Sheet metal fabrication in construction
The sheet metal fabrication industry is expected to be worth $ 4.4 billion by 2026 according to Bloomberg. This figure is achievable given that sheet metal has become a valuable material in the industrial age. In the beginning, there was only iron in the Iron Age. Then came steel, bronze and all the other metals.
Today, all of these metals, including copper, tin, nickel, titanium, aluminum, and steel, are combined to make sheet metal. This material has a multitude of uses. But, this article will cover all about sheet metal production in construction. We will see what it is, its application in construction, the advantages of its use, and the methods used in sheet metal production.
What is sheet metal fabrication?
Sheet metal fabrication is the process of creating custom metal products for use in various industries. The procedure used may include bending and shaping metals to meet a specific design. This process involves the manufacture of a product by laser cutting, water jet, plasma cutting, magnetic brakes, hydraulic brakes, welding, punching and stamping.
After the above process, a sheet metal product can undergo a series of finishes. It can be anodized, pad printed, engraved using a subsequent backing, plated, powder coated, brushed, liquid painted or screen printed.
A manufacturer uses aluminum, copper, titanium, mild steel, stainless steel, steel and tin to make sheets. Products made from this manufacture are widely used in the construction industry.
Sheet metal fabrication application in construction
Sheet metal fabrication is a practical process in construction. The end product can be used in plumbing, roofing, construction, fencing, stairs, fencing and more. Sheet metal can also be used as an element of interior design.
The material can be welded into a strong and durable product, ideal for construction. You can also get a prefabricated metal building. Instead of dealing with all the materials on your construction site, a prefabricated metal building is designed in an installation factory. The products are then shipped to your site, ready to be assembled.
Advantage of sheet metal used in construction
Sheet metal has several advantages in construction. These include:
1. Low cost
Sheet metal is readily available. So, it is relatively inexpensive. Several factors indicate that sheet metal is an inexpensive material. For example, a structure constructed from the material takes longer before it needs to be repaired. This is because the sheets are of high quality, eliminating the need for constant repair or replacement. It is also versatile, which means that it is applicable in various aspects of construction. So if you have additional material after purchase, you can use it elsewhere.
The durability of materials indicates their shelf life and service life. Sheet metal products can be made from steel, stainless steel, brass, copper and other alloys.
All of these elements have unique properties such as strength, ductility, tensile strength, machinability, toughness, weldability, strength to weight ratio, etc. A manufacturer looks at all of these qualities and decides on the best combination to ensure that a customer gets a durable sheet.
For example, suppose you are looking for a sheet with corrosion resistance properties. In this case, the manufacturer combines the necessary materials, such as galvanized steel, to ensure that the product lasts longer before it gets spoiled. They can resist pests, moisture, sunlight, and damage from mold or fire.
The materials used to make the sheets are recyclable. So you can reuse the sheet multiple times in various applications before it starts to degrade in quality. Scrap metal can be made into better products. For example, used sheet metal can be used to make metal art.
Common sheet metal fabrication methods
Sheet metal services can be done in several ways. The most common include:
Cutting involves removing unwanted material from the sheet. There are several variations of cutting, including laser cutting, plasma cutting, and waterjet cutting.
1. Laser cutting
Laser cutting involves using various gases such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide, helium, and oxygen to burn unwanted sheet metal materials until the edges are sharp. The process consists of using a gas jet directed towards the area intended to be cut. This jet of gas melts the unwanted material and blows it out until you get the desired result.
2. Plasma cutting
Plasma cutting is a process by a machine in the form of a torch to pass electricity and gas through a small orifice. Streaming is generally fast, causing unwanted material to melt and cut. Plasma cutting is applicable on conductive materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, color, titanium, copper, brass, monel and mild steel.
3. Waterjet cutting
Another way to design sheet metal is waterjet cutting. It involves drawing water under high pressure on sheet metal through a diamond or ruby nozzle opening. Pressurized water is usually mixed with an abrasive material and controlled by a CNC.
4. Punching machine
A punch press is an economical version of laser cutting and waterjet cutting. It is used for cutting out simple patterns. Since this is a fast process hitting over 100 strokes per minute, the process is used to create parts quickly.
Bending is the process of turning sheet metal into the desired shape. Various bending instruments are applied to get a product in its ideal shape. For example, a die and punch of any shape can be used to create a shape on sheet metal. A punch and die come in different shapes and apply pressure to a particular part of the sheet to create the shape you want.
Choosing the right sheet metal for your construction is only the first step. You should also identify the purpose of the material and the measurement. Then your manufacturer helps you define the material’s weight, strength, flexibility, cost, and anything else involved in manufacturing. While it may not seem straightforward, a skilled engineer and his team will prototype your product to the desired results.
RapidDirect creates precise, high-quality sheets in the shortest possible time. With many years of experience providing top-notch sheet metal services, we are the perfect choice for your business.