Sheet metal fabrication can be a complex process depending on the item being produced. From cutting, to assembling, and beyond there are a number of techniques that can be used to achieve a desired part. Below you’ll find a list of some of the most common techniques that happen during the fabrication process, and how it can benefit the finished product.
Assembling during the sheet metal fabrication process occurs when parts are fused together. This process is often completed by a welder who will bind the pieces with adhesive. This process can be completed by either a machine or human.
Cutting is an important part of the fabrication process as it sizes the item. Cutting the metal is often done by using a saw, shears, chisel or torch. These types of utensils are typically operated by hand which can turn into quite a labour-intensive process.
For more intricate cuts, controlled cutters can be used. These types of cutters are operated by a highly accurate machine that can use a laser, torch or water. These types of cutters are ideal for intricate work that may be too delicate to complete by hand.
Bending is another process during fabrication that can be highly labor intensive and strenuous. This process is deigned to move the metal into its correct position. This process can be done by hand or with the help of a machine. If it is completed by hand, the individual will typically use a hammering device.
Manual bending can result in errors in the bend and be hard on person hammering the metal. To resolve these issues, many companies are turning to electric bending devices. These devices are highly accurate and can easily manipulate the steel into position.
Blanking is another technique used to cut the sheet metal into position. Unlike cutting (which involves sawing the item in half), blanking is used to remove a single part of the metal. The desired part that is cut out is kept to continue down the line of production and the remaining metal is discarded.
If an item in production needs holes or shapes imbedded into it, the process is referred to as punching. Punching is typically completed with the assistance of a machine. This device will intricately trace a shape or hole into the metal sheet.
Stamping is a similar process to punching but produces drastically different results. That’s because, stamping is used to create consecutive holes or bends in the metal. This differs from punching which is ideal for a single cut, whereas stamping is perfect for metal that requires a large number of cuts.
Just like the techniques mentioned above, fastening is another process that can be used in the fabricating process of sheet metal. This particular technique uses parts that cinch items together. This can include such items as spacers, studs or nuts to hold the parts in place.
Galvanizing is an imperative part of the fabrication process as it drastically increases the lifespan of the produced item. Galvanizing is done to protect the metal by applying a protective coating to it. This coating is often made of zinc which can prevent rusting from occurring to the metal.
Tucking can be a labor-intensive process during production. That’s because, tucking is done by hammering pieces of metal together. This is done to fuse the two pieces into one which will shrink the metal’s surface.