Metal fabrication is a broad term referring to a process that involves cutting, shaping, and molding a metal material into the final product. Fabrication creates an end product from semi-finished or raw materials. In custom metal fabrication, products are crafted from various commonly used metals and their alloys. The machine shop may use multiple processes to create a final product.
They can also provide metal finishing services like painting, polishing, coating, and deburring. Choosing the right fabrication method depends on the product’s intended purpose, shape, and the materials used in crafting it. Here are the most common types of custom fabrication.
Metal casting is the process of heating metal to its melting point and pouring it into an empty cavity with a specific design. The metal is left to cool until it hardens. It’s then processed to remove minor defects and improve finishing. Casting is often used to create complex designs and shapes.
Forging is a common practice in metal work involving forced compression to achieve a specific shape. The process involves heating the metal above room temperature to a point where it can bend easily and be shaped in the specified shape with the help of a hammer or die strike. Forging is one of the oldest forms of metal fabrication and is widely used by fabricators and blacksmiths.
Cutting is a versatile metal fabrication process that has existed for a long time in metalworking. While the concept and process involved are simple, they can be performed alongside other complex machines. Cutting can be as simple as cutting a large metal piece into smaller pieces or as complex as using lasers, plasma, power scissors, or water jets to create perfect cuts. This process usually comes first in most fabrication processes.
In an extrusion process, solid metal is passed through the tooling die containing a special cross-section. This is done using a high-pressure system and high-powered hydraulics that allows the metal to be shaped by the die. Once the product is ejected, it can be subjected to other finishing processes to eliminate defects, refine its appearance or make specific adjustments.
Welding simply means joining two metals together. There are many different types of welding but with similar features. Like most techniques, welding requires a metal workpiece. It also involves using welding equipment, flux, shield gas, consumable or non-consumable electrodes, and fillers. Welded products are mainly found in automotive manufacturing, pipe making, bike making, ductwork, steel building, and much more.
Stamping is a metal-specific process done on sheet metals like aluminum, steel, and copper. Fabricators can also combine this process with other fabrication methods to get the desired outcome. Metal stamping is common for automotive components such as trunk lids, doors, wheel hubcaps, firewalls, and many other vehicle body-related parts.
Let Us Help You With Your Metal Fabrication Project
Regardless of the size of your project, Metal Pro, Inc is here to ensure it’s as perfect as can be. You just need to imagine it and leave the rest to us. To get started, feel free to contact our fabrication professionals today!