Many industries require custom sheet metal fabrication for parts and components in the manufacture of goods and products. Today’s advancement in fabrication technology allows fabrication shops to create and produce unique designs with complex parts to meet any application requirement. Customized fabricated products utilizing sheet metal are essential to the aerospace industry as well as the automotive. Both the commercial and residential construction sectors rely on custom designed products made with sheet metal, as do industries that manufacture consumer goods, electronic devices, and medical equipment, and more.
What is Custom Sheet Metal Fabrication?
Sheet metal is derived from common stock material, a metal or metal alloys, such as aluminum, stainless steel, copper, or brass, and is classified by its thickness, or gauge, with the flat sheet stock measuring between 0.006 and 0.25 inches thick. Any metal thinner is classified as a foil; thicker is considered a plate. It is formed into flat sheets by methods of rolling, extrusion, or hammering.
A metal sheet is then fabricated into a custom part through selective subtractive processes such as in laser cutting or by deforming the material to a desired geometric shape as occurs when bending it. The former reduces material from the sheet metal for custom design applications whereas the latter reshape it without affecting the material’s volume.
Though there are many processes, if not challenges, in the production of custom fabrication utilizing sheet metal, manufacturers also realize that there are more advantages when customizing parts or components for their products. Here are 5 key benefits that custom sheet metal fabrication offers:
It may go without saying, but customization is the main benefit of custom sheet metal fabricated parts and components. Sheet metal can be cut and punched, stamped, sheared, bent, welded, formed, rolled, machined, riveted, drilled to any shape or size as needed or required for any specific application or project. And it can be done so with precision and repeatability.
Not all parts found in stores can be made to fit a design. Customized fabrication offers the flexibility in design and material to fulfill project goals, which ensures your product is made the way you want and to desired specifications. In short, you get to choose what you want, what to build it with, the way you want. Flexibility also means that designs can be altered or improved upon as needed as the project progresses.
Selecting the right material for an application is critical for its success. It must possess mechanical properties that perform in the environment it is intended for. Fabricators can design and make custom sheet metal products with material that consists of the desired properties required for the product application. Properties such as conductivity, tensile strength, weight, or corrosion resistance may be required for application needs. For example, architectural engineering projects would look to using stainless steel for applications situated in humid or marine environments. With its lightweight, low cost, high corrosion resistance, and very good strength-to-weight ratio, aluminum is a choice material for custom designed housings for electronic devices or fuselages for aircraft.
When using sheet metal for customized fabricated products rest assured of its durability. There is a reason that more and more building contractors favor sheet metal for roofing and flashing or in ductwork designs for HVAC systems. Yes, sheet metal has a practical and aesthetic appeal in design applications, but above all else, it has an exceptionally long lifespan. Custom products do not wear down or wear out when used in the applications they are designed for.
Customized parts and components fabricated to exact specifications, with choice material, ensure the highest quality finished product for the application. Custom sheet metal fabrication uses advanced technologies to cut, shape, form, and create quality components that are structurally sound, easy to install and require low maintenance.