top of page

Metal Fabrication Terminology You Should Know

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z


Alloy - A substance with metallic properties, composed of two elements, of which one is a metal. One metallic element must be present.

Aluminum - A light silvery-gray metal, typically starting in sheets or blocks in the metal fab industry. Aluminum is one of the most engineered metals and has the chemical element of atomic number 13.

Arc - The curved point of a bend

Arc Welding - Arc welding is also known as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), manual metal arc welding (MMAW), and stick welding. In Arc welding, energy is passed through a consumable electrode, which melts, forming a weld pool.


Bead - A small ridge of metal used to reinforce a typically flat metal workpiece or part.

Bending - The straining of material, typically sheet metal, by applying stress to it while against a straight axis. The bend that is created is permanent, with the outside bend typically being in tension and the inside being compression.


CAD - Computer-Aided Design. Allows for the modeling of parts that can be interacted within a 3D space. Printouts are comparable to paper drawings, but CAD drawings allow for integration with CNC machines.

Carbon Steel - (also known as mild steel) A type of steel in which carbon is the most abundant element, with the amount of carbon being in the alloy being the greatest contributor to its properties. Carbon steels are offered with differing levels of formability, with the more formable being the more costly.


Ductility - A material's ability to deform plastically without cracking. A tensile test can measure this quality of a metal.

Degree Of Bend (DOB) - The angle, expressed in numeric digits such as 45 & 90, in which metal is bent.


Elasticity - The ability of a material to return to its original state after a load has been applied.


Fab Shop - An abbreviation of Fabrication Shop, a company that works with and forms metal to a customer's desired final product.

Fiber Laser - A solid state type laser that is quickly becoming the most popular variant for metal fabrication.

Finish - The condition of the surface of the part. Can be referred to as "surface finish"

Fusion 360 - The 3D modeling software we use at Rapid Metal Fab to create accurate parts for you quickly.


Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) - Commonly referred to as Metal Inert Gas or MIG, is a form of welding that takes place when an electric arc forms between the workpiece and the consumable welding wire.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) - also known as tungsten inert gas welding (TIG), a form of welding that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to create a weld. A shielding gas is used to protect the weld and tungsten from oxidation.


Hydraulic Brake - A type of press brake that uses hydraulics (high pressure oil) to bend metal to a predetermined shape.


Laser Cutting - The use of an incredibly concentrated beam of light to cut/pierce materials. Typically, these lasers are CO2 or fiberoptic variants in the metal fabrication industry.

Lean Manufacturing - A manufacturing process where any step that does not produce value for the customer is reduced or eliminated.


Metal Inert Gas (MIG) - Referred to in GMAW, is one of the fastest welding methods because of the welding wire it uses to create the welding pool. The wire is continuously fed into the gun at a constant rate.


Oxy-Acetylene Torch - A tool used to straighten significantly warped steel in a slow, linear fashion


Press Brake - A pressing tool that is used to bend sheet and plate materials to predetermined angles. It does this by clamping the workpiece between a punch and die.


Rust - A reddish material, primarily hydrated iron oxide, that forms on iron or its alloys resulting from exposure to a humid atmosphere or a chemical attack.


Tungsten Inert Gas - a form of welding that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to create a weld. A shielding gas is used to protect the weld and tungsten from oxidation.


Weld Bead - The weld that results from a welding pass.

Welding - Joining two or more pieces of material by applying heat, pressure, or both, including or without filler material, to create a bond through fusion or other means.


Thank You for reading! We hope that you have found this list beneficial in growing your knowledge. Speaking of growing, this list will continue to do so. As with every question we are asked, we add the applicable words here.

If you would like to continue your learning, we encourage you to read our information filled blogs. If you would like custom metal fabrication, we would be grateful to work with you. We can be contacted here and look forward to working with you!

67 views0 comments
bottom of page