In every household and work environment, metals play a huge role in the way people work. From appliances and lighting to tableware, chairs and utensils, metal is the stabilizing element that makes all today’s comforts possible.
Steel fabrication is the process of converting raw metal into a ready-made form for assembly. For example, the panels that make up the frame of a car are manufactured using a standard steel fabrication process typically done in a manufacturing facility, and then shipped to an automobile assembly plant. However, the related processes are very complex and diverse. In the following sections, two simple questions will be examined and answered: what is metalworking and how does it work?
The Process of Steel Fabrication
When people learn how steel fabrication works, the following process is usually part of the training program. Each process requires a certain amount of practice and skill to master, and the equipment and machines required are usually expensive and take up a lot of workspace. However, any steel fabrication process can be used to cut, drill, bend and weld the world’s strongest materials:
Cutting – Perhaps the most commonly used steel fabrication process involves cutting, in which sheet metal is divided into two halves, thirds, or smaller pieces. In many applications, the metal to be cut is newly machined and has not yet been shaped into something specific. In other applications, preformed metals such as calibrated bars and plates are fed for cutting. The incisions are made using a variety of machines, from lasers and Platelet rich plasma torches to more complex high-tech machines.
Welding – Along with cutting, welding is one of the most popular metal working processes among craftsmen. The welding process involves joining two separate metal parts together. The parts used in welding can be sheets, plates, rods or shapes – as long as the parts are metal, it doesn’t matter. Welding can be done by many methods and types of tools. Often welds are achieved by applying heat along the point where the two parts will be joined. Many metalworkers get into metalworking with welding projects.
Folding – One of the more complex steel fabrication processes is bending, which involves manipulating the metal surface to shape it at a certain angle. In some bending applications, the goal is to bend the metal surface at a 90-degree angle or at another more or less obtuse angle. However, due to the complexity of the whole process, folding can only be carried out in factories equipped with special high-tech equipment. In many cases where folding is required, joining two metal plates at an angle will be a more practical alternative.
Shearing – For sheet metal that requires long cuts, the process is called shearing. In some cases, sheet metal is fed horizontally through a metal cutting machine. In other applications, the cutting tool is inserted vertically along a flat sheet of metal. The third method involves placing the metal on the edge of the exposed blade and lowering the blade, similar to the paper knife in a copier. Shearing is often used to trim the edges of sheet metal, but the process can be performed anywhere on metal.
Steel production on the Gold Coast relies on a combination of manual and automated techniques to produce steel products for construction, industry and everyday use. Steel is permanently deformed even at room temperature by processes such as cutting, shearing, stamping, embossing and bending. This results in a wide range of flexible and durable steel products suitable for secondary or end market distribution. In Australia, Rankin Steel & Rigging specialize in Steel Fabrication, and it’s now fully functional as steel fabricators with fully qualified boilermakers.