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Common Sheet Metal Fabrication Techniques



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Services & Tech >> Common Sheet Metal Fabrication Techniques
Common Sheet Metal Fabrication Techniques
Sheet metal fabrication is a process of turning flat sheets of steel or aluminium into metalstructures or parts, by cutting, punching, folding and assembling. This short glossary details common sheet metal fabrication methods from start to finish.
AssemblingA process done by welding, binding with adhesives, and bending in the form of a crimped seam
Bending: A process done by hammering or via press brakes.
Blanking: A fabrication process in which a part is cut out of the sheet metal, and the material around the part is discarded.
Cutting: A fabrication process done by sawing, shearing, or chiseling with manual and power tools or torching with handheld plasma torches using computer numerical computer (CNC) cutters like lasers.
Die cutting: A fabrication process that cuts metal pieces without the formation of chips or the use of burning or melting; also known as shearing.
Fastening: A fabrication process using self-clinching tools like nuts, studs, spacers, access hardware, or cable tie mounts and hooks to provide torque resistance in applications where the sheet metal is too thin to be secured by other methods.
Finishing: A fabrication process in which a completed metal project’s surface is altered to achieve a certain property, which includes improved appearance; adhesion or wettability; solderability; corrosion, tarnish chemical, or wear resistance; hardness; electrical conductivity; surface friction control; and blemish removal.
Galvanizing: A process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel or iron to prevent rusting.
Glazing: A process where two metals slide against each other to create a shiny, wear-protective layer of oxide
Hydroforming: A forming and fabricating process that uses a specialized type of die molding, which uses highly pressurized fluid to shape metals like steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, and brass.
Metal punching: A fabrication process in which metal fabrication equipment punches holes, louvers, or a predetermined shape out of sheet metal.
Milling: A fabrication process of using rotary cutters to remove material from a metal piece, advancing in a direction at an angle with the axis of a tool.
Oxy acetylene welding: A fabrication process in which a tank of oxygen and acetylene combine with an adjustable torch to result in a precise, controlled flame used to heat metal.
Roll forming: A constant bending process in which sheet metal, coil, bar, or strips of metal pass through rolls that form the metal.
Shrinking: A fabrication process to remove small dents in which the direct damage isn’t severely stretched or torn and the hardness of the buckles isn’t severe.
Spinning: A process by which a disc or tube of metal rotates at a high speed and forms into an axially symmetric part using a CNC lathe or by hand.
StampingA high production process in which single or multiple punches, bends, and embossing perform simultaneously or in a progressive die.
Stretching: A fabrication process that uses a hammer and dolly, a stretcher, or an English wheel to pull metal apart.
Tucking: A method of shrinking metal by bunching it together through force using a crevice and spade hammer or a folding technique where the metal is bent at the edges with a homemade tucking fork.
Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding: A two-handed arc welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld.
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