Sheet metal fabrication is a process to fabricate the metal sheet in accordance with the engineering requirements of a project. It is the act of forming, shaping and joining metal together to repair or make a tangible part.
The process of sheet metal fabrication can be basically broken down into 4 steps:
#1. Making a Blueprint: The engineers handle this step. For a perfect final product, the detailing of the blueprint plays a prominent role. The sheet metal fabrication specifications, drawings to explain the scope of the process and the dimensions of the product required are mentioned in the blueprint.
#2. Finalizing the Plans: Once the blueprints are complete, it is necessary to double check and then finalize the blueprints. After this is done, in-depth calculations are done to determine the levels of stress levels required at each location of the metal sheet to ensure the required output product.
#3. Metal Sheet Fabrication: This is the main process. The metal sheet undergoes various processes in this step to create the required product. The design guidelines are given due attention throughout the process.
#4. The Final Finishing Touch: After the process of fabrication is complete, the final product is completed by assembling the fabricated parts and painting or coating the outer surface for protection and for a good appearance.
With this, the process of metal sheet fabrication is complete and the final product is ready.
There are 7 types of fabrication processes:
#1. Cutting: Cutting is the most important process in metal sheet fabrication. The sheet has to be cut to get the required size and dimensions. There are various machines for this like plasma torches, lasers, water jets, etc.
#2. Folding: Some parts need to be bent to get the required shape. The most common method for this process is using the brake press which pinches the metal sheet from a crease using a set of dies. But this method has several movement limitations and thus is not capable of creating complex bends. For that, there are several other machines for the same.
#3. Machining: This is a process in which a required symmetrical shape is given to the metal sheet. There are machines like lathe, drills, cutting machine, etc. for this.
#4. Punching: This is the act of punching a hole in the metal sheet. This is mostly done by a punch and die combination which gives a scissor effect. In some cases, when holes are made for fasteners, the main piece of the metal is the final needed product and in other cases, the punched out a product is a required product.
#5. Shearing: This is the process of making a long cut on the metal piece. It has an effect like a paper cutter has on a piece of paper. The required shape can be easily cut out from hard metal sheets using this process.
#6. Stamping: Stamping is almost like punching. In various places, these terms are used interchangeably. But these both terms are different. In stamping, the die does not cut the metal sheet. It only raises the required portion of the sheet. The die does not penetrate the metal sheet at all.
#7. Welding: Welding is commonly known to all. It is the simple act of joining two pieces of the metal sheet together. There are two methods for welding. The metal itself is melted at the connection point to blend and join with the other part. The second method uses a welding metal that melts and acts as a binding force connecting the metal pieces. Both the methods are extensively used.
All these 7 processes summarize the entire metal sheet fabrication method. For making huge engineered machines, all these processes are necessary. There are various machines available for carrying out each process to make it simple and easy. Let’s go to the details for more information about Sheet Metal Fabrication.