Industrial designers come up with countless new design ideas every year. They make metal prototypes of the designs they work the best. Metal prototyping is a vital process in countless industries, from electronics to aerospace. High-quality metal prototypes typically lead to high-quality finished products.
That’s why industrial designers are so particular about this process. Technically, metal prototypes can be created by fabricating any metal material (steel, bronze, etc.). However, the leading engineering teams of the world prefer getting aluminium fabrication to create their prototypes.
Aluminium fabrication in Sydney is a very popular method of manufacturing prototypes. Let’s explore why so many engineers and designers choose this metal fabrication technique to bring their prototypes to life.
What is Aluminum Fabrication?
Aluminium fabrication is the process of transforming stock aluminium materials into finished products. For example, a metal fabricator may transform old truck engine parts made of aluminium into new solar panel components. As a fabrication material, aluminium is very manufacturer-friendly.
This soft, light, and easy-to-shape material can be fabricated using various techniques such as shearing, bending, welding, stamping, and extruding. The unique combination of properties that aluminium offers makes it the perfect fabrication material.
Aluminium as a Fabrication Material
Aluminium fabrication companies take advantage of the following properties of the metal –
- Despite being one-third of the weight of stainless steel, this lightweight metal offers a much higher strength-to-weight ratio. Custom-fabricated aluminium parts are frequently used in the aerospace industry to build strong and corrosion-resistant wings, fuselages, and other parts.
- In the automotive industry, custom-fabricated aluminium parts are used to absorb crash forces. Most safety and crash prevention components in modern-day vehicles are made of aluminium. That’s because these parts are super-strong but also super-light. They make car bodies lighter and car engines more fuel-efficient.
- The softness, recyclability, and easy workability of aluminum make it ideal for custom-fabricating metal packaging items like foils, cans, etc.
- Aluminum is also a non-toxic material. It’s safe to use aluminium fabrication products in the food preparation industry.
- The thermal and non-combustive properties of aluminium also make it the ideal material for custom-fabricating consumer electronics products.
These are the reasons why aluminium fabrication in Sydney’s manufacturing sector is so popular.
Flexible Fabrication Techniques
Aluminium can go through pretty much all fabrication techniques that metals typically go through. As long as the right aluminium fabrication equipment is used, this material can be easily fabricated using various techniques like –
- Forming, bending, stamping, rolling, and other force-based fabrication techniques work perfectly well with flexible and soft aluminium. Aluminium sheets or plates can be easily formed into new products or prototypes with these fabrication techniques.
- The extrusion also works perfectly well with aluminium. In this fabrication technique, pieces of aluminium are sent through dies. Extrusion forces the metal pieces to conform to the sizes and shapes of the dies.
- Machining is probably the most common technique used by aluminium fabrication companies. Aluminium has amazing thermal properties. These properties give the material an exceptional machinability score. These scores are determined on the basis of a metal’s “machinability.” A material’s machinability is its ability to go through several subtractive cutting processes. Aluminium can go through countless cutting processes because it cuts almost four times faster than stainless steel.
With the right aluminium fabrication equipment, manufacturers can also perform – waterjet cutting, plasma cutting, TIG welding, and even adhesive bonding. This flexibility gives prototype designers plenty of freedom and flexibility. Plus, buying new materials mid-project isn’t a hassle when you’re working with an affordable metal like aluminium.
Engineers can cost-effectively fabricate several aluminium prototypes without overspending. After all, using expensive metals like steel or iron to custom-fabricate experimental prototypes doesn’t make sense!