The sheet Metal fabrication process is the basis of low cost fabrication and this is among the most common raw materials in manufacturing. Smaller amounts of material are used when comparing it with parts that are machined from block material. Parts that are made from block material can often times be redesigned in order to be adapted to sheet metal form. If they stack sheets of the same shape they can render a higher thickness. If they stack sheets of different shapes they build a 3D shape. When combining the metal fabrication process with other processes like milling a recess on a laser cut sheet the achieve more flexibility.
Sheet metal is used in industrial and non-industrial applications which include fuselages, wings, appliances, boilers, and also for kitchen and office equipment.
Metal fabrication shops make parts using methods such as bending, counter sinking, laser cutting milling,and Photochemical Milling just to name a few.
Jobs that require sheet metal fabrication generally start with shop drawings which include precise measurement then the go on to the fabrication stage.
To explain the processes of sheet metal fabrication we start with cutting, this is accomplished by sawing, shearing or chiseling with manual and power machinery.
Bending is done by manual or power driven methods. They use press brakes to air bend sheet metal into a form. Software programs make the press brakes very efficient and seamless.
The joining of pieces or the assembling process is done either by binding with an adhesive, welding,threaded fasteners or riveting.
Structural steel and sheet metal are the starting materials for fabricators. The raw materials that are used are, expanded metal, plate metal, welding wire and rods and casting.
Sheet metal roofing goes through a roll-former which is a machine that will turn metal coil into sheet metal roofing panels. These machines can be fitted with, manual or mechanized shears, and a computer controller unit for different panel profiles.
The basic process of making the sheet metal roofing panels is by feeding metal coil into the roll-former. When it is inside of the roll-former, the coil goes through a series of rolls that makes curves and bends. Each roll makes more of a bend than the previous one. The rolls in the former are made of stainless steel for durability. Some of these roll-former’s can bend metal as thick as 22 gauge.
The typical width of sheet metal roofing panels is 12, 16 and 20 inches. For the 12 inch panel they use a 16 inch coil. The extra 4 inches are used to make the locks on each side of the panel. For additional insights, please visit Heather & Little Limited – heatherandlittle.ca.