There is much to say about the metalworking industry, which has become an integral part of human civilization. Everywhere you look, you will find metal in gadgets, appliances, furniture, jewellery, and infrastructure.
The Dawn of Metalworking
Over a million years ago, it was recorded that early civilizations started utilizing metal when they discovered how to control fire to their advantage.
- As early as 4500 BCE, evidence shows that early humans created weapons, and tools, and built materials with metal. During this time copper mining began in countries like Serbia.
- In 2800 BCE China began extracting copper from its ore through smelting.
- 1800 BC marks the beginning of ironworks in ancient India, and producing steel from smelting iron was started in Turkey.
- In 1200 CE China discovered a process of producing steel in massive amounts with the use of cold blast through molted iron.
- Later in 1856, engineer and inventor Henry Bessemer developed his way of manufacturing steel known as the Bessemer process. It is an inexpensive, industrial procedure that later paved the way for creating the Bessemer converter machine.
- During the 1800s, metal smiths became skilled at hammer welding. This time was also a turning point in the history of metalworking because the invention of the steam engine powered the forging industry to a higher and more advanced level.
Methods of Metal Fabrication
The following are methods of metal fabrication:
This technique involves splitting metal into smaller portions. The process is usually done as a first step for complex fabrication procedures.
Cutting methods range from simple sawing to the most advanced laser and plasma arc cutting technology.
Metal forming is done to contort or bend metal sheets to your desired shape. It is fed through a CNC metal bender where machine rollers apply pressure to your metal and shape it according to your design.
Metal forming is an essential process that produces the main components that make appliances, electronics, or even tools you use daily.
Metal casting plays a vital role in the mass production of metal items because of the speedy and inexpensive process.
It involves moulds where molten metal is poured to create any shape for your specific requirements.
Punching is meant to cut or separate pieces from a metal sheet.
A punching machine can produce cutouts of different shapes. The punch press punctures holes through a metal sheet at high speed into a die located under the material.
Stamping is performed similar to the punching method, but instead of puncturing holes, it creates indentions of any shape on a metal sheet. A stamping machine can also cut, cast or even shape your metal workpiece.
Welding is a method widely used in metalworking. It involves joining metal pieces by applying heat and pressure with a welding machine. The three commonly used welding techniques are MIG welding, TIG welding and Stick or Arc welding.
There is always something about the metalwork industry that continues to evolve up to this day because it is one of the essential materials presently used. Due to this high demand, engineers and metal smiths are compelled to develop new ways to efficiently carry out the growing challenges of today’s society.