Introduction to Sheet Metal Fabrication:
Sheet metal is a general term used for metal sheets of 0.006 to 0.25 inches in thickness. Sheet metal fabrication is the latest method to produce product parts with high precision. The process begins by using a 3D- computer-aided-design (CAD). This file contains programming language to form the parts. This language helps the manufacturing machine to cut and assemble the finalized part.
Forming tools like brakes, dies, punches, and presses are used for sheet metal fabrication. These tools are very useful to assemble the parts with a variety of angular bends and complicated geometries. Bending, curling, punching, shearing, hydroforming, spinning, laser cutting, and ironing are the processes involved in metal sheet fabrication.
After the product parts are produced, they are fused by the process of welding to provide aesthetic beauty to the final part.
It is an economical technique for high-volume production and low volume prototyping. Therefore, these sheet metals are used for different industries including robotics, automotive, aerospace, etc.
First Part is a Chinese branded company which is offering professional services in sheet metal fabrication. They produce high-volume and low-volume prototyping product parts within an economical budget. A large number of experience workers of the First Part are providing their services globally. They manufacture quality fabrication parts with high-accuracy and durability.
Precision Sheet Metal Fabrication Manufacturing Process:
The following stages are involved in the sheet metal fabrication manufacturing process.
- Joining (Assembly)
This step may or may not include a shear cutting process.
The Shear Cutting Process:
It includes cutting, shear, and blanking. In contrast, non- shear processes are more reliable and accurate in terms of forming industrial product parts.
These processes are laser beam cutting, water jet cutting, plasma cutting, and machining. They are more reliable and accurate for automotive, aerospace, and robotics.
Laser Beam Cutting:
This process uses an oriented beam of light to dissect and chase the metal sheets.
Water Jet Cutting:
This process involves the use of rubbing-dense streams of water for cutting the metal sheets.
In this method, gases are passed through ionization and compressed by applying heat. This heated gas moves sharply for electricity conduction to form oriented cuts on the metal sheets.
It may be according to antique methods or Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) established. This procedure uses drill bits or lathe blades to get rid of the extra pieces of the material on the product part.
It includes stamping, stretching, roll-forming, and bending. It utilizes different fabrication tools to reformulate the part of the desired shape and geometry.
It employs two dies to compress the metal into the final part of the wanted design and geometry.
It involves figuring the sheet metal by using hands or brake press. Roll-forming employs rolls to form the coil of the metal sheets.
It may or may not be the last procedure in sheet metal fabrication. It includes welding, brazing, riveting, and adhesives,
It may be stick, Metal inert gas welding (MIG), or Tungsten Inert arc welding (TIG). It fuses two or more metal sheets by blazing in the availability of a filler.
It includes the use of short hot rivets. The two metal sheets are joined together by inserting rivets through the holes of both sheets.
It includes the use of high-quality glues that are strong enough to hold the metal sheets tightly when joined by using it.
This method is almost the same as welding, but it uses only fillers to join the metal sheets. While welding, first melts the sheets, then join them.
5 Tips of Sheet Metal Design:
The following tips can be helpful while manufacturing sheet metal fabrication product parts.
- Bending Radius
- Hole Sizes
- Flange Width
- Edge Bending
- Clearance between a Bend and a Hole
1. Bending Radius:
The sheet metal must be capable of bearing compressibility during the twist test. This examination is committed to estimating the ability of metal sheets to bend. If a metal sheet is twisted by exceeding the limit, it breaks down, and this stage is called minimum bend radius.
A designer must be careful while formulating the geometry of the metal sheets. He should be able to set a standard of the minimum bend radius. The precision of the minimum bend radius depends on two factors, as given below.
- The method
- The choice of tools
Ductile metal sheets can withstand a smaller bend radius. In the case of mild steel, the minimum bend radius and the thickness of metal sheets must be the same.
2. Holes Size:
The locality and size of holes have great importance in metal sheet projects. It is better to keep the size of the hole more generous than the thickness of metal sheets. Small punches are needed for reduced hole size. In case of too small punches, the metal sheets may get deformed or broken down.
It is suggested that the distance between the two holes must be two times greater than the thickness of metal sheets. It will assist in saving the metal sheets from deformation and distortion.
3. Flange Width:
Flanges assist in strengthening the product parts. It is recommended that the flange width must be four times greater than the thickness of metal sheets. It will save the metal sheets from staining.
4. Edge Bending:
This process hardens the edges during sheet metal fabrication. It may create serious faults if carried out wrongly. Therefore, it is strongly suggested to keep the angles less than 90degrees (90o).
5. Clearance between a bend and a hole:
This step helps to avoid deformation or distortion during other processes. Therefore, it is recommended that the spacing between the bend line and the edge of the hole must be two times greater than the thickness of the metal sheets.
All the above-indicated steps must be kept in mind to avoid any fault in the production.