The Processes and Forms of Custom Metal Fabrication

Structural metal fabrication is the art of manufacturing steel and other flat materials to make them into pre-constructed shapes. This method usually begins with thin sheet metal cut to a quarter of an inch or less, which is already sufficient to begin forming metal into intricate designs. From there, various types of tools can be used to shape each piece according to the client's design specifications. Once the desired shape has been achieved, various methods can be used to coat the surface to protect it from corrosion and keep it in good condition through the life of the item.

Structural steel fabrication, as this procedure is commonly known, is used to create products that are stronger, more durable, or just differently configured than other commercially available materials. One example of custom metal fabrication using cutting-edge tools is stainless steel fabrication, which can make for some stunning-looking products. As stainless steel is a very hard, but wear resistant material, custom metal fabrication designers have had much success creating machinery parts, handles, and fittings out of it. In the case of making pieces of metal into complex steering mechanisms, however, it's often necessary to use another kind of metal for the work, such as brass. Using other metals for these purposes, such as zinc or copper, means that the resulting steering mechanism will be stronger, less prone to corrosion, and free of any embedded screws or other potentially dangerous fasteners.

The whole point of custom metal fabrication work is that the customer can have the exact shape that they want, in the shape that they need it, or in the shape that is most suited to their particular applications. Often, a client will tell the fabricator what they want; sometimes they will even suggest a particular raw metal stock that will give the fabricator an easier time forming the part. The shape that is ultimately produced will then be cut from this stock using metal forming equipment, typically by hand. Because the shape of the final part is so crucial to its performance, however, it's always a good idea to get it right from the start.