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Metal fabrication is the building of metal structures by cutting, bending and assembling process.
It is a value added process that engages the assembly of machines and structures from various raw materials.
Cutting is done by sawing, shearing, or chiseling (all with manual and powered variants); torching with hand-held torches (such as oxy-fuel torches or plasma torches); and via numerical control (CNC) cutters (using a laser, mill bits, torch, or water jet).
Bending is done by hammering (using manual or powered instruments) or via press brakes and similar tools.
Assembling process is done by welding, binding with adhesives, riveting, threaded fasteners.
Powder coating is a coating that is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder to the assembled product. The powder coating does not require a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form.
The coating is typically applied electro-statically and is then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a "skin".
The powder may be a thermoplastic or a thermoset polymer. It is usually used to create a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint.
A mill is a subtractive manufacturing process where the raw material is affixed to the table and a drill is placed into a spindle which rotates the drill.
The table moves around in relation to the drill in order to make a cut which gets rid of material from the raw form. Often times, the drill has a vertical motion which simulates raising or lowering the table.
A CNC router is a computer controlled cutting machine connected to the hand held router used for cutting various tough materials, such as wood, composites, aluminum, steel, plastics, and foams.
CNC routers can carry out the tasks of many carpentry shop machines such as the boring machine the panel saw and the spindle moulder.
They can also cut mortises and tenons. As an alternative of steering by hand, tool paths are controlled through computer numerical control.
A thin single-strand metal wire is fed through the work piece, typically occurring while in a submerged tank of dielectric fluid or deionized water.
This fluid helps to cool the process and flush away the cut material. The Wire EDM process uses electric current to cut conductive materials leaving a smooth surface that requires no further finishing or polishing.
This process is used to cut plates and to make punches, tools, and dies from any conductive material, including hard metals that are too difficult to machine with other methods.
EDM is a manufacturing process whereby a desired shape is obtained using electrical discharges (sparks).
Material is detached from the work-piece by a series of rapidly recurring current discharges between two electrodes, separated by a dielectric liquid and subject to an electric voltage.
One of the electrodes is called the tool-electrode, or simply the "tool" or "electrode", while the other is called the work-piece-electrode, or "work-piece".
The process depends upon the tool and work-piece not making actual contact.
The process that cuts through electrically conductive materials with an accelerated jet of hot plasma is known as Plasma Cutting
Typically materials cut by this process are steel, aluminum, brass and copper though other conductive metals may be cut as well.
Plasma Cutting is often used in fabrication and welding shops, automotive repair and restoration, industrial construction, salvage and scrapping operations.
A water cutter uses a very high pressure jet of water to cut a wide assortment of materials. It is also commonly used to cut through hard materials such as metal or granite and for softer materials such as wood or rubber.
A turret punch is a type of punch press used for metal forming by punching.