Fabrication is a vital process in various industries, including construction, automotive, aerospace and manufacturing. This broad field encompasses numerous techniques and methods, each with its unique applications and advantages. What are some of the most common metal fabrication techniques used today? Read on to find out.
A fundamental metal fabrication technique, cutting involves separating metal materials into desired shapes and sizes. This process can be performed using a range of methods, including manual cutting with shears, power tools such as circular saws or advanced technologies like laser cutting, plasma cutting and water jet cutting. The choice of cutting method depends on factors like material thickness, precision requirements and production volume.
Bending involves altering the shape of a metal workpiece by applying force along a specific axis, resulting in a curve or angle. Various methods can be used for bending, including manual bending with a press brake, roll bending for creating curves and tube bending for forming intricate shapes with metal tubing. The bending process allows for the creation of complex geometries and is essential for applications requiring custom-shaped components.
Primarily a sheet metal fabrication technique, punching means creating holes or openings in a metal workpiece using a punch and die set. The punch, typically made of hardened steel, is forced through the section of sheet metal, while the die supports the workpiece and provides a cavity for the punched material to be removed. Punching can be used for creating either uniform holes or similarly sized cut-outs in sheet metals.
Used to join two or more metal pieces together, welding involves melting and fusing the materials at their edges. Various welding techniques exist, including arc welding, gas welding and resistance welding, to name but a few. Welding is a critical metal fabrication method used in the assembly of numerous products and structures.
Machining is a subtractive metal fabrication technique that involves removing material from a workpiece to achieve the desired shape or dimensions. Often used for creating precision components with tight tolerances, machining is an essential fabrication technique for industries like aerospace and automotive manufacturing.
Finally, casting involves pouring molten metal into a mould, where it solidifies and takes on the desired shape. Sand casting, die casting and investment casting are all fairly common among Australian fabrication firms. Casting is a versatile fabrication technique suitable for producing a wide range of shapes and sizes, from small, intricate components to large, more complex structures.
For more information on metal fabrication, contact a professional near you.