Industrial processes are procedures involving chemical, physical, electrical or mechanical steps to aid in the manufacturing of an item or items, usually carried out on a very large-scale. Industrial processes are the key components of heavy industry.
1. General processes
These may be applied on their own, or as part of a larger process.
- Liquefaction of gases – for ease of transportation
- Supercritical drying, freeze-drying – removal of excess liquid
- Scrubbing – removal of pollution from exhaust gases
2. Chemical processes
- Haber process – chemically binding gaseous nitrogen from the atmosphere to make ammonia
- Smelting – chemically enhancing metals
- Disinfection – chemical treatment to kill bacteria and viruses
- Pyroprocessing – using heat to chemically combine materials, such as in cement.
3. Heat processes
- Flash smelting – a refinement on smelting, for sulfur-containing ores (produces copper, nickel and lead)
The availability of electricity and its effect on materials gave rise to several processes for plating or separating metals.
- Gilding, Electroplating, Anodization, Electrowinning – depositing a material on an electrode
- Electropolishing – the reverse of electroplating
- Electrofocusing – similar to electroplating, but separating molecules
- Electrolytic process – the generic process of using electrolysis
- Electrophoretic deposition – electrolytic deposition of colloidal particles in a liquid medium
- Electrotyping – using electroplating to produce printing plates
- Metallizing, Plating, Spin coating – the generic term for giving non-metals a metallic coating
- Plasma cutting
- Water-jet cutting
- Oxyacetylene cutting
- Electrical discharge machining (EDM)
- Machining – the mechanical cutting and shaping of metal which involves the loss of the material
- Laser cutting
6. Physical processes
There are several physical processes for reshaping a material by cutting, folding, joining or polishing, developed on a large scale from workshop techniques.
- Forging – the shaping of metal by use of heat and hammer
- Casting – shaping of a liquid material by pouring it into moulds and letting it solidify
- Progressive stamping – the production of components from a strip or roll
- Hydroforming – a tube of metal is expanded into a mould under pressure
- Sandblasting – cleaning of a surface using sand or other particles
- Soldering, Brazing, Welding – a process for joining metals
- Tumble polishing – for polishing
- Precipitation hardening – heat treatment used to strengthen malleable materials
- Work hardening – adding strength to metals, alloys, etc.
- Case hardening, Differential hardening, Shot peening – creating a wear resistant surface
- Die cutting – A “forme” or “die” is pressed onto a flat material in order to cut, score, punch and otherwise shape the material
The physical shaping of materials by forming their liquid form using a mould.
- Casting, Sand casting – the shaping of molten metal or plastics using a mould
- Sintering, Powder metallurgy – the making of objects from metal or ceramic powder
- Blow moulding as in plastic containers or in the Glass Container Industry – making hollow objects by blowing them into a mould.
- Compression molding
Many materials exist in an impure form, purification, or separation provides a usable product.
- Comminution – reduces the size of physical particles (it exists between crushing and grinding)
- Froth flotation, flotation process – separating minerals through floatation
- Liquid–liquid extraction – dissolving one substance in another
- Frasch process – for extracting molten sulfur from the ground
- Fractional distillation, Steam distillation, Vacuum distillation – separating materials by their boiling point
- Batch distillation
- Continuous distillation
- Fractionating column
- Spinning cone
- Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
- Stereolithography (SLA)
- Selective laser sintering (SLS)