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In our modern day world, our construction and technology demands are increasing at an unprecedented pace. And therefore there is an increasing demand for expertise in metal fabrication as well. Metal fabrication is a value added process and comprises construction of machines and structures from various raw materials. In essence, it requires processes such cutting, bending, and assembling of metal parts. The most advanced technologies in this field today are torch cutting, plasma cutting, industrial welding and commercial welding. Torch Cutting
Torch cutting is a process that uses fuel gases, pure oxygen or atmospheric air to cut metals. It was developed in 1903 by French engineers. Due to high flame temperature in torch cutting devices, localized melting of materials such as steel can be achieved in a room environment. This flame is not intended to melt the metal, but only to bring it to its ignition temperature. In the process of torch cutting, a torch heats the metal to its auto-ignition temperature. A stream of oxygen or air is then mixed with fuel to form a flame that is aimed at the metal, which converts that particular area into a metal oxide that flows out. Torch cutting involves two types of torches: Oxy fuel, which uses two isolated supplies of oxygen and fuel and Single Tank, which mixes fuel with atmospheric air.
Plasma cutting is an advancd process that cuts through materials that are electrically conductive via an accelerated jet of hot plasma. This is generally employed for materials such as steel, aluminium, brass and copper and other conductive metals. The basic plasma cutting process involves the creation of an electrical channel of ionized gas (plasma) from the cutter itself, through the work piece to be cut. This is achieved by a compressed gas mix of oxygen, air, and others, which is blown through a focused nozzle at high speed toward the metal. This completes the electric circuit and goes back to the plasma cutter through a grounding clamp.
Plasma cutting finds use in fabrication and welding shops, in automotive repair and restoration, industrial construction, and in scrapping operations. Due to the precision cuts at high speeds, combined with a low cost of operation, plasma cutting has gained huge popularity and sees a widespread usage from large to small scale operations.
Welding is a fabrication process that seams materials such as metals. This is achieved by causing fusion, which does not melt the base metal. This is what distinguishes welding from the lower temperature metal-joining techniques such as brazing and soldering. It can be achieved from different energy sources such as a gas flame, an electric arc, a laser beam and even ultrasound. While often an industrial process (termed as industrial welding), welding may be performed in other different environments, such as under water or in open air. These fabrication activities usually fall under the category of commercial welding, which also involves work in realms such as in the hotel industry or for residential projects.
Present advances in fabrication technology are setting the trend for the future of engineering and technical marvels. Insights into this dazzling world are opening up vast horizons where imagination can turn to reality.