Metal fabrication is the fabrication of metal objects, either by welding, cutting, or forming processes. It is an integral value-add process between the fabrication of mechanical structures, parts and machines from different raw materials. The production of metal components in factories and other commercial applications are largely dependent upon fabrication. In general, there are four types of fabrication: hot forming, cold forming, plastic or metal plating. The following sections give brief details of each.
Hot forming involves the welding and fastening of metal components through high temperatures. The procedure is usually carried out in an outdoor environment where it is possible to control the temperature and atmosphere. The temperature is typically well over 500 degrees Celsius. The welds are usually formed using either tig welders or gas welding. The process is also known as arc welding or gas welding and is very effective for large-scale fabrication, especially in industries that require long-term fabrication.
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Cold forming is a relatively simple fabrication process that uses a heating process to harden metal components. Cold forming refers to the welding and fastening of metal components without exposing them to any heat source, including direct current (DC) or microwave energy. Cold forming can be done manually or by using computer-aided equipment. The process is particularly useful for fabricating heavy duty parts or structures such as aircraft or boats.