Aluminium fabrication is an important process that is needed to be performed with expert precision and tools. Aluminium fabrication is a method of transforming raw aluminium materials into finished products which can be used for a wide number of sectors and industries. Here at LA Metals, we are expert and trusted aluminium fabricators, with the majority of our fabrication work taking place in-house. Fabrication can be applied to any metal, but aluminium fabrication is widely popular because of the many benefits that this metal offers. In this blog, we will explain the wide range of benefits that aluminium fabrication offers, how it is achieved and why it is so important.
What are the benefits of using aluminium?
Both the fabrication process and aluminium itself have a plethora of benefits. Aluminium is one of the most used metals in the world – and for good reason. Some of the main benefits of aluminium include:
- Flexibility – Aluminium can be bent into any shape or form.
- Lightweight and durable – Aluminium is one of the lightest metals around whilst still being extremely strong and durable, meaning it can be used in several sectors, including aerospace and construction.
- Corrosive resistance – Aluminium is resistant to any form of corrosion or rust thanks to the protective oxide layer on the surface.
- Good thermal and electrical conductivity – Aluminium is a great thermal and electrical conductor which makes it ideal for applications that require heat transfer or electrical conductivity.
- It’s eco-friendly – Aluminium is highly recyclable and can be reused and repurposed for different applications, reducing waste and conserving resources.
The popular aluminium fabrication processes
How exactly is aluminium fabrication performed and by whom? Performing this innovative process requires several tools to join the pieces of aluminium together. However, it is important that aluminium fabrication is performed by experts who understand the health and safety regulations, and you should always contact professionals, like LA Metals, who can provide these services. There are several unique ways that aluminium fabrication can be achieved. These processes are all different from the aluminium extrusion process which is performed for producing aluminium products on a larger and faster scale, whereas the fabrication process, which can also be performed quickly, is ideal for specific applications of certain shapes.
Some of the most popular tools to achieve aluminium fabrication include:
Aluminium fabrication often involves cutting aluminium sheets or bars into specific shapes and sizes. There are several tools and ways to cut aluminium into the desired shape, such as sawing, shearing, laser cutting or waterjet cutting. CNC machines are also an extremely efficient way to get exact and bespoke extrusions of aluminium. These machines are operated by our expert fabricators to match the tightest of tolerances.
This method is extremely useful when the section required can’t be extruded successfully. This process involves folding and forming sheets of aluminium to create unusual shapes which can’t be fabricated via other methods. This is one of the most cost-effective ways of achieving a bespoke solution that can be achieved with machines such as press breaks or rollers.
Drilling and slotting
Drilling and slotting are viable methods of fabrication for aluminium applications that require specific holes and entry points for numerous applications that are ideal for many industries, including aerospace, construction, the motor industry and more. Drilling and slotting also allow for several applications to fit together, almost like a puzzle, to create large-scale appliances.
Aluminium can be welded using techniques that can cut, combine, join and bend the metal into the desired shape and size. Welders typically use metal inert gas (MIG) or tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding tools and perform this technique for similar results to drilling and slotting – to join multiple aluminium pieces together to create a larger product.
Countersinking and tapping
This method is similar to drilling and slotting where the latest CNC technology is utilised to provide holes to meet exact screw sizes at an efficient frequency. Countersinking is the process of cutting a hole into the aluminium which allows space for a screw or bolt. Tapping involves cutting threads on the inside surface of a hole, which provides smooth insertion of the specific screw or bolt.
What happens after the fabrication process?
After the aluminium has been fabricated, several other finishes can be applied to the metal to add several more benefits. Many of these finishes are provided to add extra strength and durability, in addition to providing resistance to corrosion and for a more desirable visual appeal. These finishes include:
Aluminium fabrication solutions with LA Metals
Aluminium fabrication is not easy – that is why you can rely on our expert fabricators at LA Metals for reliable, professional and safe fabrication solutions. We have the technical and mechanical knowledge for producing fabricated aluminium for businesses across the UK. You can contact us for a wide range of aluminium products, including flat bars, round tubes, mouldings and more, as well as aluminium finishing services to make your aluminium applications stand out.