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5 Most Useful Sheet Metal Fabrication Techniques


Sheet metal is one of the most commonly used metals in the world. Sheet metal fabrication involves forming, shaping and joining this metal together to create a more tangible part. There are various important techniques that can be used in this process.

1. Bending

When sheet metal is bent, stronger products are made. This process can be done manually although machines can be used to facilitate it. Form bending is the easiest way that a fabricator can use to bend meals.

2. Cutting

This is an important technique during the fabrication of sheet metal. One can cut the metal manually by using tools like hand shears, power shears or the Angle Grinder. Advanced shear machines can also be used.

This process involves the use of heat as well as high end mechanical machines. Alternatively, laser cutting can be used as an ideal method of cutting sheet metal.

3. Shrinking

There are different ways of shrinking sheet metal; tucking metal is the earliest. In this technique of sheet metal fabrication, one bunches the metal together by using a spade hammer. Another way that is more precise is the use of a shrinker which is a tool with textured jaws for grasping the metal and forcing it together.

Shrinking disks and heat shrinking are also applicable even though the latter requires many sessions of practice if it has to be done right.

4. Stretching

Hammer and Dolly is the most common way of stretching sheet metal. During this process, the fabricator should hold an object at the back of the metal and use a hammer to hit the opposite part. One can also stretch the metal by the use of a sand bag and plastic mallets.

Again, a stretcher or an English wheel can be used to stretch sheet metal.

5. Metal fusion

This method of sheet metal fabrication entails merging small panels together to produce parts that are larger and more complex. Welding is the most commonly used way of metal fusion. There are various types of welding.

TIG welding is what most professionals in the industry prefer using. TIG welds are difficult to master despite the fact that they are among the softest that have ever been known. It is more precise than the oldest type of welding; Oxy Acetylene Welding. This method produces the softest welds that are easy to smooth out. It makes use of tanks of mixtures of Oxygen and Acetylene.

Another form of welding is the MIG welding which is more popular than the others. It is easy to learn and master. This method is used to produce the hardest welds that are difficult to grind and hammer.

Various techniques of sheet metal fabrication involve the use of different tools. It calls for skill and hard work for a metal fabricator to achieve the most desirable results.