Metal Fabrication: A Guide to the Processes, Techniques, and Types

Metal Fabrication: A Guide to the Processes, Techniques, and Types

Metal Fabrication: A Guide to the Processes, Techniques, and Types

What exactly is metal fabrication?

Any process that involves cutting, shaping, or moulding metal into a finished product is called “metal fabrication” in general.
The outcome of metal fabrication is all around us. We interact with metal fabrication whenever we get into a car, pick up the phone, use a tool, or turn on an electrical gadget.
Metal is all around us in what can be considered the Modern Industrial Era. It would take a lifetime to list how metal affects our lives.
Steel fabrication involves similar steps as metal fabrication. Taking raw materials and forming them into the desired shape is known as steel fabrication. Steel fabrication is an area of expertise for Zenith Steel Fabricators.

The process of metal fabrication

Is metal fabrication the same as welding? We will explain why the two are so similar yet distinct.

Metal Fabrication and Types of Metal Fabrication

Fabrication creates a final product from raw metal the process of constructing products by combining typically standardized parts using one or more individual processes. Such as door or window which has a hinge or lock welded onto it.
Cutting, machining, welding, punching, shearing, and shaping are just a few techniques used in metal fabrication. Steel fabrication goes through similar steps.

Let us go through a few:

1. Cutting

At this stage, the metal workpiece gets divided into smaller pieces through cutting. There are various cutting techniques put in use. Each has distinctive qualities that make it suited for multiple purposes.

  • Sawing is the oldest form of cutting. Cutting makes use of cutting blades. The blades can be either straight or rotary. Automatic sawing procedures enable manufacturers to produce cut parts with improved precision and accuracy. It works without losing processing speed.
  • Laser cutting is one of the more recent techniques for cutting. The procedure involves using a powerful laser to cut materials to the required form and size. It improves cutting precision and accuracy, particularly for delicate and complex part designs.

2. Machining

The process of machining is subtractive. It removes material from the workpiece to produce pieces and products. Manufacturers are using machinery with computer control for machining. It provides more consistent results, tighter tolerances, and quick processing.
Milling and turning are two of the commonly used machining methods.

  • Milling: Using a spinning tool to make holes in materials is known as milling. The material does not spin against a stationary cutting tool like with turning. It gets directed towards a piece of material fastened down by a computer. It cuts different forms by adding unusual cuts or cutting the raw material in half.
  • Turning: It is a time-tested method as well. Turning enables quick and accurate shaping and engraving of raw material. The suitable shapes are made by turning the raw material away.

3. Punching

Punching procedures use specialized tools and machinery. These include punch presses and die sets. Cutting out parts from flat workpieces is helpful in medium to high production runs. Applications for both light and heavy metalworking use punching equipment.

4. Welding

As mentioned earlier, many people need clarification on welding and fabrication. Let us, therefore, dig into it further.
Turning metal into a finished product is known as metal fabrication. That method frequently involves welding.
The welding procedure combines heat and pressure. It uses the two elements to connect two or more pieces of metal.

There are four primary categories of welding:

  • (GMAW/MIG) Gas Metal Arc Welding
    Another term is MIG (inert metal gas) welding. A tiny wire serves as the electrode in the procedure. The wire warms up when being passed through the welding machine and towards the welding spot. The weld gets protected from airborne impurities by shielding gas.
    The gases are helium, argon, or carbon dioxide. The technique frequently works on metals like stainless steel, copper, nickel, carbon steel, and aluminum. This welding technique is the most often used in the building and automobile industries.
  • (GTAW/TIG) Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
    The process is also known as Tungsten Inert Gas or TIG welding. Typical applications include joining thin, non-ferrous materials like aluminum, copper, lead, or nickel. The manufacturing of bicycles and aeroplanes frequently uses this welding. A non-consumable tungsten electrode is used in TIG welding to create the weld. You will still require a source of external gas, often argon or an argon-helium mixture.
  • (SMAW) Metal arc shield welding
    The kind of welding procedure uses a manual method. It employs a disposable electrode that has been flux-coated. Welders that work from home shops tend to favour this technique the most. Stick welding is another name for the same.
    The nickname references the welding electrode applied to the metal. It resembles a “stick” when you hold it. It is one of the least expensive methods since it requires so little equipment.
  • Arc Flux Cored Welding (FCAW)
    Continuous wire feed is the critical component of flux-cored arc welding. Flux-cored arc welding involves two distinct procedures.
    One entails the use of shielding gas. The other depends on self-shielding substances created when fluxing substances break down inside the wire.
    It is renowned for being affordable and straightforward to learn. It’s a fantastic method for aspiring welders to begin their careers.
    Also, it enables welders to work outside. The weld does not get harmed by the wind. The semi-automatic arc provides high welding speed and portability. That makes it a standard method to use in building projects.

What is the process for fabricating custom metals in Africa?

Metal fabrication originates with a concept generally created out of necessity.
For instance, Zenith Steel Fabricators commits to meet steel fabrication in Africa. Zenith Steel Fabricators does not limit its operations to Kenya, where it has its Headquarters. It spreads its operations to the rest of East Africa. It serves Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Namibia, DRC, and Zambia, where it has its branches.

Does Africa Need Steel?
Why does Zenith Steel Fabricators company care for the need for steel in Africa? Why does it spread the services in these countries?

a) Steel helps save money and time.

Fabricated steel is typically simpler to install in architecture. Its effectiveness aids architects in reducing building time. Moreover, less material gets used because steel is lighter yet more durable than other building materials.
Steel fabrication also helps project managers to save on costs. In other industries, the price of tools and equipment created through this technique is typically lower. Users can often manage these costs. Also, this process increases the alloy’s durability and dependability. Purchasers get a fair return on their investment.

b) Durable products

Steel is a popular material for many uses. Since it is often a more durable and long-lasting metal, fabrication can increase its longevity. The alloy is shielded from corrosion by coatings like zinc during the process. As mentioned earlier, specialists, such as Zenith Steel Fabricators, also cover the procedure with fire-resistant components.
That means the finished object can survive challenging circumstances like precipitation and flames. Because of this, a building made of fabricated steel will probably live longer than one made of another material. Furthermore, this method can extend the useful life of tools and equipment made of steel in their owners’ hands.

c) It promotes environmental protection.

Steel is typically an eco-friendly material because it can get recycled. In most cases, Zenith Steel Fabricators may fabricate outdated tools made of steel into new items. Due to the alloy’s slower decomposition rate when placed in landfills, it aids in reducing pollution.

Does Africa make use of fabricated steel?

Africa uses fabricated steel in many ways. For instance, manufactured steel can be used in the construction industry to construct warehouses and temporary, commercial, and residential constructions.
Fabricated steel also comes in handy in creating a variety of equipment and tools for the mining industry. Examples include loaders, pipes, fittings, shovels, and more.
On the other hand, the energy industry can use it to create a variety of equipment and machinery. Examples include solar panels, gas and oil wells, and electric power turbines.
Zenith Steel Fabricators is your one-stop shop for all fabricated steel needs in Kenya, Uganda, DRC, and Zambia.

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