Metal Fabrication And Its Process

Custom metal fabrication franklin is term used to describe the entire process of building structural components and machine parts from raw metal materials. From cutting and shaping to final assembly of the structural components and machine parts falls under the term of ‘metal fabrication’. The metal fabrication ranges from small projects such as part casting to large projects such as manufacturing entire pieces of equipment and machinery.

Approximately 1.425 million workers are employed by this industry according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. Evolution in other industries such as auto, energy and aerospace influence the advances and research in metal fabrication. Solid organizational strategies are constructed by the manufacturers and machine shops so they survive through the highs and lows in the market without much trouble.

The metal fabrication process comprises of 8 steps. Typical metal fabrication uses some or all of the following steps.

First step consists of cutting. It involves cutting sheets into smaller sections of the metal. The size varies according to the design of the produce and the necessary limitations of machines.

Second step involves the process of ‘forming’. This process of folding, bends the metal surfaces into different shapes. Depending on the requirement of the design either press brakes or folding machines are used.

The third step of welding comprises of bonding two separate metal parts by the process of melting them and forging them into one part. For example, joining of two components to construct a larger component or joining larger finished pieces to create a final product. Panels, bars and sheets are among the many other metal parts that can be welded together.

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In the fourth step of ‘machining’, sections are removed from a piece of metal with various cutting and shaping tools. To reach a desired design of the metal it is rotated against certain specific tools to cut away the pieces.

The step of ‘machining’ is followed by the step of ‘punching’ where forces is used by punch presses to create holes in the large metal pieces so other parts can be fixed into them. For different metal sizes and designs different punch presses are used ranging from small manual punch press to complex CNC punch press.

Then comes the step of ‘shearing’ where long cuts are made in the metal sheets. Often this technique is applied to trim the edges on long metal sheets.

Stamping process then involves using compressive forces against a die to shape the metal sheet according to the design; it however does not include puncturing the base material. It has broad range of applications ranging from branding or lettering or creating a specific design shape.

The final step of casting involves the solidification of the molten metal that is poured into a mold according to the final design shape. Flexibility in this fabrication process allows the creation of complex shapes.

The four common metals used in metal fabrication are following

Pipe & Tube:

They are hollow. Tubes come in the shapes of square, rectangular or round however pipes are always round. Pipes are used for the gas and fluids transference whereas tubes are used in the structural applications. They both are available in Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum and other materials.

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Structural Metals:

Metal pieces that are prefabricated for the structural assembly of a design is called structural metal. This makes the key facet of the construction and engineering sectors. Examples include bars, beams, angles and channels.

Plate and Sheet Metals:

This flat metal is basically a raw material and is also prefabricated and comes in ranges of thickness. It is mainly thin though. Leaf metal, sheet metal and plate metal are the types of the flat metal. From construction to home appliances its applications vary widely.

Bar Stock:

Comes in the solid shapes of round, square and rectangular. It is also available in Stainless steel, Carbon steel, Aluminum and other material in different grades. It can be cut to length for different uses and also can be machined, bent and rolled.