Transportation Applications That Utilize Metal Fabrication

September 9, 2021

Whether for rail, road, or sea, the transportation industry relies heavily on custom metal parts fabrication for the successful completion of many diverse projects and applications, large or small. Custom metal parts fabrication is essential not only to the manufacture of planes, trains, and automobiles, but for the airports, train stations, roadways, metro and subway systems, rail lines, bridges, walkways, and so forth, that the modes of transportation rely on. Of course, it’s not just on land but water as well. Seafaring vessels of all shapes and sizes from commercial to defense-related, and the ports that serve them, also rely on metal fabrication to keep things afloat.

Custom metal fabrication for the transportation sector is not just I-beams, trusses, and girders, but quite literally the nuts and bolts that hold structures and objects together—the entire industry is dependent on the custom fabrication of metal parts. Selecting the right material is vital. Materials must hold the correct mechanical properties for the application—tensile strength, anti-corrosive, durability and so forth. Metals and metal alloys such as carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper and brass are commonly used materials for fabrication applications throughout the industry.

Here are five of the more common transportation industries that rely on custom metal parts fabrication:

1. Automotive

Custom metal fabrication is part and parcel of the automotive industry. From the initial manufacturing process of assembly to countless parts for installation and replacement. Frames and suspension systems, steering-wheel columns, trunk lids, wheel hubcaps, doors, and seat frames are just some examples of fabrication processes used by the auto industry. Every car and pickup truck, big rig and farm tractor is made with fabricated metal components.

2. Railroad

It is not an understatement to say that custom metal fabrication is the backbone of the railroad industry. Engines and the variety of rail cars to accommodate the needs of various passenger coaches and freight shipping modes—boxcars, flatcars, open and closed hoppers—as well as the rails in which the cars roll on, and the railroad bolts, fasteners, and spikes that hold everything together are specially designed and fabricated metal parts.

3. Public Transportation

Public Transportation utilizes custom metal fabrication for the manufacture of numerous products that provide essential services for citizens. Terminals and stations for bus, rail, metro, and air, and the modes of transport that are used in them. Trams, trolleys, buses, and subways and the infrastructure in which they operate on. Bridges, public walkways, platforms, guardrails, stairwells and hand railings, overpasses, tunnels, guardrails along highways and roads, safety grating and even manhole covers derive from custom fabricated metal parts.

4. Aerospace

As it relates to the transportation industry, aerospace is a term that collectively refers to the manufacture of vehicles used for flight. Much like the automotive industry, whether an airplane, helicopter, spacecraft, shuttle, or rocket, all aircraft rely on custom metal fabrication for their assembly. Parts and components of all sizes are required to build an aircraft. Some common examples include the fuselage, engines, frames for seats, wings, airframes, rotor blades, paneling, landing gear and the nuts and bolts that hold it together.

5. Water Transport

Custom metal fabrication is vital to the means of the water transportation industry around the globe. Water transport is the act of moving people, products, packages, freight, cargo, and resources by ship, sailboat, barge, boat, trawler, among other watercraft, across lakes, along rivers, through canals, and over and under seas or oceans. Numerous commercial and naval fabricated applications are necessary for building naval ships, submarines, fish trawlers, barges, tugs, freight, oil tankers, passenger and vehicle ferries, offshore support vessels (OSVs), and dredgers. Nearly every part and component of a water vessel are reliant on metal fabricated parts—bulkheads, propulsion mechanisms, machinery and deck equipment foundations to name a few.

From automotive to aerospace, public transportation to railroad and water transport, the transportation industry is comprised of many diverse sectors. The one commonality is that each relies on and utilizes custom metal fabrication.

At Quest-Tech, we are experienced in custom sheet metal components and structural fabrication assemblies for the transportation industry and beyond. To learn more about our capabilities and services, please contact us today.