When you hear the term “metal fabrication,” you might picture someone in a welder’s mask hunched over a piece of metal and wielding a blow torch. And that would make sense, because welding is one of the several types of metal fabrication processes.
Various types of metal fabrication work are used to create both mass-produced and custom-made metal parts for a variety of applications. But metal fabrication shops (or “fab shops,” as they are colloquially known) perform more than just welding when it comes to different types of fabrication processes.
We touched on it above, and welding is a trademark staple of metal fabrication. This is a process that’s used to fuse two pieces of metal together using both heat and pressure. It’s quite useful because the two pieces of metal that can be welded together can be virtually any size or shape. There are a few different types of welding that use different materials and require different certifications.
Like carving a sculpture out of marble, machining is a subtractive process that removes material from a piece of metal to form the desired object or product. The main three types of machining are drilling, milling and turning.
Drilling uses a drill bit to bore a hole into the material, and milling employs spinning cutting tools that gradually shave away material until the desired shape is achieved. Turning requires the use of a lathe that “turns” the metal piece in different directions while a cutting tool moves in a straight-line fashion along the outside, creating the correct form.
One of the more artful types of fabrication work, forming involves the bending and shaping of a metal piece to achieve the desired shape. The process works through a brake press applying hundreds of tons of pressure on the metal object, folding it and molding it into the shape of a product.
Though this might seem self-explanatory, with metal fabrication, it’s not exactly that simple. Sometimes large pieces of metal need to be broken down into smaller pieces, and that’s where the cutting process comes in. The tried-and-true method of using a saw to cut metal can be used, either through human or machine operation. Laser cutting is a newer and more precise method of cutting and involves the use of a high-tech and powerful laser to make the requisite cuts.
Sometimes the metal piece being crafted requires multiple holes in specific places. This is where punching comes in. Specially made machines called punch presses function by using turrets that drive down into the metal through or into a die to create a hole. The holes are typically made for fastening purposes. CNC punch machines can be used, though there are mechanical and hand-powered punch presses as well.
Call for your metal fabrication needs today
Now that you know about the different types of metal fabrication processes and the different types of metal fabrication work, give us a call at NW Metal Fabricators Inc. to get started on your project. We’re the experts when it comes to all types of metal fabrication processes, and our technicians are dedicated to performing high-quality work.
Categorised in: Metal Fabrication
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