Steel fabrication involves taking a sheet of metal and shaping it or transforming it into a metal object. It can be rolled into a metal tube or pipe, cut into a shape, such as a gear or tool, or be cut and crimped so it can be used as a metal roof tile. Regardless of what shape you are trying to turn a plain sheet of steel into, steel fabrication can help you. However, if you are preparing to have fabrication done for the first time, you may not be familiar with some of the terms that a fabrication company uses. Taking your time to learn about the terms can help you to better understand what the fabricator is talking about as they discuss your project with you. Here are a few common terms you should familiarize yourself with if you are having steel fabrication done for the first time.
Annealing is the process of heating and cooling steel. Typically, in order to alter the shape of steel, it needs to be heated up. Once warm, the metal can bend or be rolled. Once the metal has been heated up and shaped, it is quickly cooled. Cooling it helps to hold the shape of the steel the way it was formed. It also helps to remove any stresses that can occur in the metal if the metal was simply left to cool naturally. As such, you may hear this term as the fabricator talks about shaping your metal.
Hard facing is a term that your fabricator may use after your steel item is shaped. Hard facing is a process that involves surfacing and coating the steel. The main purpose of hard facing the item is to protect the metal against the elements that can cause it to become damaged. It can be protected against impact damage, abrasions, erosion, cavitations or galling. This is extremely important if the metal is exposed to a variety of elements, such as a metal roof tile. Metal that is protected from the elements, such as a part in a car, may not need these treatments.
When your item is first being fabricated, the fabricator will likely do a tension test. A tension test can help tell the fabricator how your metal item will hold up under various conditions. From there, they can determine what changes need to be made to the metal or fabrication process if your steel object did not hold up the stresses that the item were put under. For example, if the metal item bent under pressure, it may need to tempered to reduce stress points. Ultimately, a tension test helps a fabricator determine if they should continue the fabrication process as planned or if changes need to be made to ensure your item will hold up how you need it to.
There are a variety of terms a steel fabricator may use. Taking the time to learn some of these terms can help you to understand what a fabricator is talking about if they use the terms to you when you have steel fabrication done for the first time. To learn more, contact a company like Ceramic Technology Inc.