Sheet metal manufacturing has become much popular among various producers due to its wide range of uses. Sheet metal is formed by working on metals and turning them into thin sheets of various dimensions. The wide ranges of application of these sheet metals are in the manufacture of cars, refrigerators, airplanes, ships, and others. Moreover, sheet metal production has gained acceleration due to the changes in economics where every manufacturer is trying to reduce their costs. In this article, we will be discussing the basics and several processes of sheet metal manufacturing.
What is sheet metal manufacturing?
Sheet metal is a metal formed by industrial processes to manufacture thin flat pieces or sheets of metal. There are various dimensions of thickness for different sheets and they are either available in flat pieces or coiled strips. The thicknesses are gauged with a measuring tool which determines the application of the sheet in further manufacturing sectors.
The raw materials used for sheet metal manufacturing process are generally the outputs of the rolling process. In the rolling process, rollers are used to draw or extrude fine sheets from a block. In general basis, sheets of metals are solid as flat, rectangular sheets of standard sizes which are then formed again to extract specific sheet metals according to the requirement.
Basics processes of Sheet metal
There are various ways of producing sheet metal and some of the processes are enlisted below which are used densely across the manufacturing sectors due to convenience and efficiency:
- Bending is a commonly used sheet metal forming process. In this process, specific dies of appropriate sizes are used to bend small lengths of the metal. Most firms use repeated bending techniques to produce complex shapes as well.
- Roll forming is another technique of sheet metal manufacturing. The process involves a series of bending operations which has different workstations. Now, each of the rollers may have different lengths and orientation which are designed to attain a particular shape and dimension of the metal. The sheet is forced through the rollers and the bending takes place.
- When sheet metal is revolved at high speed, the sheet deforms and takes a specific shape based on the operation and the process is called spinning. The sheet is attached to a headstock spindle and the tailstock supports the metal while spinning.
- Another popular method is deep drawing which is used to make contours in sheet metal. The sheet metal is held on the die with extraneous force and a punching force is applied to draw the metal to its plastic region so that it takes the shape of the die.
These are the processes through which sheet metal manufacturing is done so that the sheet metal can be applied to different purposes. There are various advantages of sheet metal parts as well. They have high tensile and compressive strength. Sheet metals have good dimensional accuracy and relatively better surface finish as no cutting is done. However, machining of sheet metal parts needs to be done to attain higher surface finish. Moreover, the cost of production is less and mass production can be carried out economically. For example, water fountains can be made by sheet metal manufacturing, which is easy and beautiful made. (*Image is from X-magic.)