Opinion

A Brief History of Metal Fabrication

The ability to fabricate metal has been an incredibly useful skill since the dawn of man. It was, in fact, one of the earliest of man’s skills and this ability to craft with metal was once highly revered by our ancient ancestors. The oldest known site of metal mining was found in Iraq and is believed to date back as far as 8,700 BC after the discovery of a copper pendant at the site.

Our ancient ancestors were only aware of 7 metals at that time – lead, copper, tin, iron, gold, silver and mercury. Each of the 7 metals were also assigned celestial bodies, such as gold was paired with the sun and silver was associated with the moon.

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Metalwork became an essential part of life in a society, being incorporated into tools, weapons and even building materials. Skills for working with metal improved and metalsmiths became more knowledgeable about ways to create even more objects from metal, such as industrial purposes and even decorative jewellery.

During the Bronze Age, techniques of combining metals began to appear. Copper and tin were melted in furnaces to create bronze which was primarily used in the manufacture of weapons like swords.

By the Middle Ages, machines were being designed to roll gold to create a standard thickness for coins. The very first factory to produce lead and tin plates was opened in 1615 and by the time of the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s, there was a huge rise in the production of sheet metal, helped by the use of hydraulic presses.

The process of metal fabrication is essentially to convert one substance into another and with metal this can mean techniques involving bending, cutting and joining. For more details on Euromac Bending Machines, visit a site like www.cotswold-machinery-sales.co.uk/euromac/horizontal-bending-machines/digibend-tooling/

The ability to fabricate metal has transformed human history and led to advancements in almost every field of industry. Fabrication plays a huge role in industries such as household appliances, military, electronics, jewellery, construction, automobile and aviation.

Thanks to evolution in technology, metal fabrication faces an exciting future. The industry is a vital part of a country’s economy providing the parts we need from pans to car parts. Metal fabrication is a global market and the forecast is good thanks to increasing demand for building materials and infrastructure for booming populations.

Advanced skills in fabrication are required for the production of electric vehicles and demand for these is set to soar as countries adapt greener, more sustainable policies for the future. Tube laser technology is another advancement that will make production faster and more efficient for metal fabrication businesses. It can save money and offers more precision which means a reduction in production costs for the industry.

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The world of metal fabrication is such a diverse one, from joining pieces of metal in the production of a military tank to designing a minute component for a metal valve. There will always be a need for metal fabricators to keep society moving.

Joe Hammonds

Hi, I am Joe; I am an entrepreneur, father, mentor, and adventurer passionate about life.

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