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sheet metal fabrication
stainless steel fabrication
computer numerical control
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A Step - By - Step Guide To The Metal Fabrication Process
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A metal in its raw or basic form isn’t of much use to end consumers—be it an industrial, commercial or individual user. Metal fabrication is the process of making it useful to consumers by cutting, bending, and shaping metal so as to create a specific product.

Some of the most commonly fabricated metals include stainless steel, carbon steel, and aluminum. However, there are several other materials and alloys such as brass, Hastelloy® and Inconel® that can be fabricated to meet exacting specifications. Cutting, bending and assembly are the most important aspects of the fabrication process as they give shape to the end product.

Sheet metal fabrication pertains to the use of metal sheets to create various products. Sheet metal is usually the starting material for a fabrication job. Numerous metal objects and structures that we see around us are a result of sheet metal fabrication.

In the early years, fabricating metals was an exceedingly tedious task given that most operations were carried out manually. But metal fabrication shops today comprise an automated set up complete with computer numerical control (CNC) machines. This enables machinists to create high precision parts and structures in a short time span. Of course, this doesn’t take anything away from the fact that metal fabrication needs to be carried out by a trained and certified fabricator.

Experts recommend that customers in need of fabrication services should always partner with experienced custom fabrication firms with a proven track record. Such firms employ the latest machines and techniques for carbon steel, aluminum, and stainless steel fabrication.

Here are a few important steps in the metal fabrication process:

• The process starts with a customer approaching a fabrication unit with a request to design metal in a particular fashion.

• For instance, an architect may approach a metal fabricator to create railings and staircases for a building. In this case, stainless steel might be a prudent choice, and the firm would initiate the process of stainless steel fabrication.

• The process commences with the creation of shop drawings and drafts. These are then approved by the customer (in this case, the architect).

• This is followed by the fabrication firm procuring tubes and plates to create the stairs and railings.

• Thereafter, processes such as shearing, saw and laser cutting, punching, forming, and machining are carried out.

• Assembly is the final step in this process as it entails joining the pieces together to create the desired structure or product. Assembly is carried out via welding, fastening with adhesives or threaded fasteners, riveting or crimping.

• This is usually followed by finishing processes such as sandblasting, priming, powder coating or other finish coats to prevent corrosion.

For decorative or artistic purposes, the metal fabrication firm can also be requested to enhance the overall appearance and quality of the product by providing powder coatings and other creative finishes.


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