There are a lot of areas in our lives that metal fabrication plays an important role, as much as we may not immediately recognize it. Wherever there are metal parts; there was most likely metal fabrication done to produce those useful parts you see. Metal fabrication entails the bending, cutting, and assembling of various metal parts and pieces into specific structures. This shall be work assigned to skilled technicians.
There are certain basic steps that metal fabrication shall entail. The process usually starts when the metal is cut using manual or mechanized techniques such as sawing, shearing, and chiseling. There is also now the adoption of more advanced processes such as laser cutting, water jets or torches. These are computer controlled, meaning they result in far better accuracy than before.The fact that these are computer controlled means they shall be more accurate than the usual older processes. These shall also involve the use of sheets of metal. Sheet metal fabrication is a term that resulted from this preference.
After cutting, the metal then needs to be bent to the desired shapes. There shall be the application of the press brakes or hammering methods. The process can either be manual or automated. The press brakes make it possible to clamp the sheet metals via punches and dies. After that, the pieces shall be measured before they are joined. This joining is enabled through welding, fastening, riveting or binding. These are that make up the entire metal fabrication process.
There is also the process of stamping, through which metal can be fabricated. This is the preferred method when you need to produce a large number of the same piece or object. It shall involve the creation of a mold or stamp. This is what shall be pressed upon sheet metals via a stamping machine to produce the desired shapes. You shall end up with exact copies of the item. There is a lot of time, money and technical expertise needed when creating the mold in the beginning. It is after this has been made that you shall find the process to now be affordable and less strenuous. This is the preferred method of making commonly used items such as vents, panels, hinges, and the like.
In most metal fabrication processes, steel is the metal of choice. Some of those processes shall incorporate the use of carbon as an alloying element. It is the cheaper of the two metals but brings some desirable traits, such as increased strength, malleability, and hardness. There is a direct relationship between these qualities and the amount of carbon used in the process. Carbon however, presents the challenge of having corrosive properties. This can be countered when they metal item is coated or painted. There is also the use of stainless steel as another solution.