The Basics Of Metal Processing

Full-service metal processing includes the many different services in the metal processing industry that take individual metal parts, refine them, shape them, and combine them to create the desired final product. These services generally fall into three main categories of metal fabrication, finishing, and assembly of the final product.

Metal Fabrication

Fabrication includes the creation of metal objects through bending, cutting, and combining smaller metal pieces. Bending is done through a variety of methods that include hammering, tube benders, and press brakes. Most ways of shaping the metal without adding or removing material would fall under the bending process. Cutting is performed by sawing chiseling, torching, and numerical control cutters or CNC.

Metal Finishing

Finishing is the process of altering the surface of the metal to get the desired look and attributes that are not part of the unfinished metal. Most of them greatly increase the metal's resistance to corrosion and warping. There are many ways to finish metal surfaces including electroplating, powder coating, grinding, and heat treating. Electroplating and powder coating are some of the most advanced forms of metal coating. They are both used to create a very thin layer of metal or powder over the surface of the metal to protect it. Grinding is one of the simplest forms of finishing, and it is used to smooth out the surface to give the metal a nice, uniform look. Heat treating is what it sounds like. The metal is heated up to high temperatures to increase its durability and hardness.


Metal assembly is done in a variety of ways that include welding, adhesive binding, mechanical binding, riveting, and many other techniques. Each of these techniques is good for different reasons, and they can be used in a large variety of situations. Welding is one of the best techniques when the assembly is going to be permanent and needs a great amount of strength and durability. Welding is done by heating up two or more sections of metal until they are hot enough to combine along their edges.

Mechanical binding is done with smaller components such as screws, nuts, and bolts. This is the best way to assemble something that is going to need to be moved, adjusted, and maintained over the course of its use. Finally, riveting uses small rivets to connect the different metal pieces. This is a good technique when the structure will need shear strength and will be subjected to fluctuating temperatures and pressures.

Contact a metal processing company, such as Global Metalworks, to discuss your needs.