Metal Fabrication

Metal Fabrication Tools

Introduction to Metal Fabrication Tools

Metal fabrication tools are a very broad subject. It covers every aspect of the industry from manual tools to the large fully automated machines. Metal fabrication tools include equipment such as tube and pipe benders, notchers, metal breaks and shears, band and colds saws, plasma welders and cutters, five axis water jet tables and metal shaping and forming machines.

Metal Fabrication Tools

A key aspect of metal fabrication tools is material handling. These machines are designed to tilt, rotate, lift and lower parts to make welding or working on assembled items easier. Another aspect of metal fabrication tools is the "lights out" or fully automated process where an individual loads the machine with their entire cut and material list and it will cut, bend, separate, and sort parts during an evening shift. With limited staff, this machine can minimise waste and optimise downtime utilising metal fabrication tools.

Metal Fabrication Tools

Other metal fabricating tools also include sheet metal tools from the simplest of hand shears to multi-million pound break presses. Electrical discharge machining (EDM), laser cutting, water jet and abrasive cutters are all included here. Shearing uses a special machine that uses break force and English wheels are often used to shape and smooth the metal over a sand bag. Laser cutters are metal fabrication tools designed to cut out intricate designs and parts out of block metal and sheet metal using a high powered laser to cut.

Water jet cutting uses a 60,000 psi flow of water to cut virtually any material up to 6" thick and regardless of the material the articulated head will cut through cleanly and precisely with no heat build up. Roll fabricating creates a seamless welded tube complete with journal and a head assembly.

Band saws are a great tool to have in any metal fabrication shop as they can cut pretty much any type of metal leaving a crisp straight cut. Band saws will also cut steel at pretty much any angle you require. Mandrel benders bend solid stock pipe from 12mm to 400mm diameters and these machines are suitable for many applications from hand rails to aerospace applications. Mandrel benders come in very basic style benders right up to the complex CNC assisted mandrel bender which is one of the most popular metal fabrication tools.

Metal fabrication tools such as guillotine shears are designed to shear a 4x8 piece of sheet metal by simply pressing down on the pedal. There is no worry of deflection of metal because there is only enough space for the sheet to go through and the cut piece falls out the back of the machine. Guillotine shears come in a manual configuration using the weight of your body to operate the shear or there is the pneumatic or hydraulic version. The most common type of guillotine shear is the hydraulic shear and this uses a hydraulic ram to force down the cutting edge.

There are many type of metal fabricating tools for various job details- many of them are very basic and use body weight to the million pound pneumatic machines.

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