How Does the Metal Fabrication Process Actually Work in Practice?

Do you need to learn about metal manufacturing to start a new hobby? Are you planning to start manufacturing a new product at your company, and need to know how it’s put together?

Metal fabrication involves more than a few simple steps. Depending on what’s being manufactured, the process can involve stamping, cutting, welding, and more. Thanks to technology, metal fabrication automation is becoming the standard in most metalworking plants today.

Here’s a quick overview of the steps in metal fabrication and what happens at each stage of the process.

Cutting

Most metal parts start out as smaller metal parts cut from plate metal and connected together.

There are more than a few types of metal cutting, including die cutting, laser cutting, and hydraulic water jet cutting. These processes are often controlled by CNC machining, which is a form of computerized manufacturing.

Welding

Welding is essential for almost all metal manufacturing. Metal Fabrication & Welding has evolved over the years. There are many processes besides welding, but welding is still the basis for most metalwork.

A welder must have wire for welding and a hot torch to melt the wire and bond two metal surfaces. A good weld is smooth and flush with the surface of the metal part.

The work generates a lot of heat, so many welders were their own cooling vests and air-cooled helmets. Without this important safety equipment, welders would be at risk of passing out or dying from heatstroke.

Casting

Casting is a metal fabrication technique where hot molten metal is poured into a mold. Most molds are formed by tightly cast sand that is broken off after the hot metal cools into its permanent form.

Stamping

Stamping is a metal fabrication process where a metal part is shaped in a heavy hydraulic press. Stamping is an important way to create indentations and concave shapes to be attached to other parts.

Extruding

Extruding happens when hot metal is pressed through a die. This process is similar to extruding clay through a shaping machine. The hot metal is extruded through the machine and comes out on rollers. From here, it can be cut and bent as needed.

Folding

Folding is a way to create formed metal shapes. It is done on a hydraulic press that transforms flat cut-out pieces into 3-dimensional parts.

Shearing

Shearing is a process where unwanted metal is cut away from another part with exact precision. There are many types of shearing operations, but nearly all can be controlled with computerized systems.

Forging

Forging may be thought of as a technique of the past, but it’s still used today to make products like wrought iron fireplace sets.

The metal is heated to the point where it becomes flexible. Then a worker hammers it on an anvil and shapes it into the desired form.

Forging has been used for millennia, to make swords and weapons. More recently, it was used in the 1800s and before the industrial revolutions to make kitchen items, fireplace tools, and other household goods.

Using Metal Fabrication in Your Company

So there you have it. That’s a quick introduction to welding and different types of metal fabrication.

If you want to use metal fabrication to make products for your company, you’ll know what to expect. The best way to get started is to work with a metal manufacturer to make your products quickly and efficiently.

If you’ve enjoyed this article about metal fabrication, check out the rest of our blog.