What Is Metal Fabrication? A Complete Overview from Calgary’s Experts
Metal fabrication refers to the process of shaping and assembling raw metal materials into a finished metal part or structure. This process adds value to the materials by transforming them into usable end products. At Aaron Machine Shop, we are passionate about providing high-quality metal fabrication services in Calgary and excited to tell you all about what it is that we do.
A Brief History of Metal Fabrication
Humans have been working metals into tools and products for thousands of years, but metal fabrication, as we know it, only started in the past hundred years. In the late 17th century, the invention of the rolling mill began the transformation of traditional metalwork into the industrial-scale metal fabrication process that we know today. In the 18th century, inventions such as the steam hammer further expanded our ability to shape and mold metal, which has only continued to grow as technology progresses. This has translated into the complicated and efficient tools that we have today for metal fabrication.
Metal Fabrication Process and Techniques
The metal fabrication process consists of three main steps: design, cutting and shaping, and finishing.
Any type of fabrication project begins with a design. Working together, the client and the machine shop decide how the part or product will look and function, refining and testing the design until it is approved. Once the design is finished, fabrication can begin.
- Cutting and shaping
Metal fabrication starts with raw materials, such as sheet metal, metal bars and rods, cast metal, formed metal, and expanded metal. Metals commonly used include iron, steel, copper, magnesium, stainless steel, silver, and gold. These materials are then shaped using a number of different techniques, depending on their melting point and other properties. For cutting, a metal fabricator may use techniques such as shearing, sawing, chiselling, and notching. If the piece needs to be bent, then techniques such as hammering, stamping, and folding will be used as well.
Once all of the pieces or parts have been fabricated, they need to be assembled and joined. This is typically done using techniques such as welding, brazing, and riveting. The surface of the piece is then finished and delivered to the client.
Applications of Metal Fabrication
Metal fabrication is a crucial part of commercial, industrial, and structural manufacturing. It is usually one of the first steps in the manufacture of a wide variety of products. Some examples of what metal fabrication can be used to create are:
- Hand tools
- Airplane parts
- Car parts
- Valves and fittings
- Nuts and bolts
- Metal doors
Modern Technological Advancements in the Metal Fabrication Industry
The metal fabrication process has undergone significant advancements over the last several years, driven largely by the introduction of automated computer numerical control (CNC) machines. CNC machining is capable of unparalleled speed and precision, optimizing the metal fabrication process. When metals need to be cut, for example, CNC waterjet cutting can deliver highly intricate and specialized cuts with fine edges and no mechanical stress.
Aaron Machine Shop: Your Metal Fabrication Experts in Calgary
Aaron Machine Shop has been providing metal fabrication services in Calgary since 1996. We pride ourselves on our precision workmanship, excellent customer service, and quick turnaround, and we use state-of-the-art CNC machines to fabricate parts to our clients' exact specifications. Our trained and experienced metal fabricators can handle jobs of any size or complexity.
For metal fabrication in Calgary you know you can rely on, just contact Aaron Machine Shop today.