What is Metal Sheet Fabrication?

Sheet metal fabrication is a process, wherein the metal is converted into a desired shape and size to be fitted into a part or component. There are various welding processes used to fabricate sheet metals, and it is mostly done with the help of press brakes. Press brakes are used to form various bends and angles in the metal. The sheet metal to be fabricated is referred to as a workpiece. A wide variety of metals ranging from aluminum, nickel, and tin to brass, iron, and steel can be fabricated into different shapes and sizes, depending on the requirement. This process is employed across all those industries, where sheet metal parts or equipment are widely used. Today, storage containers are made using various types of sheet metals including aluminum, steel, iron, and so on. Various techniques are used to shape these sheet metals into storage racks. Are you intrigued to know what those techniques are? This post focuses on the sheet metal fabrication processes involved in storage container manufacturing.

What is Metal Sheet Fabrication Process?

Various metal sheets are fabricated and then assembled together to be welded. Here are the steps in the sheet metal fabrication process:

  • Drawing: Before you convert any sheet metal into a desired shape, a proper drawing or design is essential. The objective needs to be clear. So, the first step is drawing. This can be done in software such as CAD. This is a great tool for experts or engineers to fix any flaws or make additions or deletions at this level.

  • Planning the Process: The processes used for fabrication need to be listed in advance. The following are few common processes employed for forming a sheet metal.

    1. Blanking: This is primarily a shearing process, wherein the original metal sheet is punched and the workpiece is removed from it. This newly formed workpiece is called blank. This is done using press, laser, or NC machining.

    2. Riveting: This is basically a forging process. Two parts are joined together through a metal rivet which is also a metal part. So, this is a secure and permanent mechanical fusion of two straight metal parts. A rivet more or less resembles a screw with a cylindrical stem and a dome shaped head.

    3. Bending: This strengthens the sheet metal and helps remove sharp edges. This is mostly done on thin metal sheets.

    4. Cutting: Cutting of the metals is carried out using various methods such as manual cutting, flame, laser, CNC lathe, water jet, and so on. Cutting using lathe or laser gives precision and hence these methods are preferred ones. Manual cutting is not always recommended since it may lack the required precision. Also, cutting complex and very small shapes is difficult in this case. Water jet cutting is an environment friendly cutting method, because it uses a jet of water to cut metals in desired shape, and also it produces no burred edges.

    5. Forming: This process is about giving the required shape to the metal after it is cut, or forming it into a certain shape. Metals could be shaped by rolling, bending, or stamping.

    6. Welding: Welding is done to fuse the parts wherever required. Heating melts or softens the assembled parts, after which they are allowed to cool to facilitate fusion. It is mostly done on a low oxy-acetylene flame, although nowadays there are many more options available such as laser. MIG and TIG welding are the two popular types of welding employed at metal fabrication workshops.

  • Surface Treatment: This is done to form a protective coat on the metal. Also, such coatings help the paint adhere to the metal. Different types of films are used for surface treatment depending on the type of metal and client specifications if any. Some of these include powder coating, phosphate film, chromate film, oxidation, electroplated zinc, and baking paint. This improves the container’s operational life, resistance, and aesthetics.

In addition to the above-mentioned, other processes could be performed over certain metal sheets. These include burring, stretching, or any other depending upon the requirements. Most of these are done with the help of CNC machines or nowadays laser.

If you require customized metal storage units such as racks and pallets for your manufacturing facility, warehouse, or shipping, consult a professional and reputed supplier of the same. SPS Ideal Solutions is one of the leading providers of high-quality metal-based storage units, shipping, and material handling solutions. Additionally, they have specialized manufacturing centers where custom metal fabrications are done. They use technologically advanced methods and have the ability to handle complicated requirements.