Types of Sheet Metal Fabrication Processes
Sheet metal processing is the process of hollowing out and bending thin sheet metal materials. It is often used to manufacture covers and parts that do not require precision and strength.
The product’s completion normally entails a number of steps, ranging from cutting and bending through surface treatment and assembly.
In this article, we will show you major ways to process sheet metals.
6 Ways of Sheet Metal Fabrication
1. Laser Cutting
It is a process of hollowing out the material with laser light. Very speedy processing is possible. Machining data can be created instantly from CAD data such as DXF.
Since it uses laser light, I am not good at aluminum materials with high surface reflectance, but recently it has come to come out cleanly up to less than 0.2 inches (about 5 mm).
2. Turret Punch Pressing
It is a process of hollowing out the material at high speed with a punching mold. It depends on the shape, but it is especially effective for drilling holes that take time, especially for laser cutting.
It is also possible to process straight lines and desired curves by pulling out at high speed while shifting the position little by little. A process that improves productivity by combining turret punches and laser cuts is in progress.
3. Water-Jet Cutting
Water jet cutting is a process of hollowing out the material by ejecting a water stream at high pressure. It is effective for materials that cannot be processed by laser cutting or turret punching, such as thin plates less than t0.5 mm, resin, wood, etc.
While pressing the thin plate against the rotating mold, handle it with a spatula along the mold to create the shape. From a square shape like a cylinder to a shape with any aspect like a reflector can be realized.
Mold costs are lower than press processing.
5. Mechanical Cutting
Shearing, also known as die cutting, is a method of cutting sheet metal without burning or melting it. It also doesn’t make any chips. Shearing is similar to cutting with scissors in terms of mechanics.
A punch forces the workpiece against a fixed die or blade in shearing. The space between them is too small for the workpiece to fit through, causing it to shear.
When intricate cuts aren’t required, it’s an excellent and cost-effective way to cut sheets to size.
There aren’t many metal components that escape the bending department of a fabrication shop when it comes to actual engineering. Sheet metal parts are folded with the use of press brakes.
Because of the complexity of some bends, this is possibly the most demanding phase in metal fabrication. An engineer must be well-versed in the limitations of metal bending to products that can be mass-produced.