Overview of Sheet Metal Fabrication
What is custom sheet metal fabrication?
Sheet metal is any metal that has a thickness of between 0.5mm and 6mm and is used for a variety of applications. Sheet metal fabrication is a fundamental process that enables manufacturers to turn raw materials into ready-to-assemble components. The benefits of using sheet metal as a raw material are many. It’s lightweight yet sturdy, flexible enough to be tailored to suit a wide range of applications, and easily customized in terms of shape and size.
The material of sheet metal fabrication
Metal fabrication is the creation of metal structures by cutting, bending and assembling processes. It is a value-added process involving the creation of machines, parts, and structures from various raw materials. The most common materials used in sheet metal fabrication are steel, aluminum and stainless steel. Sheet metal fabrication includes many machining processes meant to assemble, cut, or form a sheet metal workpiece.
The typical process of custom sheet metal fabrication
Sheet metal fabrication is the technique of creating metal pieces out of a single sheet of material. 3d cad files are translated into machine code, which is used to drive a machine that precisely cuts and shapes sheets into the final item. An angular bend or feature can be formed using a variety of instruments such as a brake, punch, or V die.
Sheet metal fabrication involves cutting, bending and assembling processes to fabricate a sheet metal workpiece into a final product. A wide range of procedures exist which are used in processing sheet metal. As a general rule, these processes can be grouped into “cutting” and “deforming” categories.
Cutting processes include:
Blanking: A process in which material is removed from a workpiece using shear stress. This can be accomplished with several different tools including power saws, chisels, or punches.
Punching: A process that uses pressure to create holes in sheet metal.
Kerf cutting: A process that creates narrow grooves by removing small slits of material with heat or lasers.
Deforming processes include:
Stamping: Stamping involves the use of a hydraulic or mechanical stamping press equipped with a tool and die, and its operation is similar to punching.
Bending: Using force to deform or shape sheet metal into an angle or form.
Rolling: A process that uses rollers to transform sheet metal into cylindrical shapes or tubes.
Why sheet metal fabrication is important
Sheet metal fabrication is different than other forms of manufacturing because it relies on careful measurements, layouts, and detailed plans to create the final product. Sheet metal fabrication is very important because it is used in many industries like automotive, aerospace, construction, or medical field. Sheet metal fabrication is used to make different products by working with different materials like plastic, carbon steel, brass and so many others.
Benefits of custom sheet metal
Compared to CNC machining, sheet metal parts can be produced on-demand and at a cheaper setup cost. This makes sheet metal parts ideal for end-use applications, as they are known for their endurance (e.g. Chassis). It is most cost-effective to employ parts for prototypes and big production runs that have a high initial setup and material costs.
#2 Fast lead time
As soon as 5 business days for LEADRP to process your order from request to delivery.
#3 Strength and durability
Sheet metal can be bent, cut, punched, or shaped in many ways without compromising its structural integrity. Depending on the thickness of the sheet, it may be possible to bend it as well.
#4 Wide variety of materials, finishing options
Finishing, welding, sanding, powder coating, screen printing, heat treating & plating. Many different materials like surface treatments such as bead blasting, anodizing, powder coating, and so on aluminum, copper, and steel are just a few examples of the many materials available.
However, achieving an interlocking and hollowed structure is quite challenging. Even minor errors can lead to wasted material, a poor fit, or poor functionality in the finished product. This makes sheet metal fabrication more challenging than other forms of manufacturing.
Application of sheet metal
Sheet metal fabrication is an essential part of the manufacturing industry. Sheet metals are used in different products such as pipes and tubes, valves, pumps, automobiles, etc. Different types of processes are used to shape them according to the required design. Sheet metal is versatile, it can also be used for art projects and car panels, functional applications such as roofing and kitchen sinks, as well as in electronics such as batteries. The ability to shape sheet metal into any form makes it useful for a variety of applications.
Custom sheet metal – in-house machining or outsourcing?
Sheet metal fabrication uses several processes that can be performed in-house at your company’s facility. Many companies choose to subcontract their sheet metal fabrication for this reason. If you have experience in machining and welding but don’t have the space or equipment for sheet metal fabrication in-house, outsourcing may be the best option for your business.
Precision custom sheet metal fabrication with LEADRP
If you require one single item or not more than 500 parts, we have the capacity and guarantee on-time delivery every time. Forming a sheet of metal into the desired shape by stamping, bending, stretching, and removing material is known as sheet metal fabrication. At LEADRP, we bend and stretch flat stock using press brake punches and die tooling. When it comes to prototypes, sheet metal prototyping is the method of choice when it comes to balancing form, fit, and function. Enclosures, brackets, assemblies, weldments, cabinets, and other pieces made from sheet metal are typical examples of the work we do.
With LEADRP, you can get support from design to production, make prototypes in a variety of materials. Our cutting-edge processing and quality-control equipment can handle even the most complex items. Reduced time-to-market and lower cost can help you maximize your product return on investment(ROI).