Metal fabrication is the term used to describe the process of bending, cutting, and assembling metal structures from various metal parts and pieces. The process of cutting the metal during fabrication is generally done through sawing or shearing, laser cutting, or punching. The process of bending is done through press brakes.
Press brakes use various dies to be able to achieve the different types of bends that are required by a project. Both the cutting and bending of the metal during fabrication are the first steps. Once each piece of metal is cut and bent to their appropriate sizes and shapes, they are assembled together through welding.
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Stamping is another process in metal fabrication that is used for large quantities of the same part. The first step is creating a stamp or mold which is used in a stamping machine to stamp the parts out of a piece of sheet metal. This process is used for making a large quantity of the same parts.
It is expensive to build the mold, but once the mold is obtained, many parts can be made quickly thus decreasing the cost per part. Stamping is often used for items such as vents, panels, hinges, and much more.
While various types of metal are used in metal fabrication, steel is by far and away from the most common. Steel is an alloy of primarily iron with varying amounts of carbon added, generally 0.2% to 2.1%.
Carbon is the most common alloying element due to its being the lowest cost and adding desirable traits to the metal such as increased strength, malleability, and hardness depending upon the amount of carbon added. While carbon steel is extremely useful and versatile, one problem with it is that it corrodes and rusts.