Metal plays a major role in every household and working environment. Metal makes any modern convenience possible from appliances and lighting systems to tables, chairs and utensils, and even DIY projects.
The method of making raw metals into premade forms for assembly is metal fabrication. Let’s say you need a metal frame for your next DIY project. The best way to get your hands on a custom metal frame is by opting for custom metal fabrication. The processes involved are however dynamic and diverse. What then is metal fabrication and how it works?
What is the method of metal production?
The following processes are typically part of the training curriculum as individuals are taught how metal fabrication works. Each method requires a degree of experience and expertise to be perfected. However, the strongest material on earth can be cut, drilled, folded, and welded using any metal fabrication process:
The “Laser engraving metal” technology is also used in the fabrication of metals.
Maybe the most widely used methods of metal fabrication include cutting, where metal sheets are divided into halves, thirds, or smaller parts. The metal being cut is freshly made in a lot of applications and has yet to be moulded into anything in particular. Pre-shaped metals like bars and measured panels are submitted for cutting in other applications. Cuts are carried out on a variety of equipment, from lasers and plasma torches to high-tech, more elaborate machinery components.
Folding, where a metal surface is manipulated to format a certain angle, is one of the most complex metal fabrication techniques. The goal is to make the metal surface fold at a 90-degree angle for such folding applications, or anything else that is either more or less blunt.
In addition to cutting, welding is one of the most common metal fabrication methods. The welding process requires the joining of two separate metal sections. Sheets, tables, bars, or shapes might be the parts used in a welding application.
There are other ways of fabricating metal as well as machining, punching, shearing, stamping, and casting.
Fabricated metals used in product making
A given collection of assembly parts may go to a factory or independent fabricator depending on the operations at hand. A project will in most cases start with one or more of the following materials:
Expanded metal: Metal is expanded to take on the desired quality for machines and fixtures that require metal panels that are grated instead of solid. Essentially, metal sheets are sheared in a pattern across the surface, which is held together by the remaining mesh-like metal, creating diamond-shaped gaps. The metal is essentially stretched to its ultimate dimensions when the final creation of each sheet takes place.
Metals are routinely ordered in sectional varieties for various applications in the building and engineering sectors. Any kind of prefabricated piece built for uniform assembly is sectional metal. Sectional materials of different types include:
I-beam: An I-shaped beam, cross-sectional.
Z-shape: A sectional piece that has the same form as the last letter of the alphabet.
Bar: A rectangular piece of cross-sectional metal.
Rod: A piece of long sectional metal, either square or round.
When designing sheet metal frames for manufacturing, here are some considerations:
- When common tool sizes are used as opposed to expensive design tools that need to be designed especially for the job, sheet metal fabrication is most cost-effective. Consider welding or riveting parts together, which can be done using common or universal equipment, if a single component becomes too complicated.
- Sheet metal tolerances are much more generous than machining or 3D tolerances. Tolerance factors include the thickness of the material, the equipment used, and the number of steps in the fabricating process.
While today’s engineering tools are strong, it is only when you can see and manage a metal frame that it becomes known if the design meets expectations. Is that good enough? Light enough? Does it look, sound, and balance the way it should look? For top-notch fabrication call MetalsCut4U today!