Metal sheet fabrication has been carried out for thousands of years. There has always been a need for forming, shaping, and joining metal sheets together in order to form new structures or repair existing ones.
As technology has continued to advance, so have sheet metal fabrication techniques. There are many different tools used to shape, cut and design metals into final products. Let's explore some of the most common and effective equipment used during sheet metal fabrications.
1. Metal Cutting Equipment
In order to cut sheets of metal to suitable size for various applications, the following equipment is regularly used:
Think of a power shear as a powerful electrical pair of scissors that is used to cut metal. Power shears are able to quickly and effectively cut metal sheets into smaller sizes. The most common types include pneumatic and electric power shears.
An angle grinder is a machine that works by spinning the metal sheet as it slices through the material and induces the desired cuts along the surface. It is a highly effective machine and it can achieve many different types of cuts during metal sheet fabrication. It is great for intricate shapes and cutting along tight corners.
2. Metal Stretching equipment
Metal stretching is commonly used during sheet fabrication to achieve complex shapes and to punch holes along metal sheets.
A stretcher is a machine that contains two fixed edges where a metal sheet can be placed. The stretcher slowly pulls the metal apart according to the pressure that is applied by the operator.
The English wheel is a machine that contains a flat fixed upper wheel and a lower flexible panel. The metal sheet is placed between these two ends, where the wheel can begin to turn and slowly stretch the metal out along its length. The wheel constantly rotates back and forth to slowly expand the metal. It is also useful for fixing deformities along the length of the metal sheet.
3. Metal Fusion equipment
To combine separate sheets of metal together, the following equipment can be used:
Torch (Electrode holder)
A torch is a welding machine that produces high energy sparks to melt the tips of the surfaces of the two metal sheets that will be joined. The powerful torch melts these two proximate surfaces and causes a pool of molded metal that can be joined together using a filler material.
A torch is commonly used during TIG welding. TIG is a very common metal sheet fabrication technique used in manufacturing processes.
A filler wire is another high voltage device that works in a similar manner to a torch. During the process of MIG welding, a filler wire is used to melt two metal surfaces being fused together.
In fact, the filler is capable of welding these two surfaces together and instantaneously as they are being molded. This leads to the production of sparks during the welding process.Share