The Most Famous Types Of Metal Fabrications And Their Pros And Cons

The Most Famous Types Of Metal Fabrications And Their Pros And Cons

Anas Bouargane 20/10/2020 3
The Most Famous Types Of Metal Fabrications And Their Pros And Cons

In every household and working environment, metal plays a crucial role in how people live and work.


From light fixtures and appliances to desks, chairs, and utensils, metal is the stabilizing element that makes nearly all of today's conveniences possible.  

Fabrication alludes to any process that shapes, cuts, or otherwise forms a particular material into an end product. Consequently, metal fabrications are considered procedures involving cutting, bending, shaping, welding, or another way of assembling metal material to manufacture end metal products. 

For instance, the panels containing each car's frame are made through custom metal fabrication processes, usually performed at a fabrication facility, and later sent to the auto assembly plant.  

The fabrication of metals is a beneficial procedure for many businesses and industries worldwide. The fabrication method utilized to create a specific item from metal depends on a broad range of factors, including its final appearance, purpose, and available budget. 

Before we dive into the pros and cons that metal fabrications put on the table, it's essential to understand the different types of metal fabrications and how they work.

TYPES OF METAL FABRICATION PROCESSES 

Metal fabrication involves a broad range of distinct manufacturing processes. As we previously mentioned, selecting a fabrication type or method suited to a given project largely depends on the part's geometry, the end product's intended purpose, materials, and available budget. Standard metal fabrication processes include:

Cutting 

Possibly the most frequently used metal fabrication process is cutting, where huge sheets of metal are split into halves, thirds, or even humbler sections. In many applications, the metal being cut is freshly created and could be cut and shaped into anything in particular. 

For other applications, pre-shaped metals like bars, for example, are submitted to cutting. Cuts can be performed with a colossal machinery range, from plasma torches and lasers to more elaborate and high-tech machinery pieces.

Folding 

Folding is one of the most intricate metal fabrication types, where the metal surface is manipulated to shape at a certain angle. With specific folding applications, the fabrication's goal is to make the surface fold at a 90-degree angle or something else that's either more or less blunt.    

Nonetheless, folding can only be done within facilities equipped with special high-tech equipment because of the complexity of the whole procedure. On many occasions where a fold is required, the more practical alternative is to join two separate metal panels at a selected angle. 

Bending 

Bending is a well-known metal fabrication and post-fabrication process, highly utilized when forming metal pipes and tubes into usable end products. Metal bending is embraced in nearly all metalworking industry segments, from steel and metal engineering to aerospace and automotive engineering.

Speaking of pipe bending, the fabrication process can be carried out either manually or by computer-controlled pipe bending machines using a hot or cold forming methodology. 

Digitally controlled pipe and profile-bending machinery comes especially handy when you need to bend the metal materials at troublesome angles and meet your customers' highest technical and quality requirements.

Metal

Photo from Business Archives Blog 

Welding 

As a widely used type of metal fabrication, welding is the process of joining two detached metal parts into one. The components used in the welding procedure could be panels, bars, sheets, or other shapes - as far as the pieces are made out of metal, it doesn’t matter. 

The process of welding is feasible through numerous techniques, methods, and tool types. A weld is regularly achieved by applying heat along the points where the two metal parts are meant to be joined.

Casting 

Casting is one of the oldest metal fabrication types, where molten metal is cast into a mold and is left to solidify into a particular form. Casting is also one of the most flexible metal fabrication methods and is ideal for a broad range of complex shape-making procedures.

Metal


In many cases, casting offers a solution to fabrication problems that would alternatively take numerous other methods to solve, such as with assembly pieces that would need shearing, folding, and stamping. The most popular metals regularly employed in this application include iron, steel, copper, gold, silver, and even magnesium.

Other famous types of metal fabrication include punching, shearing, and stamping.

PROS OF METAL FABRICATION

The metal fabrication process largely depends on the family and grade of metal material used to produce a specific piece. Metal fabrication is known to provide the following advantages and benefits:

  • Precise metal fabrication can give you vast production techniques and methods to make value-added metal elements that can be easily customized according to your client’s requirements. 
  • Metal fabrication reduces production lead time. 
  • It’s a super flexible procedure and can swiftly implement changes in the end product’s design. 
  • Metal fabrications are a cost-effective option, particularly in long-term and high-volume production runs.
  • Metals come with a higher melting-point and aren’t likely to degrade under elevated temperatures.

CONS OF METAL FABRICATION

Even though metal and metal fabrication offer numerous advantages and benefits, like every other creating process come with a set of disadvantages or cons that include: 

  • Metal fabrication is labor-intensive, which may result in higher costs per piece. 
  • Metal fabrication is likely to necessitate post-fabrication and other secondary operations. 
  • Metal tooling costs are usually more expensive than comparable plastic fabrication tools.

FINAL THOUGHTS

To sum it up, metal fabrication is an incredibly important process that’s massively employed to create a specific end product from various metal materials. Highly depending on your desired end product’s form, purpose, and your budget, choose a metal fabrication type that suits your needs and complements your work.

Photo from RapidDirect  

Share this article

Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

0
terms and condition.
  • Reece Villiers

    Fantastic read with lots of good basic info!

  • Darren Lynch

    This was very informative.

  • Shane E

    Great article

Share this article

Anas Bouargane

Business Expert

Anas is the founder of CEF Académie, a platform that provides guidance and support for those willing to study in France. He previously interned at AlphaSense. Anas holds a bachelor degree in applied economics from the University Paris Sud.

   

Latest Articles

View all
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Companies
  • Environment
  • Global Economy
  • Finance
  • Politics
  • Society