Sheet metal is one of the most adaptable processing techniques in the manufacturing industry. Traditionally, steel, aluminum, brass, copper, tin, nickel, titanium or other precious metals are used to manufacture sheet metal. The thickness is different, but it is mainly divided into two differences: thin plate and thick plate. Many different industries rely on the versatility and durability of sheet metal, including aerospace, home appliance manufacturing, consumer electronics, industrial furniture, machinery, transportation, etc.
How to use sheet metal?
Sheet metal can be cut, stamped, formed, stamped, sheared, bent, welded, rolled, riveted, drilled, tapped, and machined. Then you can insert hardware to fix electronic components, metal brackets or other sheet metal parts.
To finish the metal plate, it can be brushed, electroplated, anodized, powder coated, liquid painting, screen printing, laser etching and pad printing. Of course, the parts can also be riveted into complex components.
Like any other technology, the processing of precision sheet metal is constantly evolving. Materials, processes, tools and equipment are becoming highly specialized, which shortens the time required to manufacture ordinary sheet metal parts and speeds up the design process.
Design considerations for sheet metal processing
The more you know about the manufacturing process in the design phase, the more successful the part's manufacturability. However, if there are problems with the design of certain functions, a good manufacturing supplier should be able to point out these problems and propose good alternatives to solve these problems.
When using standard tool sizes, as opposed to expensive custom tools that need to be made specifically for the job, sheet metal processing is the most cost-effective. If individual parts become too complex, consider using standard or general tools to weld or rive the parts together.
Since the bend stretches the material, features such as holes, cuts, and inserted hardware should be placed far enough away from the bend to prevent the hole from deforming. To help comply with this rule, remember "4T", which means that the thickness of the material at any bend from the positioned feature is four times its thickness.
The bending machine produces bending by pressing the sheet metal part into the mold with a linear punch, so the design does not allow the creation of closed geometric shapes.
Sheet metal tolerances are much wider than mechanical tolerances or 3D tolerances. Factors that affect tolerances include the thickness of the material, the machine used, and the number of steps in the manufacturing process. Suppliers usually provide detailed tolerance specifications for their workshops and machines.
Each bend of the part should use a uniform bending radius, such as 0.030 inches (industry standard), to reduce multiple settings and speed up production.
Welding thin materials can cause cracks or warping. When handling thin materials, consider other connection methods.
When installing PEM hardware, please consider the material thickness and the manufacturer's minimum requirements.