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What is difference between fabrication and sheet metal?

Fabrication and sheet metal are related but distinct concepts in manufacturing.  Here are the key differences between the two:


Definition: Fabrication refers to the process of creating or assembling parts or structures from various raw materials, such as metal, plastic, or wood.  It involves cutting, bending, welding, and shaping materials to create a finished product.  Sheet metal, on the other hand, specifically refers to metal that is formed into thin, flat sheets.  Sheet metal fabrication, therefore, focuses on the manufacturing and shaping of metal sheets into desired components or structures.


Material: Fabrication can involve a wide range of materials, including metal, plastic, wood, composites, and more.  It is not limited to metal alone.  Sheet metal fabrication, as the name suggests, specifically deals with metal sheets.  The most commonly used metals for sheet metal fabrication are steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and copper.


Manufacturing Processes: Fabrication encompasses a broader range of manufacturing processes, such as cutting, bending, welding, machining, casting, and assembling.  It involves working with various tools, equipment, and techniques to transform raw materials into finished products.  Sheet metal fabrication, on the other hand, focuses on processes specific to sheet metal, such as shearing, bending, punching, forming, and welding.  These processes are tailored to work with thin and flat metal sheets.


Applications: Fabrication is a versatile process used in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, construction, electronics, furniture, and more.  It can be applied to create a wide range of products, from large structures to intricate components.  Sheet metal fabrication is commonly used in industries that require lightweight, durable, and precise metal components, such as automotive bodies, enclosures, HVAC systems, electrical enclosures, appliance parts, and more.


In summary, fabrication is a general manufacturing process that involves creating products from different materials, while sheet metal fabrication specifically focuses on working with thin metal sheets to create specialized metal components and structures.


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