Metal fabrication can be split into two categories: heavy and light. Fabrication projects can fall into one of the two categories depending on the raw materials and equipment used. The overall scale of the project also determines its category. This article discusses the major differences between heavy and light metal fabrication.
Heavy metal fabrication vastly utilizes both steel and stainless steel. These materials are usually in beams, plates, and pipes. However, it involves sheet metal as well.
Dealing with heavier and bulkier raw materials requires heavy-duty fabrication processes. Therefore, you would need to employ plasma cutters and sizable rollers to perform cutting and forming fabrication techniques, respectively.
Furthermore, welds made for these projects go through a more rigorous quality inspection. These large-scale projects must be tested to hold heavy loads to prevent failures during their expected lifespan.
The outputs of heavy metal fabrication are huge and, therefore, heavy. Consequently, it is only reasonable to carry out the process on the project’s site. It means bringing the tools and equipment to the project for everyone’s convenience.
Carrying tools to the site poses many dilemmas. First is the problem of transporting heavy and specialized equipment to the project site. Second, the safety precautions the workers have to take around the equipment. And lastly, managing the dust, fumes, and waste of the equipment produced during the project’s duration.
Heavy metal fabrication manufactures large and bulky outputs. This type of process is used to manufacture large-scale projects such as agricultural and military machinery.
Aluminium sheet metal is a popular raw material used in light fabrication. However, in its extruded form, aluminium is exclusively used in lightweight metal fabrication. Additionally, copper, brass, course, and stainless steel are also used for light fabrication.
Thinner and light materials are easier to process. This process can easily use basic fabrication equipment such as milling and lathe machines.
However, heavy, and light steel fabrication both takes advantage of welding techniques. The only exception is resistance welding, which is not ideal for heavy fabrication projects.
Light metal fabrication projects are easier to lug around. In addition, unlike the heavy fabrication process, light fabrication projects can be brought to fab shops. As a result, light fabrication projects have little to worry about when it comes to this aspect.
This process involves the production of metal items that are no thicker than an inch. Some examples of its outputs include brackets and other small metal components.
Heavy and light steel fabrications have several differences, but both serve different purposes. Heavy metal fabrication focuses on manufacturing large and bulky projects such as tanks and tractors. It mainly uses beams, pipes, and plates made from steel.
The huge raw materials required for heavy fabrication projects require tools and equipment to be brought to the site. Additionally, heavy fab projects involve using heavy-duty machinery to perform fabrication processes.
On the other hand, light metal fabrication produces smaller and lighter outputs, usually aluminium, copper, brass, and steel. As a result, light fabrication projects can be conveniently constructed using basic tools and equipment in fabrication shops.