A Short Beginner’s Guide to the Benefits of Metal Fabrication
Metal fabrication pays a big role in the economy. Consider that there were almost 138,900 sheet metal workers in the U.S. in 2016 alone. The metal fabrication industry not only provides jobs to thousands of people but also plays a big role in day to day activities. How? Let’s take a quick look. But first, we need to review some basics about metal fabrication.
What is Metal Fabrication?
Metal fabrication is the development of thin sheet metal so that it can follow specific shapes. The entire process involves shaping, stamping, folding, cutting, and welding. Sheet metal is normally a quarter of an inch or less, which is important because the metal sheet needs to be pliable so that it can assume different shapes according to the user requirements. Metal fabricators are highly skilled and are trained to manipulate the metal with a surgeon’s precision. When you see a copper sheet metal for sale sign, you should know that the metal has gone through a delicate fabrication process.
Understanding the Fabrication Process
The fabrication process starts with selecting the correct method. Choosing the right method depends on several factors including the thin metal sheet’s intended use, whether it should be a stainless steel sheet metal, and the metals that will make the metal sheet.
Copper sheet metal for sale is popular in the electric industry due to its flexibility and ability to conduct electricity. The sheets are also resistant to corrosion making them ideal for plumping equipment, roofing materials, and shipbuilding.
For instance, if the end product is for shipbuilding, the main metals used are copper and brass. Generally, the fabrication process involves cutting, casting, forging, drilling, turning, and extrusion as the basic process. However, secondary finishing might be required if the part requires to be joined with other metal sheets.
The Importance of Metal Fabrication
Metal has long been known for its properties like structural strength and longevity. Here are some benefits of fabricating metals.
- Increased strength: Metal’s resistance to being pulled apart makes it important for materials like screws and wires. It is tough and has great strength, and at the same time, it is easy to manipulate metal and bend it to any shape.
- Better than plastic: The main competitor to metal is plastic. However, even if the plastic is good in some applications, it cannot be compared to metal. Metal is durable and has a higher resistance to heat compared to plastic.
- Appealing quality: Metal is strong and looks great. This aesthetic quality makes it one of the most sought after building materials all over the world.
- Heat resistance: Metal can withstand a wide range of temperatures. If the fabricator accounted for expansion, it is not likely that heat can destroy a metal part.
- Cost-efficiency: When produced in high volumes, the cost of production is relatively low. Metal fabricating machines are capable of replicating the procedures. Therefore, it is possible to produce many sheets of metal at a low cost per unit.
- Versatility: Metal is capable of withstanding many manufacturing processes such as welding, forging, peening, and many more. Therefore, it is possible to come up with many shapes. No matter which geometrical shape is required, metal is usually the material of choice.
Fabricated metal is used in many ways. Copper sheet metal for sale can be used in many applications including creating brass or phosphor bronze.
- Motor vehicle industry: Vehicles are made of many materials, but the main material is metal. For instance, the chassis is aluminum, and without metal, vehicles would not have proper structural integrity. About 7% of copper sheet metal for sale is used in the motor industry.
- Tools: Almost everything we use in our daily lives would not exist without metal. Nail drills, vehicles, spades, saws and many more are as a result of metal fabrication.
- Laptop and smartphone shells: Phones and computers are as a result of metal fabrication. The sleek laptop and smartphone cases are made of metal.
- Kitchenware: Almost everything in the kitchen is made of metal.
- Aerospace: Many of aircraft components are made of metal. Designing an aircraft is not a simple task, and one cannot compromise structural integrity. The components must withstand a wide range of temperatures, high pressures, and chemical exposure.
Now that you know a little more about metal fabrication, you just might start seeing more of these things in your day to day life.