Important Design and Finishing Considerations for Metal Fabrication Projects

by Patrick Duncan Marketing Manager

Below design considerations need to be considered by the metal manufacturers when fabricating a sheet metal part:

Wall thickness: Uniform thickness is important to receive the intended component from sheet metal fabrication. Geometrics with more than one wall thickness will require sheet metals of different thicknesses. If the thickness of the sheet metal is not maintained accurately by the metal fabricators, the alignment and orientation of the fabricated parts may be inaccurate.

Orientation of holes and slots: The diameter of the holes and slots should be at least as large as the thickness of sheet metal. Also, metal fabricators should ensure reasonable hole spacing.

Bend radii: Bend radius of the sheet metal should be at least equal to its thickness. This will ensure that there are no distortions or fractions in the final part. Consistent bend radii will ensure good orientation and cost-effectiveness of the sheet metal fabrication process.

Bend allowance and deduction: Bend allowance is the amount of material the metal manufacturers need to add to the actual lengths of the parts to obtain a flat pattern. Bend deduction is the metal that needs to be removed from the length of flanges to get a flat pattern.

K-Factor: This important aspect of the sheet metal fabrication process refers to the ratio of the neutral axis to material thickness.  The value of K-Factor changes according to various physical properties of the material used by metal manufacturers.

Other important design considerations

It is also important to specify the hole sizes, alignment, and locations in a sheet metal design. Metal fabricators need to ensure that the diameters of holes are lesser than the thickness of sheet metal, or else it may result in excessive burr, high punch loading, and long burnish in sheet metal fabrication. Moreover, the distance between holes should be at least twice the thickness of the sheet metal. For sheet metal fabrication projects in which the holes are required to be near the edge, the metal manufacturers should ensure that the spacing between the hole and edge is at least equal to the thickness of the sheet metal.

Collars and bend relief near pierced areas will help the metal fabricators provide added strength to the sheet metal parts being fabricated. Another important point that needs to be considered in sheet metal fabrication projects is that lugs are not parallel to the grain pattern as it can lead to the formation of cracks in the metal part. Care should be taken by the metal fabricators to ensure that they are perpendicular or a little less than 45 degrees towards the grain direction.

Metal manufacturers should also keep the punch-to-die clearance large enough to ensure that there is no premature wearing out of the punch. Stiffness of the part may be increased by sheet metal manufacturers by putting beads on bends and also at chamfers at the corners of the sheet metal. This way, metal fabricators can reduce the spring-back effect from any sheet metal fabrication project.

Methods of surface finishes

Surface finishes are provided by metal fabricators to provide the fabricated component both aesthetic and functional benefits. Some of the finishing techniques used in sheet metal fabrication include:

Anodisation: The finishing method improves the hardness and durability of the metal surface while also providing excellent rust resistance properties to the sheet metal.

Sand blasting: The process involves the shooting of sand or some other appropriate abrasive on the metal sheet at a high speed.  After sand blasting, the metal sheet has a matte texture and is ready for coating.

Powder coating: Powered paint is directly sprayed onto the metal part. This process is followed by baking the part in an oven to form a water-resistant layer.

Buff polishing: A cloth wheel is used by metal manufacturers to buff the metal surface, making it look shiny.

Chemical films: This finishing approach is undertaken by the metal fabricators to provide good conductivity and corrosion resistance to the metal surface. This sheet metal fabrication process serves as a base for paint and provides the metal surface a golden finish.

Evaluate and test your prototype

After developing the prototype, clients can evaluate it to ensure that it meets their requirements. Testing may also be done on the prototyped components by using them in real-life conditions before the final customized project or mass production is undertaken by the metal manufacturers.

If you have a sheet metal fabrication project in the pipeline and are looking for metal fabricators who can execute exactly to your custom specifications in a cost-effective way, Brisbane Metal Products (BMP) has all the professional capabilities, equipment, and infrastructure to meet your needs. All types of sheet metal fabrication services are available involving stainless steel, aluminium, wire, or other material. Brisbane Metal Products is an Australian-owned and operated fabrication company with nationwide distribution capabilities. With Brisbane Metal Products, you can be assured of the quality workmanship and reliability of metal fabrication work. Equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure, Brisbane Metal Products can design, fabricate, mesh, weld, form, and coat metal to any specific requirements you have. Brisbane Metal Products has over 50 years of experience in metal fabrication, and completed over 55, 0000 projects for various industries including aviation, railways, shipping, military, automotive and a lot more.

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About Patrick Duncan Innovator   Marketing Manager

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Joined APSense since, May 11th, 2020, From Brisbane, Australia.

Created on Jun 13th 2021 12:45. Viewed 274 times.


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