The process that involves working with different metals in order to create an individual part and/or assemblies or even structures on a large scale, is referred to as “Metalworking”.
It is an umbrella term which encompasses an array of different activities, including building enormous ships, large bridges, different types of engines and even delicate pieces of jewellery, just to name a few.
The process can be considered to be a science, an artform or a hobby on the side, a whole industry with trade included, etc. Modern Metalworking, uses state of the art tools, to create precise, usable masterpieces.
|Benefit of Metalworking||Drawbacks of Metalworking|
|Metal is very strong Raw Material||Requires a very high Capital Investment|
|Metal is quite heat resistant||There are several time-consuming and costly procedures in the post-fabrication process|
|Metal can be used in a number of different ways||You can only create a limited number of designs using metal|
|Using metal as the raw material has several long-term monetary benefits||Metalworkers need to acquire a high level of skill to get work|
|Metalworking allows for the creation of shapes with strong structural integrity||Metalworking requires a huge number of tools to be properly carried out|
|Casting helps in creating tools, sculpture(s), jewellery, etc.||There is always a chance of grave physical injury and even in worst scenarios, death|
|Metalworking offers a host of job opportunities|
|Formulation of Metalworking Fluids have furthered the process of Metalworking|
Advantages of Metalworking
- Strength :
In the process of creating intricate designs and/or useful pieces of machinery, the structural integrity of the whole piece can be at risk, if the raw material is not strong enough. Metals are however, very hard and strong(much more than plastic) and can handle a lot of physical abuse and still remain intact.
- Heat Resistance :
Metals are relatively much more resistant to hear than other materials. Most metals used in metalworking have a very high melting point. This not only means they can be put through several dangerous creation processes without fear of degradation, as even with rises in temperature, metals do not easily degrade.
- Versatility :
Metal is the raw materials which can be put through arguably the maximum number of creation(metalworking) processes. Owing to their naturally high structural integrity, metals can go through different processes including chipping, casting, soldering, forging, deep drawing, welding, etc. without having to worry about the metal getting damaged in any way.
- Long-term benefits :
Presently all different types of producers try to produce items in bulk, so as to reduce costs and increase profits. So manufacturers are always trying to use material that is suitable to be used in production(s) of high volumes. Metals are relatively extremely cost-effective in the long term, when it comes to producing in bulk.
- Shapes :
Different processes of Metalworking, like Metal Bending or Machining, allow for metals to be bent into different shapes using special machine presses or be processed into particular required shapes/designs by using tools controlled by a computer. These processes help to achieve shapes made of a material with really strong structural integrity.
- Casting :
The Metalworking process of Casting Metal allows for metal to be used in the manufacture of several items, including sculptures and/or tools and/or unique jewellery. This method is supposed to be prevalent since ancient times and is segregated into two popular methods, namely Lost-Wax Casting and Sand Casting.
- Job Opportunity :
In the present day, there is a huge demand for skilled metalworkers. Industries for the manufacture of engines, turbines, transmission, etc., industries for the production of aerospace products, industries for the manufacture of ships, boats, etc., industries for manufacturing transportation equipment and even local governments are always in need of metalworkers.
- Metalworking Fluids :
These are basically synthetic fluids that have been formulated in order to further enhance the different Metalworking processes. They help to achieve a better surface finish which was impossible before, they add even more precision to Metalworking processes, they help in decreasing the costs, they enhance and even extend the life of the finished items, etc.
Disadvantages of Metalworking
- Expenditure Up front :
Metalworking requires a very high Capital Investment at the start. Not only are the different types of metals relatively quite expensive in comparison to other materials like plastic, all the machinery used in the Metalworking processes and the tools that are required are also very costly, pushing the starter fees up even higher.
- Post Fabrication :
Once Fabrication is completed, the metal used requires that it be put through Deburring, Finishing, Painting, etc. Each of these processes are very expensive on their own. This means that not only does the whole cost of Metalworking shoot straight up, this step also severely increases the time required to complete it.
- Limited Designs :
Metals are definitely malleable under extreme heat, but revert back to their solid form(s), pretty fast making it extremely hard for them to be given different forms or shapes. So, even though they can be put in a cast, or shaped by hand, etc. they are not the best materials for the creation of complex, geometric designs.
- Skill :
Despite machines, several processes of Metalworking still require to be hand-made. Often items differ in price owing to the fact that they are manufactured by hand or not. Metalworking processes require a person of prodigious talent and skill and that requires a person to undergo extensive training in the subject.
- Tools :
Metalworking involves an array of different sets of tools. This means from the metal in it’s basic form to the end of manufacturing the final product you need a huge number of tools. Cutting torches, Band saws, Hydraulic brakes, welding tools, etc. are just a few off of this exhausting list of required tools.
- Physical Injury :
Metalworking requires the use of dangerous equipment, in risky environments. Metalworkers have to work in very close proximity with incredibly high heat-producing kilns, molten metals, devices that can easily cut through metals, etc. It is a stressful environment to work in and any lapse in concentration can lead to the loss of a limb or worse, death.
From the taps that we use in the washrooms to the aeroplanes that we fly in, we are surrounded by Metalworking. Through using the perfect process of Metalworking we can get our desired result. The extensive use of metals in our structures, tools, machinery, etc., means Metalworking is definitely here to stay and Metalworkers will always be in demand, at least till an alternative to metal is found.