To say that the metal fabrication industry is an important part of people’s lives would be an understatement. Regular tools, case-specific tools, cars, phones, computers, other electronic appliances – all of this would be pretty much impossible without some part of the metal industry.
It’s also one of the reasons metal fabrication is such a massive industry in the first place – with so many different parts and appliances being made, you’ll have to hire all kinds of experts in different fields, while still staying in that same market of metal fabrication.
However, it is still possible to segregate all of the products that metal fabrication generates into three general categories – with each category being at least somewhat different from others.
Commercial metal fabrication is a blanket term for pretty much everything that is sold commercially to the customer directly, including phones, cars, electronic appliances, and more.
Industrial metal fabrication covers specific products that generate either parts for specialized equipment, or the equipment itself. Said equipment is then later used to generate consumer goods – the list includes bandsaws, ironworking machines, and other appliances.
Structural metal fabrication, on the other hand, is all about providing parts for a building process, be it regular buildings, skyscrapers, regular shops, specialized shops, bridges, and so on – all of it uses metal parts in some way or another.
More information on the topic of metal fabrication can be found at https://levstal.com/blog/what-is-metal-fabrication/.
While we’re on the topic of metal fabrication, it’s also fair to talk about steel fabrication, since these two fields tend to intersect a lot – since steel is an alloy of iron and some other material, like carbon, copper, nickel, sulfur, etc. Since steel is an alloy, then the process of steel fabrication could be easily classified as the process of transformation – turning said alloy into a specific shape or form.
There are three main parts that are included in the steel fabrication process as a whole – melting original materials, mixing those materials into steel, and turning steel as a material into a desired shape. Despite the fact that it sounds rather easy, it is still an incredibly complicated process without any room for error – and it also requires a person with specific skills to perform it in the first place.
Steel fabrication is capable of producing an incredibly wide variety of parts and products – and it also utilizes many different methods of transforming steel into the desired shape. While there are many different types of steel transformation, depending on the final product, as well as the future use case, it’s possible to group all of these different methods and approaches into four groups – cutting, bending, welding and machining.
Cutting is the process of removing unnecessary parts of a steel piece with the help of a tool to form a final product. Bending, on the other hand, is a process of applying massive force to a steel piece using either press machines or hammering works to turn the steel piece into a specific shape.
Welding, on the other hand, is the process of combining several different pieces of material with the usage of heat and/or combining agents. And last, but not the least, is machining – a process of using high-end machinery (mostly performed by CNC these days) with a variety of tools and appliances to remove parts of the steel piece to achieve the desired shape.
More information about the process and the product types that steel fabrication can generate can be found at https://levstal.com/what-is-steel-fabrication/.
There’s also one category of steel fabrication that we can discuss in a bit more detail here in this context, and that is steel structures. Steel structures are, as the name suggests, structures made from various steel parts. These structures could be used in many different scenarios, including both personal (living apartments) and commercial (offices, skyscrapers, shops, etc.).
Steel structures often have a variety of different steel pieces involved, including plates, rods, beams, rails, and more. As a structural material, steel also has its own advantages and shortcomings when compared with two of the main competitors in the field – wood and concrete.
First of all, steel structures are strong, meaning that they can be relatively light and still hold a lot of potential weight. In addition to that topic, steel’s properties are also easier to calculate and predict beforehand, which makes it easy to calculate potential stress levels and other important parameters.
Additionally, steel structures could be potentially strengthened after the years of use, which makes them serve incredibly long periods of time. It’s also far easier to both mass produce and prefabricated steel structure construction parts when compared with other materials.
However, steel also has its own problems, too. For example, steel is quite susceptible to intense heat, which makes steel structures decrease their carrying capacity, meaning that fireproofing is a necessity. Additionally, there’s also the factor of corrosion (regular maintenance as the countermeasure), and the overall cost of steel, which is slightly higher than the competitors.