ALEXANDRIA, VA – One of the most forgotten sides of the industrial world is the part the works with metal. Even though the process of metalworking has been around for centuries, there are still a bunch of people who don’t know much about it. That’s why we’re putting together a brief history of modern metalworking, so people will have a better idea of how it gets done these days.
How the Process Starts
Like any process, you have to start by finding the materials needed for making the final product. For metal, that means digging deep into the surface of the earth to find the metal ore required to form the metallic objects we use today. This is the start of the metallurgy process. People in this industry are constantly looking for new sites that have this ore in great magnitudes. Once someone has found a spot, they set up mines, and the extraction of ore begins. This is followed up by smelting, which involves melting the ore down and picking out the pieces of metal that will get used later.
Creating Our Own Metals
Many of the metals we use today aren’t naturally found in the ground, though. Many of them are alloys that we create by mixing together other elements that we have discovered. Some common alloys are steel, aluminum, copper, and brass. Steel, in particular, is made out of carbon and iron. After the metallurgy process is over, then you can move on to metalworking.
How We Work on It Today
Unlike in the days of old, most modern jobs that create metal objects are automated. While not all of it is fully automatic quite yet, we’re not too far from the day that all of it will be. Working the metal into shape and then finishing it to make it shiny and smooth is not easy and takes a lot of time. In fact, other than dropping the parts into the machine, almost all of the finishing process is automated these days, and the science behind it is quite interesting.
The key thing to note when looking at the brief history of modern metalworking is that even though the industry is rapidly developing, the general process of mining, smelting, and working the metal will always remain the same.