What Is It?
Fabrication is defined as a process of making something. In the sphere of manufacturing, when we talk about Metal Fabrication we are referring to the process of manipulating metal to make products.
The Fabrication Processes
For thin metals such as sheet metal you may decide that you want to shear the material, this process uses a a large guillotine-like blade to slice the metal. An alternative method is to use a powered or hand saw, you may do this if you are cutting away large pieces of waste metal. Like wood, metal can also be chiseled. You may use this process if you are an artist and sculpting a large block of soft metal, such as aluminium. You may also use a large machine such as a band-saw, plasma torches or a laser assisted, computer controlled cutter when cutting large structural beams. These beams are usually made out of Mild Steel and require precise cutting.
Cutting metal ultimately will weaken your structure as you are breaking the materials natural chemical bond, an alternative would be to bend the metal. This is done by hammering the metal, so is traditionally only done with sheet metal since the material needs to be thin enough to be bent. Machines such the Bend Press, is an automated machine that hammers the metal in shape, the advantages of using a machine like this is that the bends can be precisely drawn on computer and bent with precise automation.
The final part of the Metal Fabrication process is the the assembly stage. Metal and other materials that have been prepared through cutting and bending are assembled using processes such as adhesive glueing, nails, screws, bolts and studs, and welding technology. This will usually be done by hand or by a machine such as six-axial robotic arms, these arms are predominately used in assembly line manufacturing.
Types of metal and their products
The chemical properties of a metal determine how it can be manipulated which ultimately determine what it can be used for. There are many metals but the most Common metals include.
Also referred to as Mild Steel. It is an alloy composed of iron and other types of carbon such as nickel, tungsten, titanium and cobalt. There is no set percentage for the amounts of the composite carbons; therefore carbon steel can be made as strong or as weak as it is needed by adjusting the amount of each composite carbon element. Because of this flexibility and its inherent strength as an alloy, this type of metal is usually used in construction - in the manufacturing of structural beams.
The soft, malleability of this metal makes it ideal as a recyclable material since it can be melted down and reformed into anything without losing any of its inherent chemical properties in the forming and reforming process. Aluminium is often used in common household goods and packaging, because it is lite and easily repurposed.
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Candice Hubbard had a degree in manufacturing and runs her own industrial Metal Fabrication Company. Her company work with a lot of materials but predominantly work with Mild Steel and the development of better carbon steels for use in construction.
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