We are literally surrounded by metal objects - the car you drove to work this morning; the school that you pick your children up from; and the machine that made you your daily coffee. All of these structures and machines contain a substantial amount of metal, but have you ever stopped to think about how exactly these things are made? In short, it uses a process known as fabrication, and you are in the right place for finding out more about it.
'What does metal fabrication involve?'
In layman's terms, the fabrication process involves the conversion metal shapes into a finished product. Anything that is made out of this useful material, including mixing bowls and even cement mixing machines, must be fabricated into that particular shape. The process includes forming, cutting, bending, welding and finishing - anything that changes the material's shape.
'What are the different types of fabrication?'
There are three basic categories of fabrication, and they are: structural, industrial and commercial. The creation of bridges and other building components is known as structural fabrication; the manufacture of processing and other support equipment is known as industrial fabrication; and all of the metal items that we use and purchase on a daily basis are known as commercial fabrications.
'What steps are followed when metal is cut?'
In the fabrication process, metal may be cut in two ways. The first is done by rubbing sharp blades on the metal's surface, whilst the second is known as shearing and involves a large amount of pressure being placed onto a small area of the metal until it breaks or fractures. When it comes to removing material, however, a number of other processes may be used, including: abrasives, electric arc, laser beams or torches.
'Where do you get the skills needed for fabrication?'
There are a number of places that you can go in order to learn the metal fabricating process, including certified learning centres and even on the job training. No matter how you choose to learn fabrication, it is important to note that you will not get a job in the industry if you do not possess the relevant knowledge and skills.
As with many other fields, the basis of metal fabrication is design - someone must first come up with an idea that is then created through cutting, bending, welding, forming and finishing (in short, fabrication). It is important to not disregard this profession as boring or too difficult because, without it, we would be left high and dry.