All of the metal components we use are fabricated in some way or the other. Unique shapes, sizes and finishes can only be achieved through the many processes fabrication encompasses so you can imagine just how busy the industry is.
Certain processes are more popular for the simple reason that they’re able to produce desired shapes and textures without too many faults. The use of robots is common as is computerized technology which has changed the way metal is fabricated.
A few popular techniques
Bending: Bending can be a manual or automated process and even though the latter works faster and with greater accuracy, manual bending is still commonly employed. The process is important for creating rectangular shapes, and ‘V’, ‘U’ and channel shapes.
Bending itself comprises several sub-processes to create specific shapes and may use additional or fewer tools to achieve the same. It remains a popular process as it doesn’t need the aid of too many tools. It’s cost-effective too.
Cutting: A necessary fabrication process, cutting is employed for almost all fabricated metalwork. It consists of different processes and tools to achieve desired forms.
If done manually, cutting typically uses saws, chisels and shears. Where quick work and greater accuracy are needed, machine technologies like grinding, milling and turning guarantee superior results.
Plasma cutting: A notable technique called plasma cutting assures precision and the ability to slice through thick metal without messing the edges. These results are achieved using a plasma torch and an inert gas. Because the process works fast and with superior precision, production costs can be controlled while production volume can be sustained.
Roll forming: Similar to bending but with the ability to produce longer forms and in larger quantities is roll forming, a process perfect for creating cross sections of metal. Since the process incorporates different sets of requirements into a whole, the cost of these sets is high so computer simulation is frequently employed. Birmingham Metal Services removal
Roll forming can produce thinner walls than other fabrication processes while still maintaining strength. It also helps cut costs since the need for additional finishing tools is eliminated.
Stamping: Designed along the principles of standard stamping, this metalworking process uses a machine press or similar equipment to impress forms on sheet metal. Like most fabrication processes, it relies heavily on computer technology to minimize expensive mistakes and maintain production volume.
Stamping can achieve numerous results from punching to bending, embossing and coining. This versatility has garnered an eclectic clientele which include the lighting and automotive industries and the electronics, aerospace and medical sectors, among several others.
Shearing: A very common process, shearing is perhaps one of the most frequently employed fabricating methods because metal must be cut before it’s formed and used. A part of the ‘cutting’ group of processes, shearing assures very clean cuts with no formation of chips, using typically straight or at times, curved, cutting blades.
Hydroforming: In hydroforming, hydraulic fluid is used to force metal into a die. The process eliminates the need for numerous tools even if the metal to be formed is switched with one that’s thinner or thicker. It also has the ability to produce complex shapes in a single step unlike mechanical presses.
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