Fabrication is when the raw materials are processed by methods like welding, burning, machining to form industry-standard products. These products further serve as direct use or raw materials for other purposes and are processed again. Most of these materials are mounted and used, cut, drilled, folded, etc., to form a specific shape like sheets or wires. Most malleable and ductile metals are usually used for a fabrication process.
Fabricated metals are put through processes like:
Cutting and folding: Here, a metal drawn into sheets is cut into smaller halves to be sent for shaping. This is carried out by heavy machinery involving lasers or plasma torches. Further after this, the freshly cut pieces are subjected to high-pressure
folding by which they are bent into required shapes. Since this is a pervasive and high-energy-requiring process, most places just use the technique of putting together pieces of metal and sealing them to create the needed shape.
Welding: This is a commonly used process where fabricated metals create shapes by putting together pieces of metal and heating the edges, so they melt and join together. Many manufacturers make fabricated metals keeping in mind the kind of tension they will be put through next.
Punching and stamping: Punching is done to produce holes in the sheet or panel to latch or attach it to other parts. Holes are made using drills to the exact size required. Punching is also performed for a process called blanking.
Stamping involves pressing the metal when letters or logos need to be imprinted on them by embossing the sheet wherever required. Companies mostly do this to carve their name or brand into products for identification/marketing.
Casting: This is a very traditional process where any molten metal is poured into a mould to cool down and take shape. Metals like iron, steel, silver, etc., are used for this process. Although it’s an ancient practice, it’s still trusted.
The sheets are also sheared for precision after cutting, so any minor measurement corrections can be carried out. Moreover, there are several processes after this. These were the basic few that most fabricated metals go through.
After the metals are cut, cast, welded, etc., they’re sent for making products out of them. For this, different types of cross-sections are used. These are either expanded metals, sectional metals, flat metals, or welded wires. Expanded metals are generally used as an outer wall for machines, and they have holes of different shapes that hold them together. Sectional metals are cut into I-beam, Z-beam, rods or bars. Flat metals are generally used for household appliances as the outer layers require thickness. They are also further classified into three categories that are leaf metal, sheet metal, and plate metal that vary in their range of thickness. For welding wires, thin ropes of metal are spun together to produce a thick wire that is intertwined with each other. This gives them strength and durability.
Door handles, keys, ovens, refrigerators are all made up of these metals, and one comes across them in one daily life. Apart from this, they’re also used in industries like shipment, farming, aerospace, construction, etc. Furthermore, they also go for second-hand manufacturing, where more products are manufactured using these products as raw materials themselves. This makes them very versatile and one of the largest base industries ever.
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