Metal fabrication is very complicated and it covers a wide range of processes. Whether it is something made as a once off or mass produced, it is still very important to know about fabrication and the various processes behind it.
In this article you will know the three main processes of fabrication that are used for metal. You will discover some details on how these processes work and also their primary uses. Apart from that, there is also a short description about the finishing touches and protective coatings that can be used to 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 first form of the cutting technique is the sawing and shearing of metal, which can be done both manually and by the use of large machines. Furthermore, it is also possible to use heat to manually cut the metal with the use of Oxyacetylene or plasma torches. But, the most popular way of cutting metals during the fabrication is with the CNC machining. These type of machines can use 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 really useful for highly detailed projects.
2. The Joining Process
Joining is the most commonly used method in the fabrication process. Fabrication processes that are part of the “joining” category are 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 also joins two pieces of metal together, however, it only use a metal rivet and it does not required heat. In some items, it is possible to use adhesive glue to join together different components.
3. The Third Process: Bending
Bending is a fabrication process which include bending the metal into the shape you like. While this method can possibly be achieve manually, but there modern machines that are used as a substitute to the more traditional manual bending methods.
Final Touches to Fabricated Products
After all the cutting, joining, and bending of metals are finished, the final touches can be applied already. There are wide range of final touches, from putting paint for aesthetic reasons to protective coatings like sandblasting or powder. You must consult with the manufacturer regarding what kind of coating is appropriate for your purpose and pocket.