Metal fabrication is quite complex, and there are different types of metal fabrication as well as types of fabrication techniques. The most common are often used in the process of steel fabrication. To begin with there are five different categories, each of which has its own techniques that can be used, with their own advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of metal manufacturing taking place.
Cutting can be achieved in various different ways. First of all, metal can be sawed or trimmed, usually by a large machine. Heat is another option, and specialised tools will use Oxy Acetylene as fuel, or a plasma torch. These are capable of reaching temperatures in excess of 45,000 degrees. While this may sound dangerous, the area that reaches these temperatures is usually so small that coming into contact with it is incredibly unlikely. There are more methods such as shearing and chiselling, as well as other precise operations using laser cutter. Many businesses offer laser cutting services. Consider hiring a professional such as the GCI Group who provides laser cutting services for Brisbane and beyond for over 14 years. Their services are designed to make the process as efficient as possible in order to save on manufacturing costs.
Joining covers all of the types of metal fabrication that involve combining two separate pieces of metal into a single unit. The most common technique is welding. Resistance welding is often performed by machines. These are capable of creating welds faster than the eye can see. This will also avoid the issues such as burns that can arise from manual techniques like MIG ot TIG welding. Aside from welding, other common methods for joining metal include the use of adhesives, riveting or bending to make a crimped seam. When riveting the rivet can be either hollow or solid. A particular type of a hollow rivet, called a rivnut, can be installed using a rivnut tool, which can either be operated by a machine or by hand. The join is completed by using rivnut fasteners, and is particularly useful for holding two different types of metal together.
Metal can be made into a desirable shape by forcing it into small spaces. Tucking is the oldest type of shrinking, and it commonly involves either forcing the metal into a small gap or crack with a hammer, or by using a tucking fork to fold the metal. There is a tool called a shrinker. This holds the metal from each side and then forces it together. It is more accurate than tucking, but also takes longer. The other common technique to shrink metal is called heat shrinking. A sheet of stretched metal is evenly heated using a torch, or other heat source. Then, as the metal cools it will naturally shrink.
Bending is the last of the basic metal fabrication techniques. Bending is often preferred to joining pieces of metal together when it can be used. This is because a bend will often be stronger than a join. Bending was originally done manually, but the process has been refined through the use of modern machinery. Press brakes can be used alongside powered hammers to create accurate bends of up to 90 degrees. The piece of metal will be placed precisely on a flat surface and secured. The metal is then lifted until it bends into the desired shape.
Expanding is the second way to add holes to a piece of sheet metal. The first is to use a wire mesh, or to cut holes into the piece using a punch or a laser. An expanding machine works to create the same result, without the loss of any material. The metal is stretched and a special knife is used to create shaped holes. The holes are created by having the metal expand around the knife, rather than by cutting away unwanted metal. As a result, it is usually stronger than woven wire, and less wasteful than cutting the metal with a tool.