Sheet Metal Fabrication
Sheet metal fabrication is a type of metal fabrication procedure that is widely used to make various types of products such as: enclosures, storage containers, shipping containers, automobile housings and components, air conditioning ducts, automobile and electrical components. It is basically the process of making a finished product out of a rolled sheet of metal. The machinery that is used in sheet metal shops performs many types of functions to fabricate it such as: sheet metal bending, shearing, cutting, and metal stamping, etc. Additionally, machines for tasks such as: welding, drilling, boring, heat treating, plating, anodizing and abrasive blasting may also be used.
Sheet metal is usually supplied in coils or in large sheets that are made of: steel, aluminum, nickel, titanium, copper, brass, nickel and its alloys. Sheet metal is generally used in the fabrication process, such as in creating the housing for a machine tool. There are various methods of sheet metal fabrication such as drawing, deep drawing, stretching, punching, and spinning.
- Drawing sheet metal can transfer it into cylinder shaped and square shaped parts. In this process a punch presses the metal into a die cavity to form desired shape.
- Deep drawing occurs when the depth of the product being made is greater than its diameter.
- Stretching is the method of stretching the metal over a form block or die which will form the metal to the shape of the die or block. Large metal objects are usually produced by this technique.
- Punching/Shearing is commonly used to cut the sheet metal with a punch or a die.
- Spinning takes place when a product needs axis symmetry. To achieve this, the metal is applied to a turning mandrel and it is rolled into the desired form.
Fabricated sheet metal can produce a wide variety of well known products such as soda pop cans, car panels and doors, airplane wings, jewelry, machinery, heating and cooling systems, and computer casings.