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Sheet Metal Fabrication and Its Different Techniques

Author: Patrick Duncan
by Patrick Duncan
Posted: May 29, 2020

Sheet metal fabrication includes a group of processes that use sheet metal to develop different types of machines and structures. Fabrication includes the forming, shaping and unifying of metal to create something useful from it. Professional skills are required to perform the complex processes of metal fabrication.

Types of metals used in sheet metal fabrication

Sheet metal is available in many different types of metals and the fabrication process can be customized according the purpose you require it for. Types of metals commonly used for fabrication purposes include:

  • Steel: It comes in different types and is used for all sorts of purposes. However, this metal is mainly used for its durability and strength factors.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum is a lightweight metal but is known for its strength which is similar to steel. It has a great ability to work in low temperatures which makes it suitable for aerospace and refrigeration uses.
  • Magnesium: This structural metal has a low-density and is an ideal choice when stiffness is required.
  • Brass: Brass is known for its acoustic properties but is also utilized for fittings and components. Brass is a lightweight metal that exhibits resistance to corrosion.
  • Copper: Copper is also a corrosion-resistant metal with ductility, malleability, and electrical conductivity features.
  • Bronze: This metal is stronger than copper and has a low melting point. It is used in cookware, turbines and coins.

Different techniques used for sheet metal fabrication

1. Bending

This process is done either by press brakes or by hand to form a metal product which is comparatively stronger. But, with the introduction of advanced technology, this job is now done by machines that facilitate more precise and faster work. Sheet metal rolling also offers similar effects to that of bending but in this process sheet metal needs to pass through a pair roll to get the right shape of the material.

2. Cutting

It is one of the most important processes for sheet metal fabrication. Without cutting, it is impossible to make things from the metal sheets. This job can be manually done by using hand shears but for large scale productions, advanced shear machines are required. Two types of cuttings are possible - shear and without shear. Shear cutting involves a few different processes such as cutting, shearing, and blanking. It is used for producing non-industrial end products as they are less precise than without shear process.

Non-shear cutting is more accurate and utilized for industrial products such as airplane wings. It is used for different processes including laser beam, waterjet cutting services, plasma and machining.

3. Shrinking

Metals have the property of expansion on heating and contract on cooling. When it comes to highly ductile metals, they have properties of shrinking to a great extent and are used to form a metal product. There are different methods used for this task, like tucking the metal and a heating process. Nowadays, shrinking disks are also available which are attached to an angle grinder which create heat by using friction. It doesn’t include the use of torch or flames for heating and shrinking the metal.

4. Stretching

In this process, hammer and dolly are used for stretching the metal sheets. Sandbags and plastic mallets can also be used to accomplish this job. Alternatively, a stretcher is utilized which follows the opposite principle of shrinking.

5. Metal fusion/joining

Joining is usually the last step to produce a product. In this process, welding is performed to join different pieces of metals together. The common methods used for joining metals include TIG welding, MIG welding and more. Apart from those, metal riveting is also used for joining metals without using heat or adhesive agents.

Are you looking for a Sheet Metal Fabrication Company for your project? If so, then research your options thoroughly and find a trusted company which has extensive years of experience in this industry and will provide you quality work. The reputed metal fabrication companies are backed by highly skilled professionals who have expertise in handling different fabrication processes including plasma cutting, bending, forming, sheet metal rolling and more.

About the Author

Expert Metal Specialists With over 50 years of experience we’ll ensure you always get the best guidance. Quality workmanship, client relationships, and reliability are the basis of our business and form a philosophy that we are extremely proud of.

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Author: Patrick Duncan

Patrick Duncan

Member since: May 11, 2020
Published articles: 3

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