If we think of the term ‘metal fabrication’ then a picture of a burly guy wearing goggles and carrying an acetylene torch springs to mind. While welding is very much part of the metal fabrication process, that’s only one part. In essence metal fabrication involves cutting, pressing, and bending metal to form a certain structure, part, or product; but what about custom fabrication, how does that work?
As the name suggests, custom fabrication is when a person requires a piece or structure that isn’t a standard part, size, or look. I guess it’s akin to having a suit tailor made as opposed to buying one directly off the peg. Custom fabrication is something that many experienced metal fabricators offer, so whether it’s a set of decorative wrought iron gates, a bespoke stainless steel machinery part, or a bespoke pipe needed for a particular construction project, that’s custom fabrication. A highly skilled fabricator should be able to take a drawing or computerised design and turn it into the finished product.
So what are the main aspects of customised metal fabrication?
The thought process behind metal fabrication is somewhat simple. You either add something to the metal, remove metal, or bend it into a certain shape. However in reality that doesn’t mean it’s an easy task. With this in mind, here’s a look at the main aspects of the fabrication process.
This is achieved when two pieces of metal are joined together or when one piece of metal is bent and closed (such as a hollow pipe). This is usually achieved by seam welding which gives a flawless design.
As the name suggests bending flat sheets of metal is normally achieved by a press brake. This machine contains a ‘V’ shaped groove which the fabricator can set to bend the metal to the precise angle.
This is simply the process of cutting metal. Fabricated steel or aluminium usually comes in large sheets which need to be cut to size in order to make the desired part. This is done on automated cutting machines which can be set to cut the metal in a certain way.
When a particular metal needs to be stretched and shaped into a 3 dimensional object, this is known as stamping. Take any 3 dimensional object such as a cooking pot, a watering can, or construction pipe, the shape is achieved as a direct result of stamping.
To corrugate a piece of metal literally means to strengthen without adding further metal and this is achieved by bending the metal in a certain way to form a series of undulating lines, such as in corrugated iron. Corrugation also means that you can strengthen without adding any excess weight. This is important when dealing with stress weights such as those found in varying types of construction.
On the other end of the scale we have milling. This is where metal needs to be taken away or lessened to make it more pliable. A piece of machinery known as a ‘mill’ is used to remove exacting amounts of metal away.
So there you have it. Custom metal fabrication in all its forms!
If you have a project that needs exacting custom fabrication the you should talk to Metro Steel. We’ve been in the industry for many years and have made many custom pieces for a wide variety of commercial, industrial and domestic clients. Why not contact us on 07 3204 1000 and let us show you what we can do for you. Alternatively if you’d like to find out more information about what we have to offer then check out our website at www.metrosteel.com.au