Metal fabrication refers to any type of process that cuts, molds, and shapes metal materials into a finalized product. Metal fabrication also includes building metal structures by processes that involve bending, cutting, and assembling metal. When a unique metal product is needed, it can be custom made. Here are four common types of custom metal fabrication process that make it possible to design, build, and assemble a part that is built-to-order.
This custom metal fabrication process involves conjoining two or more pieces of metal by using a combination of pressure and heat. Of all the different methods used to fuse metal together, welding is the most common method. Some of the welding techniques used in custom metal fabrication include:
- Oxy-Acetylene welding (OAW)
- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) better known as Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG)
- Metal Inert Gas (MIG) also known as Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
- Manual Metal Arc Welding (MMA) also known as Stick Welding
When a hot liquid metal is poured into a mold and allowed to solidify, it is part of the casting process. The actual casting happens when the solidified part is broken out of the mold. This custom metal fabrication process is normally used when making complex shapes that would be hard to do, or not very cost effective to do, by using other methods. Casting has been around for over 5,000 years and it was commonly used to make tools and art.
This metal forming process uses a punch press to force another tool called a punch to create holes, decorative indentions, or other features in pieces of metal. Punch presses are usually mechanically operated but there are some that are powered by hand. By using punching, custom metal fabricators are able to create holes in multiple shapes using a variety of metal materials including aluminum, brass, copper, titanium, and all alloys of steel.
This method involves shaping metal using compressive force with a power hammer or a die. Forging is classified according to which temperature is being used during the process and includes these three classifications:
- cold forging
- warm forging
- hot forging
Some historians believe that the process of forging dates back to 4000 BC, when man created weapons and tools from metals such as iron and bronze. Today, computer-controlled hydraulic hammers are used in custom metal fabrication for a variety of industries including agriculture, aerospace, energy, and mining.
For more information, contact companies like Ceramic Technology Inc.