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thefabricator.com is the digital home of The FABRICATOR magazine, the metal fabricating industry’s foremost authority on manufacturing technology. Technical articles, case studies, and company profiles from The FABRICATOR and its sister publications, Practical Welding Today, The Tube & Pipe Journal, and STAMPING Journal can be found on this site. Additionally, thefabricator.com has a team of subject matter experts that write exclusively for the website, covering topics such as welding skills and metal forming basics.

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Structured sheet metal - Part II

June 13, 2006 | By Michael Mirtsch, Ajay Yadav

Vault-structured sheet metal undergoes very little strain hardening during structuring, so it can be deformed further into shapes such as cans, containers, washing machine drums, thin-walled detector tubes, heat exchangers, and light reflectors.

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 10

June 13, 2006 | By John DiGiacomo, Jim Kleckner

Although the last step in the bidding process is to submit your bid, your final step in working with the government is never to give up and to apply what you learned throughout the process to every government job opportunity.

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Evaluating dry film lubricants for automotive applications Part II

June 13, 2006

The ironing test developed at the ERC/NSM reproduces production conditions of contact pressure up to 94 kilopounds per square inch (KSI) and temperatures up to 300 degrees F to quantitatively evaluate lubricant performance.

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Evaluating dry film lubricants for automotive applications Part I

June 13, 2006

In recent studies, dry-film lubricants have been shown to give better lubrication conditions compared to oil-based liquid lubricants. This factor, as well as savings in the amount of lubricant used, has helped increase the use of dry-film lubricants in the automotive industry for forming of aluminum and high-strength steel stamped parts.

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Tube hydroforming for expanded design options

June 13, 2006 | By Paul Tauzer

Hydroforming has become a favored technology for automotive parts because it allows manufacturers to increase a component's strength, reduce its weight, and reduce the number of parts in an assembly. Another important benefit, one that is often overlooked, is the increase in design freedom this technology allows. Engineers and designers must be aware of the factors that restrict design freedom, such as material characteristics and press limitations, and alternatives such as annealing and axial feeding that help work around these limitations.

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A review of common nondestructive tests

June 13, 2006 | By Mark Willcox, George Downes

Five types of nondestructive testing are common for tube and pipe weld inspection, and each has advantages and disadvantages that may make one more suitable than another for your inspections.

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Flushing out four-letter words: rust, dirt, and wear (Part II)

June 13, 2006 | By Mike Pelham

A tubular assembly is cleaned in an Alliance Aquamaster CD-3000 rotary-drum cleaning system with wash and heated blowoff. The drum is constructed of stainless steel and includes spiral flights and part "kicker" bars. Photo courtesy of Alliance Manufacturing Inc., Fond du Lac, Wis....

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Envelope, please!

June 13, 2006 | By W.B. "Bud" Graham

Bud Graham revisits his January/February column on problems that plague tube mills (or nearly any manufacturing company, for that matter) and shares some reader feedback. Also, he provides the runners-up and winner of a caption contest for a photo that also appeared in the January/February issue.

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Die Science: Die building

June 13, 2006 | By Art Hedrick

In any stamping process including progressive dies, transfer dies, or line dies, three factors are essential to consider when processing a piece of flat metal into a finished part: What is the metal? What is the metal's thickness? What are the part tolerances?

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SUVs: A profit center in flux

June 13, 2006 | By Bernard Swiecki

As oil hovers around $60 per barrel, SUVs aren't that cool anymore. Many view them as dinosaurs, remnants of '90s excess that have no place in a thriftier, more environmentally conscious century.

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Saving money by spending on safety

June 13, 2006 | By Ashley Hildreth

Although the upfront costs of installing machine safeguards can be expensive, it is far more expensive to put your company at risk for employee injury and the resulting medical expenses, lost production, fines, and lawsuits.

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Introduction to Tube Hydroforming

June 13, 2006 | By Gary Morphy

Under the right circumstances, hydroforming can be a viable, cost-effective manufacturing process. Tube hydroforming often produces stronger structural components than can be achieved with more conventional methods. This article explains tube hydroforming, describes its evolution, and discusses the factors that should be considered when deciding whether to use the process.

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Die Basics 101: Part VIII

June 13, 2006 | By Art Hedrick

Figure 1 Part VII of this series introduced two basic types of metals used to manufacture stamped parts—ferrous, metals that contain iron, and nonferrous, metals that do not contain iron. This article discusses the specific mechanical properties of these metals in more detail.The metal's...

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Measuring the plastic strain ratio of sheet metals

June 13, 2006 | By Richard Gedney

Determining how much a metal can deform before thinning or fracture occurs is necessary for designing a reproducible forming operation. Testing the incoming sheet material is also essential because material properties may vary from coil to coil and affect the part quality and scrap rate. Understanding a material's plastic strain ratio and how to measure it are crucial in accurately establishing a material's formability.

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Warm forming titanium parts

June 13, 2006 | By Eric Lundin

Senior Editor Eric Lundin visited a fabricator that specializes in aircraft components, M-DOT Aerospace, to learn how the company uses warm-forming of titanium to manufacture a cradle for an auxiliary power unit, or APU. Understanding titanium's characteristics is the key in forming this durable, corrosion-resistant, tough material.

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