In manufacturing, fabrication is the act or process of assembling components and making parts from raw materials into a finished product. Fabrication is performed in many industries, including construction, automotive, aerospace, furniture making, and architectural building. However, the type of fabrication you require for your product will depend on the end goal. For example, if you’re fabricating an aluminum ladder for use in construction, then welding is your best option. Wiley Metal Fabricating Inc — industrial fabrication services in Indiana offer a wide range of customized fabrication services that often require a different approach for each application.
Fabrication is also performed to minimize waste or energy usage. For example, when a metal roof is made from large sheets of aluminum instead of smaller ones that have been cut with a saw blade, energy and material are saved because less cutting and welding time is needed. Fabrication jobs are also designed to incorporate the use of recycled materials whenever possible. Below are some of the common fabrication processes.
Fabricating through cutting involves taking a piece of metal stock and cutting it down to size. It is typically used to form a square or rectangular piece of metal. Cutting is the most basic fabricating process and is something you can do at home using a hacksaw. However, in the manufacturing industry, several machines are used to increase efficiency. These machines come in all shapes and sizes, but all have the same goal – to cut metal stock into the desired shape.
This process creates objects in solid form, using a mold or a tool called a punch. It uses plastic and rubber molds to shape metal and can shape complex shapes and intricate parts by forcing material into any space where the punch or tool can make a precise impression of the design. Once the material solidifies, it is then removed from the mold and made into an object with minimal waste (the shape of the object can be changed afterward). The biggest advantage of this process is its ability to create complex shapes without removing metal from other parts of an object.
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Welding involves melting metal together in a controlled fashion using high-powered torches or other welding devices. There are different welding methods, but it’s usually safe to use either sodium or magnesium as the filler metal because they do not react with the metal being welded. The heat created in the welding process makes the metal either softer or harder depending on what metal is being welded and how much force you apply. The parts created by this process are very durable and can withstand heavy loads without bending or breaking.
Shrinking involves applying heat to a metal until it shrinks to a smaller size. The amount of heat required to complete this process varies from materials to metals. This shrinking process is often used for metals that are already in their standard diameter.
For the metal to be shrunk, it must be heated above its melting point; it will collapse or contract when cooled. Another type of shrinking used commonly is cold, high pressure, which results in highly compacted metal parts less than one-tenth of an inch wide.
Stamping and Punching
These processes both involve creating holes in metal by compressing and deforming it from both inside and outside the sheet. They have similar effects on the parts that they are built on, although punching uses a greater force than stamping. Punching requires less work to make parts as durable as stamping, but it is usually used more frequently than stamping. Both processes can be performed manually or with a machine that controls the pressure used.
Bending is used to create parts with curves. It is a popular way to form specific shapes that are impossible with other methods, such as stamping or rolling. Bending can be accomplished on a single press or using multiple bending machines, depending on the size of the part and the complexity. Specific alloys are used for bending to obtain greater flexibility. Bending can be done in a variety of ways, but each method creates a different look for the finished product.
The fabrication processes mentioned above are most commonly used during building construction. However, the choice of the fabrication process depends on the needs of a particular application and will also vary when you need customized prefabricated solutions.