The Many Processes of Metal Fabrication: What You Need To Know 

a welder working on steel fabrication

Metal is the element of a thousand lives. And as human beings and civilizations discovered this fact, they have developed efficient processes in manipulating metal to meet construction needs. This earth-created material is present in our homes, airplanes, automobiles, and eating utensils. 

Metal fabrication has come a long way, but the idea is nothing new. Humans have been using different metals to build their structures and other necessities for many generations. So what exactly does metal fabrication entail? How does one fabricate metal? Let’s explore this process a little further. As the name suggests, here at Steel Specialties we specialize in steel and providing high-quality steel products to builders, contractors, and other companies. 

Fabricating the Fascinating World of Metal

The term “metal fabrication” refers to the engaging of the many different processes that yield metal products for construction and other uses. Fabrication of metal may involve heating, pounding, compressing, cutting, bending, twisting, welding, polishing, machining, and assembling different types of metals into other objects. Fabrication can also involve the use of other raw materials, such as sheet and bar stock, into other components that are ready to be used. 

The history of this process begins with the early mining of copper. Ancient pieces of jewelry have been unearthed that reveal that early civilizations understood something about the manipulation of metal for different uses. One of these famous pieces of jewelry was a copper pendant in northern Iraq from about 8,7000 BCE. 

Early weapons and tools also employed the process of metal fabrication. Metal was such an important part of these early peoples that many civilizations assigned a metal to the celestial bodies, giving them a heavenly meaning. Early civilizations also used metals like iron, tin, and gold for decorative and practical applications. As extraction of metals from the earth became more prevalent the use of the material in society grew from the occasional decorative pendant or tool to necessary building tools, weapons, and construction materials. 

As far as the modern world is concerned, metal fabrication is a key part of it all and without it, our world, as we know it, would be very different. Metal is an integral part of our automobiles (as we pointed out in our last post), our airplanes, military defense, construction, and much more. 

The Different Processes Involved in Metal Fabrication 

There are different ways that manufacturers prepare metal for use in various industries. The most common include:

Cutting- This is a common process that cuts sheets of metal into sections. The process used is often water jet cutting, where high-pressure water is used to cut the metal. This metal can be fresh and is cut using sophisticated machinery, lasers, or plasma torches. 

Folding- If a metal surface needs to be shaped at a certain angle, metal fabricators may need to use this technique. The folding technique needs to be done with high-tech machinery because it is a complicated process. 

Welding- This is another popular method for metal fabrication, as it is used when two pieces need to be welded together. Welding is a highly-specialized skill that professional metal workers learn in order to join together two pieces of metal while minimizing distortion. Welders can use sheets, bars, or other shapes. Welding offers some great flexibility. 

Machining- Machining is a process where pieces or portions of metal are removed.

Stamping- When the intent is to raise a certain portion of a metal sheet, stamping is used so that the tool doesn’t penetrate.  

Steel Structures that Use Pre-Fabricated Steel

Prefabricated metal plays an important role in construction.  Prefabricated metal offers several options. 

  • Prefabricated metal churches. You have likely seen these in your community or around the country. Prefabricated steel churches are popular because they are inexpensive to erect and they go up quickly. Many communities around the country have taken advantage of these structures to erect churches. 
  • Metal barns. Farmers or people that live out in the country find metal barns to be incredibly useful for a variety of uses. These prefabricated metal structures can be used to hold animal feed or even to park the car. 
  • Metal carports. A simple carport uses prefabricated metal and serves as a great way to protect vehicles from harsh weather like hail, snow, and rain. 
  • Storage sheds. Many people will install storage sheds in their backyards to store anything and everything from their kids’ old toys to Christmas decorations, to old photo albums. Storage sheds made out of prefabricated steel are efficient and relatively inexpensive. 

Looking For Trusted Metal Fabrication? 

Steel Specialities specializes in all things steel, especially when it comes to industrial steel, structural steel, steel plates, and more. Not sure what you need? Give us a call and our trained staff will help you out!  

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