There Are Several Metal Fabrication Processes

Metal is used in just about everything you touch every single day of your life. In order to get that metal into a usable state, it has to be refined from the ore and formed into usable ingots and sheets. But that's not the only thing that has to happen. The metal has to be shaped and go through several fabrication processes in order to reach its final usable state. There are a lot of metal fabrication processes.  


There are different kinds of ways to bend a piece of metal. One of them is to place it over a form and force it over that. For example, if the company makes bowls, they will take a sheet of metal and force it down over a form that looks like a semi-circle. Another kind of metal building is called metal brake bending. This kind of bending uses a machine that locks the sheet of metal into place. Then a metal bar is put on the top of that sheet of metal and the metal is forced up around that bar. This kind of bending creates nice, crisp bends in the metal. 


You know what cutting is, you've been doing it since kindergarten. However, it's slightly different with metal. One method is to use shears, which look like heavy duty scissors. Other metals involve things like plasma cutters. These tools use a very hot flame to make precise cuts in the metal. 


Fusion means putting separate pieces of metal together. That can be done by welding, which uses heat and solder to join pieces of metal together. Once the seam has been sanded down, the metal pieces are joined together fairly smoothly. Riveting is also another way to fuse metal together. When metal is riveted together, it has to overlap so that the rivets will go into all the pieces of metal. 


Metal can actually be shrunk. Heat shrinking and tuck shrinking are two kinds of metal shrinking. Heat shrinking is done by heating the metal up until it's white hot. As the metal cools, it contracts and shrinks. This takes a lot of practice because the metal has to be very hot but not so hot that it starts to melt. It also has to be done carefully so that it doesn't weaken the metal in any way. Tuck shrinking involves gathering all the edges of the metal together and hammering them together. I


Metal can also be stretched. It involves a lot of force. That's because the metal has to be taken from one thickness to another. One way to do this is to send it through machines that have several sets of rollers. The spaces between each set of rollers get progressively smaller. The two rollers use a lot of force to compress the metal as it rolls between them, causing it to stretch and thin out. It can also be done with hammers. The hammers hit the metal with a lot of force. 

The metal that you see and use every day doesn't just happen to end up in that shape. It takes a lot of work for each piece of metal to get into its finished state.