Pro tips for selecting the right metal sheet by sheet metal manufacturer

sheet metal fabrication

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How can sheet metal fabricators assess the selection of the right material? It is the question that confuses the majority of the contractors. Sheet metal manufacturing services recommend metals that cater to the requirements of the business products or orders. Here are the top tips and features of the metal mentioned that manufacturers consider before selecting the metal.

Welding techniques

What type of welding technique is required on a metal? Some metals like cold rolled and low carbon steel can be welded using traditional welding methods. However, it does not apply to all types of sheet metal fabrication. Stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and high-carbon steel are hard to weld and require advanced welding techniques. Welding is the process that connects different parts of a metal. Here are some of the metal sheet welding methods mentioned:

  • Metal Inert gas welding 
  • Plasma arc welding
  • Laser welding
  • Stick welding
  • Gas welding

While choosing the material, you must understand the welding technique suitable for the sheet metal fabrication. Sheet metal manufacturers prefer low-cost welding methods to keep the product cost lower and accessible. However, aerospace and automotive parts often use electron beam or laser welding for higher efficiency while connecting parts. 

Ductility

Ductility is one of the key features in considering the fabrication process. Ductility is the ability of the material to deform permanently. Metals need to bend, shape, and spread with stress and force to produce new products. Steel offers the best flexibility, making it a favorite for most manufacturing processes. Without flexibility, you cannot achieve the desired design of the sheet metal. 

Hardness

Hardness means the resistance of a metal to the deformity. The metals with high hardness require more load and force to deform. Stainless steel, brass, and copper are included in this category, while aluminum is a less hard metal. If you want to manufacture load-bearing parts or structures, hardness is an important factor to consider. 

Yielding power

Yielding power or strength measures the magnitude of the stress required to deform the metal. Yield strength allows the metal to deform and prevent it from turning back to its original shape. Copper, brass, and aluminum alloys have low-yielding strength and can easily be deformed. On the other hand, stainless steel and hot and cold rolled steel have high-yielding strength. Consider this property of metal to assess the time of production.

Tensile strength

Tensile strength is the power of the metal to resist force. It refers to the capacity of the metal to bear the forces and presses before breaking or molds. Metals with high tensile strength often have low elongation values. When manufacturers prepare a product that does not require to bear the load, the material with low tensile strength is the best choice. Aluminum is a metal with low tensile strength. 

On the other hand, spring, hot-rolled, cold-rolled, and stainless steel feature high tensile strength.

Weight of the material

The weight of the material affects the structure and function of the product. To produce moving parts of machines and vehicles, it is preferable to choose a lightweight material. On the other hand, sheet metal manufacturers select heavy-weight metals to produce heavy machinery parts. Aluminum and titanium are lightweight metals, while copper, brass, steel, and stainless steel are heavy-weight metals. Heavy-weight metals have high strength and flexibility, while lightweight metals are low in these features. However, this is not true in all cases. Manufacturers choose metal weight per the businesses’ requirements and their products.  

Cost

Though sheet metal manufacturers do not consider the cost an important factor, it affects the bulk production and accessibility of the parts. Several factors determine the cost of production:

  • Weight of the metal: it depends upon the requirement of the fabrication process.
  • Selected metal: What metal caters to the needs of the businesses? Stainless steel is one of the most durable and expensive metals. 

Other factors include the welding techniques, yielding power, time, flexibility, and the features mentioned earlier of metal to consider. Instead of choosing low-cost methods, manufacturers prioritize the sheet metal parts’ quality and requirements. However, if there exists a low-budget alternative, it should be preferred. 

Temperature of the metal

How much temperature a metal can bear while molding? What is the maximum temperature of the metal? Maximum temperature affects the properties of metal, like electrical resistance. 

Wrap Up

Sometimes, businesses choose budget-friendly material, but it lacks quality. Sheet metal manufacturing services keep you away from selection and suggest the best material. Sheet metal fabrication is a delicate process, and manufacturers and businesses collaboratively make several decisions to achieve premium quality parts. Hope the tips mentioned above will help you make reputable decisions for your business.

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