal fabrication and how each one works.

What is Metal Fabrication

Metal fabrication is a technique that entails employing both hand labour and automation to create diverse metal structures. Fabrication shops specialize in a particular area of metal fabrication, and fabrication also frequently refers to the output of such establishments. Even though they may have a similar shape, various other metalworking techniques, including forging, casting, and metal stamping, are not considered a fabrication.
Many different sectors and consumer products use metal production regularly. Plate metal, fittings, castings, formed and expanded metal, sectional metal, flat metal, and welding wire are common raw materials.

Metal fabrication types - Metfab

Metal Fabrication vs Machining - How Do They Differ

The metal manufacturing process includes both machining and fabrication. Depending on the intended result and the material being utilized, one will be used over the other for that specific process. The vast majority of raw materials can withstand various machining processes. Depending on the material, as some do a better job transferring heat than others, will determine the type. Some will conduct electricity better than others. A casting technique or a 3D printer can't be used to produce every material, though. That is yet another way that fabrications and machining differ.
The primary distinctions between fabrication and machining come down to the following:
Fabrication is adding or removing material to create products made of metal, plastic, textiles, or other essential materials.
Machines that cut and shape materials by removing material are used in machining to shape items.

Different Types of Metal Fabrication

1. Metal Stamping

Sheet metals like stainless steel, aluminium, copper/brass, or other galvanized alloys require a different type of metal stamping. This process— unique to sheet metal—can be combined with additional production techniques to get the desired results.
Automotive component manufacture and assembly are among the most well-liked applications for metal stamping. Car pieces like the firewall, doors, wheel hubcaps and many other parts of the car's body are designed using this technique.
Stamping and punching are similar, with the vital distinction being that stamping makes a dent in the raw material piece rather than a hole. This is frequently used to produce different symbols, such as letters, numbers, or images, on the surface of a material object.
Currently, mechanical and hydraulic stamping presses are the two major types available. Stamping is usually done on metal sheets with a thickness of 14 inches or less. It produces a wide variety of goods, such as coins (coining is a process), smaller metal parts for electronics (four slide shaping), and so on.

2. Cutting

One of the oldest methods of metal processing was probably cutting. Metal cutting is a simple procedure with a straightforward premise. Still, it can also be done in conjunction with more sophisticated machinery.
Cutting typically requires the following materials and tools: cutting tools, a workstation, and a metal specimen or workpiece. This procedure involves removing extra parts from the ferrous or non-ferrous metal workpiece. The final workpiece can now be fitted to operate with other components and systems after removing the undesirable part.
However, cutting is relatively complicated and involved. Exact cuts are made using various technologies, including lasers, waterjets, power scissors, and plasma.
Depending on the project, cutting is frequently the first, if not the sole, fabrication procedure.

3. Welding

Simply put, welding is the process of connecting two metals. Although there are numerous varieties of welding processes, they all have some characteristics. A metal workpiece is necessary for welding, just like all other methods. Additionally, it calls for the employment of welding tools, shielding gas, consumable or non-consumable electrodes, flux, and fillers.
Depending on how complicated they are, welding processes can be categorized. Stick welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and gas metal arc welding are a few of the more popular ones. To ensure that the welding job is tidy and devoid of undesirable elements that could impair the quality of the end product, this process needs to be carried out in a controlled atmosphere.

4. Extrusion

Extrusion is not just for metals; it may also be used to create polymers and other items made of plastic. However, they are heavily utilized for creating profiles for sectional components or steel or aluminium beams.
A solid billet of alloy or metal is forced through tooling die with a specific cross-section during the extrusion process. A powerful hydraulic and high-pressure system that enables the billet to be moulded by the die makes this possible. The extruded product can now undergo additional post-processing after being expelled.
Hot extrusion is frequently employed when working with materials like copper or aluminium since it raises the temperature of the material, increasing its likelihood of being moulded into a particular shape. In contrast, room temperature cold extrusion is used to fabricate steel metal to increase product durability.

5. Forging

Similar to cutting, forging is one of the earliest metal fabrication methods. If you've dealt with this, it's not surprising that pictures of a blade being pounded against a solid anvil block may come to mind.
Despite the history of this technique, forging has managed to withstand the test of time and develop into a trusted way of cutting the metal into different sizes. Similar to this, many forging methods exist, including cold forging, hot forging, and open die forging. Although there could be changes between each technique, one thing they all have in common is the application of compression forces to press, bend, or shape the metal into the desired shape.

6. Casting

When a metal is cast, it is heated until it reaches its melting point and then poured into a mould with a predetermined design and an empty hole. After the metal has finished cooling and thoroughly hardened, it can undergo post-processing to fix minor flaws and enhance the metal quality.
It was casting benefits all the other methods listed here in that it may be utilized to produce intricate shapes in a single operation. Equipment for automotive, aircraft, agricultural, computing, and other industries can be cast quickly and with few problems.
There are other casting variants as well. For instance, in die casting, a die is used to hold molten metal rather than a mould. The shape of the die determines the form of the finished product and the pressure being applied to it.

Key Takeaway

At a basic level, metal fabrication is simple to understand. Each of the several metal fabrication processes involved is distinct and in-depth. For any metal production project, it is essential to understand the fundamental principles of each.
Various metal fabrication procedures are used for a natural metal source to create metal products for different functions. While some of these processes need constant electrical or thermal energy applications, others call for varying degrees or levels of physical manipulation.
Hopefully, the information in the above guide has given you enough knowledge about a few of the processes used by the industry to produce metal goods.