Sheet metal fabrication is a type of manufacturing processes that are utilized to form the desired shape from a piece of a metallic sheet through material deformation. Sheet metal which typically acts as the workpiece in fabrication processes is one of the most widely used forms of raw material.
The metallic sheet is often considered to be a piece of metal between the thickness of 0.006 and 0.25 inches. A much thinner piece of metal is considered as a foil and any sheet thicker than this is referred to as a plate.
Here, the thickness of a piece of metallic sheet is generally called as its gauge, a number particularly ranging between 3 and 38. The higher the gauge the thinner the metallic sheet is. It can also provide with exact dimensions, however, that also typically depends on the workpiece material.
The stock of sheet metal is widely available in a broad variety of materials including:
· Stainless steel
All these aforementioned materials can easily be bought from suppliers and manufacturers often use all of them as per their clients’ requirements. Sheet metal fabrication is a process that is done by following a few mechanical techniques and expert methodology in order to get accurate shape and size of the final product using the sheet metal as a raw material.
Cutting without shear
· Plasma cutting
· Laser beam cutting
· Water jet cutting
Cutting with shear
· Roll forming
· Stretch forming
· Deep Drawing
Now let’s discuss the three main stages of sheet metal fabrication. The processes I have discussed here may differ from that of others but a majority of manufacturers follow somewhat the same methods which are described below.
The first stage – sampling:
The product designing team of the manufacturer sits with the client to get the desired products’ all the essential information in detail. Then, on the basis of the information, the team creates a 3D design using 3D designing software which allows the client to see a computerized version of his/her product. After client approval, a sample of the product is prepared to see if something needs to be added or not.
The second stage – Manufacturing:
This stage includes burning and cutting of the sheet metal using cutting torches after that band saws and rolling machines are used to form the desired shape. Shearing, hot and cold sawing, punching and bending are some of the further processes in order create a structure out of it. All the manufacturing process require highly skilled workers and top notch machines.
The third stage – Combining and Finishing:
The last stage of the sheet metal fabrication process includes welding to join the fabricated pieces to create the desired product, warping is also used to protect the product from defects. After all, plating, powder coating, and painting are done as the finishing process.
The metallic fabrication industry in China can provide a wide variety of metallic structures, from as smallest as a tool-box to big size industrial metallic containers, while keeping up with the desired size, shape, and quality.