Fabricators produce sheet metal pieces with numerous feature options to meet manufacturing needs. If you're ordering sheet metal, you need to know what features you can choose from to acquire parts that best suit your needs.
Here are seven features of sheet metal parts you need to understand before you put in an order for fabricated parts.
A sheet metal part generally has a uniform thickness throughout. One of the first details you need to pin down when placing a sheet metal order is what thickness would be appropriate for your needs.
The right sheet metal thickness varies according to factors like your design, durability, size, and material needs. Work with your sheet metal provider to inform yourself on the appropriateness of various metal thicknesses for your particular project.
Sheet metal providers use bends in sheet metal to achieve the right geometry based on the desired design.
Generally speaking, sheet metal bends are all in the same direction for an individual piece. The orientation of bends in different directions creates a situation where the sheet metal piece needs to be reoriented while it is manufactured. Reorientation increases the complexity of the job and unnecessarily increases costs.
When it comes to designing sheet metal components, you should create a design with all the bends in the same direction to save both money and time in the manufacturing process.
Chamfers present another option for dealing with sharp edges on sheet metal parts. A chamfer is a beveled edge built into a sheet metal piece. Chamfers can be used on only one edge of the piece or on multiple edges.
Chamfers get rid of sharp edges and corners without increasing the thickness at the edges like curls do.
Sheet metal producers put notches into pieces if pieces need to fit together to create manufactured parts like puzzle pieces do.
Acceptable notch design is dictated by the thickness of the sheet metal that's used. The thicker the sheet metal, the thicker the notch needs to be. You need to keep deep notches far enough apart in your design to maximize sheet metal strength.
Sheet metal designs include relief cuts to prevent overhangs where bends are in sheet metal pieces. The thicker the piece is, the more prominent an overhang can be in the design. Another purpose of relief cuts is to prevent tearing at the bends.
Relief cut design also depends on the thickness of the sheet metal. A relief cut must be as wide as the thickness of the sheet metal.
Perforations include holes and slots designed into sheet metal parts. Holes and slots are required in the design of some manufactured parts. A few concerns need to be addressed in hole and slot design, however.
For one thing, holes need to be placed far enough from edges to avoid any bulging effect along the edge of the sheet metal piece. For another, holes can't be placed too close together or the piece could become warped. The necessary distance between holes, again, depends on how thick the sheet metal is.
If you need to order fabricated parts for your processing or manufacturing operation, you can learn more about design possibilities or place an order by getting in touch with us at
J&E Metal Fabricators Inc.