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Metal Fabrication

Why Choose Radshape for your Metal Fabrication requirements? 

Either from supplied drawing or when a client comes to us with a concept, our CAD/CAM department can turn that concept into a detailed 3D plan. Working with a range of materials including brass, steel and aluminium enables us to produce every type of component, from delicate high precision automotive parts to large scale items like fuel tanks, cabinets and body panels.

Whether a component is strictly functional in nature or has to be aesthetically pleasing as well makes no difference, our services have been delivering results for prestige motor vehicle manufacturers for many years.

Using whichever of our facilities is needed, we can create diverse products ranging from brackets, chassis, crash barriers and oil tanks to visually stunning
badges and brightware.

What is meant by Metal Fabrication?

Metal fabrication is the practice of creating metal structures through cutting, bending, and assembling their parts. The term tends to describe work with a number of types of sheet metal or plate metal, though it encompasses a wide range of activities. Overall, metal fabrication is a value-adding process, since it turns raw metal into a product or structure.

The type of metal used by sheet metal fabrication services is typically determined by the desired strength, cost, ease of use, and welding properties. Stainless steel sheets are commonly used because they resist corrosion; steel also changes its strength depending on its alloy, which makes steel fabrication even more practical. Aluminium fabrication is also popular because it can be easily cut, is relatively lightweight, and is non-magnetic, whilst aluminised steel (steel coated in aluminium) is also often used due to its high-temperature tolerance.

Fabrication can largely be categorised as being used for industrial, commercial, and structural purposes. Industrial fabrication encompasses the production of large-scale items that require cutting or welding together multiple pieces of metal, such as ships and cars. Commercial metal fabrication deals with smaller-scale production of items, typically used within commercial settings, like storefronts, fences or signs. Finally, structural metal fabrication is the production of building materials like I-beams and trusses for use in commercial construction.

What are the types of Fabrication Processes?

There are six broad categories into which metal fabrication processes fall:

Metal Cutting

This is the process of removing pieces of metal away from the main bulk. Cutting can be done with lasers or plasma cutters that burn through metal at high speeds; this is especially effective for cutting thick materials. Alternatively, it can be done with saws that remove material slowly and produce a lot of waste, which is more effective for thin materials.

Metal Forming

This process moulds metal to a new shape without removing any material from it through the use of dies, presses, shears, or hammers.

Metal Punching

This process joins two pieces of metal together by forcing a press-fit pin through the edges of both to fasten them together. The holes are typically made with a drill beforehand so that waste material can be removed before joining.

Metal Folding

The edges of a sheet of metal can be bent to create a 90-degree angle without removing any material from it by using a machine that presses in four locations. This is mostly used for creating strong joints between panels, and the results cannot be reshaped without another operation.

Metal Stamping

This process uses a die containing a design to cut out shapes from sheets of metal. This method is often used for creating simple parts that are very cheap but require high tolerances to fit together.

Metal Welding

This is the process of joining two pieces of metal together over a joint. It can be done in a number of ways with different levels of strength and the ability to shape its results depending on how it is carried out. There are two types: fusion welding, which uses heat to melt the two pieces together and cold welding, which does not.

What happens during the fabrication process?

Whilst the particular steps of a fabrication process will be specific to the requirements of an end product, a basic fabrication process will often take shape in the following order:

The first step in the fabrication process is to cut the metal into specific shapes using various saws, including circular saws and shears. These machines are specifically designed to work on thick pieces of metal without deforming them.

The next step in the fabrication process is to bend the metal into its shape. There are several ways of doing this, but the most commonly used method is press brakes. These tools apply pressure on specific points of the metal to make it bend where desired without deforming the surrounding areas.

The last step in fabrication is to drill holes and connect all pieces together. Metal Assembly can be done with bolts, rivets, or by welding the metal together.

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