Metal fabrication is very complicated and it covers a wide range of processes. Whether you like something mass produced or as a once off, it is significant that you understand fabrication, as well as, the difficult processes that goes into it.
Below are the three principal processes used in fabricating metals. You will discover some details on how these processes work and also 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 only a guide based on the practices of professional operators and is not an instruction for DIY jobs.
1. The Cutting Process
Despite this process sounding heavy handed, the cutting process is one of the more accurate and technical 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. Aside from it, you also use Oxyacetylene or plasma torches to cut the metal using heat. However, the most common way to cut the metals during fabrication is the use of CNC machining. These machine can utilize laser cutting, manual tools, or even water jets. In CNC machine, you just have to program the design that you want and the metal is then shaped by one of the aforementioned tools into the shape identified by the computer design. This method is very useful especially for intricate projects.
Joining is the most commonly used method in the fabrication process. Fabrication processes that fall under this include welding and riveting or bonding with adhesives. Welding, is the process of joining together two pieces of metal with the heat and a filler material. 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.
3. The Bending Process
Bending is a fabrication process which include bending the metal into the shape you like. This can done manually, but today modern machines replaced the traditional way of manually bending the metals.
The Final Touches
After all the cutting, joining, and bending of metals are finished, the final touches can be applied already. 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.