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What You Need To Know About the Metalworking Industry

by Ellen Hollinton

Metalworking encompasses various activities and processes, from raw material extraction and processing to finished product fabrication. Metalworking equipment is the industry’s backbone and helps produce high-quality metal products. Many sectors of the economy rely on this industry, including transportation, machinery manufacturing, construction, and consumer goods production. Here is everything you need to know about the metalworking industry:

Common Metalworking Processes


Casting is pouring molten metal into a mold and allowing it to cool until it hardens into its desired shape. This is one of the oldest forms of metalworking. You can use it to craft guns, swords, and cast iron cookware. While casting is relatively easy compared to other manufacturing methods, it also has some drawbacks. It can be challenging to achieve precise tolerances when using this technique.


Forming involves manipulating a piece of metal by applying pressure or tension to shape it into a desired form. This process includes techniques like hammering, bending, rolling, extrusion, and forging. Forming is often used with casting. Metalworkers will cast a mold and then form sheet metal parts.


Machining involves cutting away material from a piece of metal using various power tools such as mills, lathes, drills, grinders, or saws. Machining allows fine control over shapes and dimensions that other processes cannot achieve. It can also be time-consuming and expensive due to the amount of material you need to remove to achieve the desired result. Having the right metalworking equipment for this part of the process is key.


Welding is a joining process where two pieces of metal or plastic are fused using heat or pressure (or both). Welding can be used in fabrication. It allows two separate parts to become one solid unit without additional materials. Welding is dangerous if not done properly due to the risk of fire or toxic fumes released. 


Fabrication involves assembling individual components into larger assemblies like frames or enclosures. It also includes simple nuts and bolts assemblies and complex automated systems requiring precision alignment and fit between components. Fabrication requires a deep understanding of both individual components and how they interact with each other when assembled.

Raw Materials Used in Metalworking

Iron and Steel

Iron is a soft metal that is easily worked. You can use iron in various projects like furniture, fixtures, tools, and sculptures. Steel is a stronger metal that is more resistant to wear and tear. You can find it in components like car frames, bridges, ships, and many other structures.


Aluminum is a lightweight metal used in aircraft and cars. This is because it is lightweight yet strong enough to support heavy loads. Aluminum is also corrosion-resistant metal. It might not rust or corrode over time like other metals when exposed to outdoor elements like rain or snow. It is also incredibly malleable so you can shape it easily into different forms for different uses.


Copper has high electrical conductivity, malleability, and resistance to seawater or air pollution corrosion. This makes copper an ideal metal for wiring and pipes transporting liquids throughout buildings or underground systems. Copper is often used due to its relative ease of working compared to other metals available.

Precious Metals

You can use precious metals when a product needs extra shine or unique properties such as durability or electrical resistance but still have aesthetic appeal. Precious metals include gold, silver, platinum, palladium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium. They are often used for decorative purposes such as jewelry making or watchmaking. Depending on the specific properties needed for each application, you can find them in specialized medical equipment or industrial components.

Get High-quality Metalworking Equipment Today

Metalworking encompasses a wide range of processes and technologies constantly evolving to meet the demands of various sectors. With a solid understanding of the metalworking industry’s fundamentals, you can use its potential to develop innovative solutions and drive industry growth.

Have high-quality metalworking equipment to remain competitive and meet the demands of modern industries. When searching for a metalworking retailer, find someone reliable that only sells the highest quality machinery. Search for a vendor that provides new and used equipment. Both new and used options allow you to find machinery for your metalworking needs within a reasonable price point. 

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