Here's Everything You Need To Know About Sheet Metal Fabrication

Look around today, and you will see innumerable products made out of sheet metal, from automobile bodies and medical tables to agricultural implements and construction equipment. Many manufacturers prefer this material because its durability and strength make it ideal even in applications predisposed to harsh elements. That is why a plethora of industries, including aerospace, petrochemical, automobile, plumbing, heating and cooling, agricultural, and construction, can't function seamlessly without sheet metal fabrication.  

What Is Sheet Metal Fabrication?

Sheet metal fabrication is essentially a series of manufacturing techniques and phases designed to turn sheet metal into functional parts. For example, you can use this process to manufacture aircraft fuselage from aluminum sheet metal in the aerospace industry or customize vehicle parts in the automobile industry. In a nutshell, sheet metal fabrication is invaluable in making prototypes and products used as functional components.

Popular Sheet Metal Fabrication Process

Sheet metal fabrication relies on several techniques, which include:

1.       Cutting

Fabrication starts with cutting sheet metal to obtain usable parts. Experts can use various cutting tools like water jets, saws, shears, and plasma torches depending on the material and its thickness. Most fabricators use modern techniques like laser cutting and die cutting because they are faster, guarantee consistent results, and reduce material wastage.

2.       Deformation and bending

Deformation is essential in bending sheet metal into a specific shape. This process is primarily reliant on the brake machine. A metal brake comes with a gate where you place one side of your sheet metal. Then, a clamp located on the other side of the gate bends it. You can also use a lathe to spin sheet metal and press it against a tool that facilitates deformation.   

3.       Assembly

Sheet metal assembly can be done through welding or fastening. There are several types of welding, including gas metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and shielded arc welding. On the other hand, you can assemble sheet metal using self-clinching fasteners like nuts and bolts, screws, rivets, spacers, and cable tie mounts and hooks.

4.       Finishing

Once sheet metal has undergone all the initial processes, finishing comes last. That is the final step designed to make components appealing, adhesive, and solderable. Plus, it deals with inherent issues like predisposal to corrosion, blemishes, and surface friction. Some common metal finishes include plating, buffing, and coating.

Get Expert Sheet Metal Fabrication Services

Sheet metal fabrication is a complicated and sensitive process that requires exemplary skills, equipment, and extensive experience. As such, it's always advisable to hire professional services. Fabricators come with tools like drill bits, angle grinders, and cutters necessary for sheet metal handling. Besides, reputable companies have the technology required to resolve manufacturing challenges through customizing sheet metal fabrication.