Metal fabrication is very complicated and it covers a wide range of processes. Either you want something made as a once off, or you want something mass produced, it is essential that you understand fabrication and the different processes that go into it.
Listed below are the three major fabrication processes that are commonly used for metals. You will not only find details about how these processes work, but also you will discover their primary uses. Aside from that, this article will also include a short explanation about protective coatings and finishing touches that can be applied to any fabricated metal products. This article is not advisable to be used as an instruction for DIY jobs, and this is only a guide based entirely on the practices of professional operators.
1. The First Process: Cutting
This process is one of the more technical and accurate processes. The very first variant of this technique is the physical shearing and sawing of the metal, which is usually done by big machines but it can also done manually. In addition, the use of Oxyacetylene or plasma torches can also be used to manually cut the metal using the heat. But, the most popular way of cutting metals during the fabrication is with the CNC machining. These kind of machines can use laser cutting, manual tools, or even water jets. The first thing to do when using CNC machine is to program the specific design that you like into the machine, then the metal will be shaped by one of the tools according to the shape specified by the computer design. This method is very useful especially for intricate projects.
2. The Joining Process
The joining process is the commonly used method of fabrication. Fabrication processes that fall under this include welding and riveting or bonding with adhesives. Welding involves the joining of two pieces of metal together using a filler material and heat. Riveting process is similar to welding, it also joins two pieces of metal together, however, riveting does not require heat and only use a metal rivet. Some items only required an adhesive glue to join different components.
The bending process involves bending the metal according to the shape you want. This can done manually, but today modern machines replaced the traditional way of manually bending the metals.
Final Touches to Fabricated Products
Once the process of cutting, joining, and bending of metals are all done, the final touches to fabricated products can be applied. The final touches can range from paint application for purely aesthetic reasons to something like a protective coatings such as a powder coating or sandblasting. Inquire from the manufacturer for you to be able to look for a coating that best fit your purpose and budget.