A Guide to Cutting and Bending Sheet Metal
Metal is a versatile material that can be fabricated in a number of ways to achieve customized parts, and sheet metal is one of the most popular formats in this realm. There are several specific sheet metal fabrication processes that will often be carried out, and two of the most common are sheet metal cutting and sheet metal bending.
At The Federal Group USA, sheet metal fabrication is one of our top services provided by expert, experienced metalworkers. We only use the very best materials which have applications that span numerous industries.
Want to learn more about sheet metal cutting and bending? Below are some key concepts to be aware of when it comes to sheet metal fabrication.
Table of Contents
Sheet Metal Bending Basics and Methods
As its name indicates, sheet metal bending is a fabrication process that involves using large amounts of force to change the shape of the material. The goal is to change the external features of the sheet – its length and thickness remain the same, but its shape is altered.
This type of fabrication is often used to create custom parts and components, as well as for larger-scale projects such as truck load bodies or other structures.
There are several specific methods of sheet metal bending, including each of the following:
The most popular type of sheet metal bending is called V-bending, which involves bending the material into something of a “V” shape. The key piece of equipment here is a punch and v-die, which is used to create the shape.
There are actually three more sub-categories of V-bending:
- Bottoming (compressing the metal to the die’s bottom to form a defined angle)
- Coining (which uses a die to create sharp, detailed bends)
- And air bending (a process that does not require the use of a punch)
Roll bending, as its name implies, involves using a series of rolls (three or more) to bend metal into various shapes. This type of bending is commonly used for large scale projects such as pipes and tubes, and can easily be automated.
Similar to V-bending in several ways, U-bending involves using a punch and die to create bent metal in the shape of an inverted “U”. The difference here is that U-bending requires slightly more pressure than V-bending.
For any need to bend materials into sharp corners, including those greater than 90 degrees, rotary bending is the ideal solution. This process involves a mandrel (a tool used to shape and form metal) that carefully bends the material into its desired shape.
Using a material known as a wipe die, wipe bending is used to make uniform bends in materials, especially those with thin walls.
Common Applications of Bent Sheet Metal
As we’ve previously expressed, bent sheet metal has a number of different major applications. It’s vital within the automotive industry, for example, to create various exterior and interior parts.
HVAC systems, construction projects, furnishing solutions, lighting fixtures – all of these (and many more) require the use of bent sheet metal in some form or another. The Federal Group USA can help you create customized bent-sheet metal products that will fit your exact specifications.
Sheet Metal Cutting Basics and Methods
Sheet metal cutting, on the other hand, is a fabrication process that involves using sharp tools or blades to cut through metal into specific shapes and sizes. There are several different methods of sheet metal cutting, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:
- Laser cutting: Laser cutting is one of the most popular types of sheet metal cutting, as it offers unparalleled accuracy and speed. It’s often used for quick and precise cutting of materials into intricate shapes.
- Plasma cutting: Another popular method of cutting sheet metal is plasma cutting, which uses a stream of hot gas (plasma) to cut through sheets of various thicknesses. This method is relatively fast and has a wide range of applications.
- Waterjet cutting: Waterjet cutting involves using a high pressure stream of water to cut through sheet metal with precision. It’s often used to cut through thicker materials and can be especially useful in certain industries, such as agricultural components and equipment manufacturing and automotive.
Which of these sheet metal fabrication processes is right for you? That depends on the specifics of your project, so it’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced sheet metal fabricator to learn more about which process would be best for your product or assembly.
Common Applications of Cut Sheet Metal
There are a number of different applications for cut sheet metal. Some of the most common include the creation of:
- HVAC ducts
- Decorative panels and trim
- Automotive components
- Lighting fixtures
- Furniture and living space parts
- And much more
These products are essential for a variety of industries, and The Federal Group USA can help you create custom sheet metal cutting solutions that fit your needs.
Start a Sheet Metal Fabrication Project Today
No matter what type of sheet metal fabrication project you have in mind, the experienced team at The Federal Group USA can provide you with the perfect solution. Our engineers are skilled in both sheet metal cutting and sheet metal bending. We also specialize in a variety of sheet metal finishes and custom metal fabrication jobs.
Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!