Fabrication is a term used for several different methods of manipulating metals into different shapes. Metal fabrication is a process of turning the raw materials such as metals or alloys like structural steel into predetermined shapes for assembling to erect a custom prefabricated building to meet the demands of any commercial and industrial projects. Metal fabrication helps to bring any kind of customisation in a prefabricated building. So let’s understand fabrication better by looking at different fabrication processes or systems.
Cutting is the most common process in the fabrication process. The raw material such as structural steel is taken and split into the desired amount (halves, thirds, or smaller sections). The oldest method to cut the raw materials is using a saw, but now there are new methods such as powerful corded drills, plasma, water jets, or laser cutters, to slice the metals and create shapes out of the raw materials.
This is a type of fabrication process that involves removing the excess material until the final desired shape is achieved. There are many machining types, such as:
- Drilling – It involves the process of making cylindrical holes in a workpiece using a drill bit.
- Turning – It involves the removal of excess material from a workpiece that is spun by the lathe.
- Milling – It involves the use of a rotating cutting surface comprised of several blades that create non-circular holes or unique designs in a workpiece.
The process of punching involves the formation of holes in a piece of metal. That piece of metal is placed under the die and submitted by a punch-through by a drill. The circumference of the drill must slot correctly through the die to get the correct size of the punch. Sometimes the holes are used to fasten while other times the portion removed is the required product (blanking).
Shearing is a process where the metal sheet requires a long cut. In some cases, the sheet is applied horizontally through a metal-cutting machine. In other cases, a cutting tool is applied vertically against the length of the metal sheet. It is often applied to trim down the edge of a metal sheet.
Folding is a complicated process in metal fabrication where a metal surface is manipulated to shape to a certain angle. The purpose of folding metal is to provide a blunt surface to the metal surface. Folding is performed in facilities which are equipped with specific and high-tech equipment due to the complex process.
Stamping helps to convert the flat metal sheeting into various shapes. Though the process is similar to the process of punching, stamping doesn’t cut the material. Stamping uses the die that causes the material to be raised instead of penetrating the metal. For instance, metal stamping is used on coins where you get to see the words, currency amounts, and face of presidents stamped on the coin.
The fabrication processes as mentioned above are the most common processes used during prefabricated building construction. The choice of the fabrication process depends on the needs of a particular application and will often vary especially when you need customised prefabricated solutions.