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4 Basic Steps in Sheet Metal Fabrication

Sheet metal fabrication is a complex process, but not impossible to understand.

Every step relies on the perfect execution of the preceding step, so that the final result is up to standard.

The specific processes may vary in each shop, but generally, every sheet metal fabrication project follows four typical steps. These include cutting, bending, assembling, and finishing. Every sheet metal fabrication process starts with the cutting of a blank shape from the sheet. This is followed by bending to give the flat material a third dimension. The processed parts will then be assembled in different ways. The last step is to give the product a protective and attractive finishing as desired.

Let’s take a more detailed look at each of these essential steps.

1. Cutting: this initial step can be done in various ways, depending on the specific sheet being cut. Shearing is ideal for cutting large sheets into smaller straight-cut pieces. Laser cutting is suited for cutting out more intricate and complicated shapes. Another alternative is punching, which can create more complex forms out of a blank sheet.

2. Bending: usually, a press brake is used to perform bending on cut sheet metal. The operator has to be skilled and experienced enough to avoid springback from happening during the bending process, when the metal tries to retain its original flat shape. A rolling process may also be employed at this stage to affect how the metal bends.

3. Assembly or joining: during this step, the pieces are formed together either by welding, riveting, screwing, or by using adhesives. Different methods are applied to the process according to the functions of varying desired final products.

4. Finishing: while this step is not always required for all sheet metal fabrications, most products need some amount of finishing. This is done to protect the product from corrosion and give it the desired appearance.

Sheet metal fabrication requires great skill from the operators of the fabricating machines, as well as maintenance of high standards by supervisors. At 4 Way Metal Fabricators, we treat every client with individual care, ensuring that the product we deliver is at its peak of quality and worth.

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