Sheet Metal Fabrication
For decades, sheet metal fabrication has been a core component in making durable, lasting products. It plays a role in many industries, from automotive to aerospace and beyond. Our expert metalworkers have the experience you need to fabricate sheet metal for any application. Even more, we only use high-quality materials to match our exceptional service.
What is sheet metal fabrication?
The sheet metal fabrication process takes many steps and requires a team to complete the process. We usually use steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and similar metals for manufacturing, as the industries that use our services need reliable products.
Fabricating sheet metal involves stretching, cutting, and bending the metal to create the desired shape, thickness, and suitability for its intended application. Once it reaches these specifications, we weld it, rivet it or fasten it in place according to our customers’ needs.
You’ll often find fabricated sheet metal parts in industries like these:
- Agriculture / Farming
- Heavy Equipment
One of the advantages of sheet metal fabrication is that its applications are almost endless. You almost certainly use a product manufactured with sheet metal every day, from your car to your laptop.
How does the sheet metal fabrication process work?
The fabrication process uses specialized machinery to achieve the right specifications. For example, this machinery includes press brakes and cutting torches. We typically work with metals like steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, and aluminum, but our team has experience with many other materials.
The process begins with the design. We work with designs that you create from your blueprints and drawings that meet your exact specifications. Then, we cut the metal using techniques like shearing, roll forming, punching, blanking, metal stamping, and laser cutting.
Above: A fireplace frame manufacture by TFG USA via the sheet metal fabrication process.
Once we’ve cut the metal, we bend it into U, V, and L shapes. After we form all the pieces, we join them by welding, adhesives, riveting, fastening, or other methods best suited to the project. Finally, we apply a finish to the finished product to match your design.
Sheet metal fabrication leaves almost no room for error, and each step from cutting and bending to powder coating requires precision. Our quality processes mean that we catch and prevent mistakes early on, so you get uniform products every time.
Sheet metal fabrication techniques
There are three main types of sheet metal fabrication processes, each with its unique methods, applications, and advantages:
Cutting is the first step in the sheet metal fabrication process. It involves separating the sheet metal into desired shapes and sizes. Common cutting methods include shearing, laser cutting, plasma cutting, and waterjet cutting.
Forming involves changing the shape of the sheet metal without removing material. This can be done through bending, rolling, and stamping.
Joining involves connecting separate pieces of sheet metal to create a larger structure. Common joining methods include welding, riveting, and screwing / bolting.
We use two main types of welding: gas metal arc (MIG) welding and tungsten arc (TIG) welding. MIG welding uses a consumable MIG wire electrode to create electricity that heats the metal and forms a weld. TIG welding uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode with an electric arc.
Our team knows which type of welding works best for the project at hand, and we’ll apply our expertise to get the job done.
Using CNC machining, we can insert hardware and riveting to secure your sheet metal. We install rivets, fasteners, and other types of hardware when two pieces of sheet metal may not join neatly with methods like welding. For example, with sheets of varying sizes, we often install rivets to join them more firmly.
Sheet metal finishes
Your sheet metal finish depends on how you plan to use the product. We offer several types of finishes to coat, and protect the metal and ensure it lasts.
Powder coating gives your sheet metal a more durable and aesthetically-pleasing surface finish. Like paint, powder coating comes in many colors. However, it offers a harder finish, allowing your sheet metal to hold up against minor impacts that would cause chips, scratches, and dents in regular paint.
Plating coats your sheet metal in a liquid that hardens and forms a solid surface finish. Most often, we use electroplating methods, as well as zinc and chromate, to coat the metal. Plating provides a highly durable finish, and, like powder coating, it improves your sheet metal’s appearance.
Anodizing creates a protective layer on the metal’s surface to enhance corrosion resistance and provide a decorative surface finish.
Why use sheet metal fabrication?
One of the advantages of sheet metal fabrication is that it’s a versatile manufacturing processes which allows for many secondary operations.
When you need precision, sheet metal fabrication allows you to cut, bend, and shape the metal the way you need it. Metal gives you a material that not only conforms to its new shape but holds it indefinitely.
Above: A metal hopper manufactured by TFG USA via the sheet metal fabrication process.
In industries that need materials to survive impacts or harsh conditions, metal far outstrips plastics of any kind when it comes to strength. Fabricating sheet metal is also a faster and more cost-effective alternative to other methods of creating similar products.
Talk to us about custom sheet metal fabrication services
We offer custom sheet metal fabrication services for applications in any industry with low or high volume and short lead times. When you choose The Federal Group USA, you get high-quality sheet metal, and a job completed to your expectations.
Contact us today to learn more about our metal fabrication services and how we can help you with your production requirements.
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