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5 Benefits Of Sheet Metal Fabrication

Sheet metal fabrication is a complex process that involves cutting, bending and welding. When choosing a fabricator, it’s important to ask which services they handle in-house.

Effective design requires a good understanding of a variety of factors, such as hole diameters and alignment. For example, holes should be at least as wide as the thickness of the metal.

1. Corrosion Resistance

You’re unlikely to go through a day without coming across products made with sheet metal, which is a testament to the durability and versatility of this type of fabrication. The metals used for this process can be customized to accomplish specific product functions, but the most important factor when choosing a material is how well it resists corrosion.

Corrosion occurs when refined metals deteriorate due to exposure to factors such as oxygen, hydrogen or electrical currents. This is a common issue with most metals, but some types of corrosion are more serious than others. The most destructive of these is oxidation, which takes place when a surface is exposed to an environment with dissolved oxygen. It’s also the most prevalent form of corrosion in the world.

Fortunately, sheet metal fabrication companies have several ways to protect their customers’ products from corrosion and other environmental threats. One way is to use a protective coating like powder coating, which offers superior durability and resists stains and scratches. Another is to apply plating techniques such as anodizing, zinc and chromate, which provide an attractive finish that’s resistant to chemicals, scratches and corrosion.

Other ways to improve a metal’s corrosion resistance include using collars and bend relief near pierce areas, coining around flared holes and maintaining consistent bend radii. This helps prevent parts from becoming brittle or distorted, and it helps ensure that punch-to-die clearances are large enough to avoid premature wear and tear.

Another way to improve a product’s corrosion resistance is to choose a high-quality metal. The best metal for this purpose is stainless steel, which has excellent strength and corrosion-resistance properties. In particular, the austenitic stainless steel grade, which contains minimal carbon and high levels of nickel and chromium, is highly durable.

2. Strength

The strength of sheet metal fabrication products depends on the materials used, which can vary widely. Some of the strongest materials are nickel, aluminum, copper, stainless steel and titanium. These are especially useful in high-stress applications or environments where the product will be exposed to extreme temperatures. Other factors to consider include the tensile strength of the metal, its yield point and elongation percentage. The tensile strength refers to how much force it takes to snap the metal, while the yield point indicates when the metal becomes deformed.

The ductility of the metal also offers insight into how pliable it is. This is important when choosing the right material for your project because it can help determine how difficult it will be to bend and form. In addition, you want to make sure the metal can handle any type of environment it will be exposed to, including elements like water and oxidation.

A common method to add strength to a sheet metal is by creating ribs. However, it is important to note that the more ribs you have, the more the part will be prone to bending and deformation. To minimize this, you should place ribs uniformly throughout the part.

Another way to increase the strength of a part is by using welding, which involves heating up the two pieces of metal to fuse them together. This creates a strong joint that is stronger than riveted parts and has less risk of cracking or failing. Another popular option is soldering, which uses a filler metal to join two parts. However, this technique is not as strong as welding and should be avoided if possible.

3. Durability

Metal fabrication is a long-term investment for businesses and individuals that want their products to last. Choosing the right material will ensure your product can withstand repeated usage and harsh conditions. It will also be able to hold up to heat without melting or cracking. Metals like aluminum and stainless steel can withstand higher temperatures than other materials. They are also highly durable, which is why many tech companies opt for a metal design in their devices and other high-quality products.

Choosing the Right Metal Fabrication for Your Project

Before the manufacturing process begins, it is important to determine the type of metal that will be used in your product. This step will help guide the rest of the process and set the requirements for the part you’re creating. For example, if you’re building a heavy-duty part that will be used for weight lifting, you would need to use a high-strength metal to ensure it can withstand this stress.

Using the right metal will also mean that your part will be able to withstand other fabrication processes, such as bending and punching. Bending is a sheet metal fabrication technique that involves forming the metal into a specific shape with a machine called a brake. It may seem simple to the untrained eye, but it can be complex because the metal will always try to return to its original flat state. This requires a skilled manufacturer to be able to overbend the metal into its desired angle.

Other deformation techniques include rolling, spinning and hemming. Rolling is a common process that looks similar to pottery spinning and can be used to create rounded parts, such as cones or cylinders. Hemming is another forming method that uses a special die to flatten the edge of a piece of metal, giving it a distinct and attractive appearance.

4. Lightweight

Sheet metal fabrication is ideal for many projects because the products created tend to be extremely lightweight, allowing for unmatched portability. Additionally, the materials used can withstand high temperatures, making them ideal for the manufacturing of electronics and other tech devices.

One of the best things about sheet metal fabrication is that it allows for the creation of a wide variety of shapes and sizes. This makes it a great option for manufacturers that need to create unique and eye-catching designs, such as point of sale displays or retail display cubes. Additionally, the material is incredibly malleable and can be bent into almost any shape, making it easy to assemble.

The lightweight and durability of sheet metal fabricated parts also make them ideal for use in the automotive industry, as well as the aerospace industry. For example, sheet metal can be fabricated into various types of automotive components, such as fenders, hoods, trimmings and chassis. It can also be fabricated into different building components, including paneling, cladding and window frames.

In addition, compared to other types of manufacturing processes, sheet metal fabrication is far more cost-effective and efficient. This is because it can be performed at a higher capacity than other manufacturing methods, which means that more units can be produced in a shorter amount of time. This can be beneficial for businesses that require high-volume production of a product, as it can reduce the costs per unit.

Whether you are in the process of launching a new product or are looking for a company that can provide custom metal fabrication, it is important to choose the right manufacturer. The right company will be able to provide you with the services that you need to bring your ideas to life, while maintaining a high level of quality and integrity.

5. Easy to Assemble

Sheet metal fabrication processes include cutting, bending, punching, stamping and welding. All of these are essential for assembling and creating functional prototypes, as well as manufacturing end-use parts that fit together to form metal assemblies. However, different fabricated materials have different properties that impact the assembly process and make it easier or more difficult.

Cutting involves dividing a piece of metal into smaller pieces of the required length. Cutting can be done with different techniques including laser, plasma and water jet cutting. Each method has advantages and disadvantages but they all perform the same function, cutting a custom shape out of metal. Laser cutting is the most accurate method but it requires expensive equipment. Plasma and water jet cutting are more cost-effective but they may not be as precise.

Bending is another common fabrication technique that can be used to create a range of shapes. This is a versatile process that can be used to create a wide variety of features on metal pieces such as flanges and brackets. During the bending process, it’s important to keep the inside bend radius equal to or greater than the material thickness in order to avoid distortion of the final part. Maintaining consistent bend radii and orientations also reduces costs by reducing the amount of time spent reorienting the part.

It’s also crucial to choose the right materials for your fabricated components. If your project is going to be used in hostile environments, for example, you should consider choosing pre-plated metals that are corrosion resistant. This way, you can avoid using pre-plated steel that releases zinc oxide when superheated which isn’t good for workers or the environment.

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