As outlined in the comprehensive article “What is Sheet Metal Fabrication? Sheet Metal Fabrication Process” by WhatIsPiping.com, sheet metal fabrication involves the creation of useful metallic parts and structures through a range of intricate processes. This broad term encompasses cutting, forming, bending, welding, machining, and assembling, all executed in fabrication shops or Fab shops.
Sheet metal fabrication is essentially the transformation of flat metal sheets into practical products. The process employs various specialized tools to convert these sheets into useful components with minimal effort, adding value to the creation of machines, structures, or component parts based on engineering drawings. These drawings serve as the instructional guide to produce a finished product from the base metal.
The choice of sheet metal for fabrication depends on the final use of the components. Commonly used metals and alloys include [mention a few examples from the source content].
The journey from raw sheet metals to the final product involves multiple fabrication processes, broadly categorized into three groups:
- Punching or Piercing: This method employs a punch and die to cut precise holes in sheet metals, creating circular pieces known as blanking. While effective for large-scale production, it may not be cost-effective for smaller jobs.
- Sawing: Various sawing operations can be performed to cut softer sheet metals.
- Machining: Tools like drill bits or lathe blades are used to cut sheet metals in this process.
Deformation is another major category in sheet metal fabrication, where the sheet metal is manipulated or shaped without cutting. One widely used process is bending, which utilizes a Press brake machine to bend sheet metals into V, U, or other complex shapes. As gauge thickness increases, so does the force required for bending. The removal of bends from sheet metal is known as decambering.
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