The Processes Involved in Metal Fabrication

Posted on: 26 May 2017


The process of metal fabrication widely involves the creation of metal structures by bending, cutting, and a series of assembling processes. This is a value added process that entails generation of structures and machines from raw materials. An industry will bid on the job based on engineering drawings. If awarded the contract, they will come up with the desired product from raw materials of metals. Large industries employ a series of value-added processes like cutting, welding, machining, and forming. Learn some of the complex processes and activities involved in the metal fabrication process.

Standard Raw Materials

The standard raw materials that are used in the metal fabrication process include plate metals, formed and expanded metals, tube stocks, welding wires or welding rods, and casting.

Major Processes

  • The cutting process is by shearing, sawing, or chiselling with manual and powered variants,
  • Bending is done by manual or powered hammering. Modern metal fabricators employ the use of press brakes to either air-bend or coin the metal sheet into the desired form, and
  • Assembling of the metal pieces is which is done by binding with adhesives, threaded fasteners, welding, or bending in the form of crimped seam.

The Overlap Process

Metal fabrication process involves overlaps with various specialties of metalworking;

  • Welding is an active process in metal fabrication. The products generated in this case are referred to as weldments,
  • Ironworkers, commonly known as steel erectors, actively engage in the process,
  • All machine and fabrication shops have the overlapping capabilities. However, fabrication shops will mostly concentrate on the preparation of the metal and its assembly. Machine shops, on the other hand, will cut the metal and concentrate on machining of parts on the machine tools, and
  • Boilermakers are also involved in the process as they strictly specialise in boilers.

The Forming Process

This process generally involves deformation of the materials. Force is applied to the object to come up with a raw piece. The force, in this case, must be strong enough to change the shape of the object to the desired design. The process can be controlled by the use of tools like dies or punches.

Machining Process

The machining process involves removal of unwanted materials from the collection of metals accumulated to get the desired shape.

The Welding Process

Welding is an important part of the fabrication process. All the formed machines parts must be assembled to form a single component. For this reason, they are tack welded into place and then inspected for accuracy.