In Australia, there are plenty of high-quality metal fabrication firms, but they do not always employ the same techniques in their processes. Some - such as steel fabrication specialists, for example - often prefer to weld sections of metal together whilst others, perhaps those working with silver might choose to braze. It really comes down to the sort of expertise the fabrication firm in question has as well as the material that they are working with, of course. What are the common sorts of fabrication methods that are in use in most parts of the country these days?
This is a process that tends to be used in sheet metal manufacturing as well as fabrication. Essentially, a punching process works in much the same way as you would punch a hole in a sheet of paper. A lever is deployed which exerts a great deal of pressure on a relatively thin section of steel or another metal so that a hole is punched out by a die. Sometimes, holes are punched into metal sheets so that other items can be attached. In other cases, it is the punched-out section of metal that is the useful part. The latter process is known as blanking.
This fabrication process is not dissimilar to punching, but there is a crucial difference. Like punching, a great deal of force is applied to the workpiece through a die. However, the pressure is regulated so that the die forms a dent into the metal rather than punching through it. This means that the workpiece ends up with metal that stands proud of the rest of it, rather like embossing. You can see stamped metal on something as commonplace as a coin.
It may sound simple enough but cutting metal is a fabrication process. Simply sawing a length of metal to the desired dimension would count as a fabrication technique but there is a lot more to it than that nowadays. Often, specialist metal cutters use laser technology to cut metal in highly precise ways in processes that can be repeated accurately time and again. Laser cutters often take their instructions directly from algorithms that are stored in computer-aided design software.
Machining means removing metal from a workpiece under a mechanical process. A typical example of this sort of fabrication technique is when a lathe is used to bring about the desired dimension of a section of metal. Machining typically relies on rotational forces to shape workpieces.