3 Potential Fabrication Problems When Working With Sheet Metal

Metal is a versatile material used in a number of manufacturing processes. Sheet metal is the raw material used to create numerous parts and components, and this sheet metal must be fabricated in order to transform it into a useful end-product. Fabrication techniques can potentially cause problems that will need to be addressed in order to retain the quality of your sheet metal.

Here are three problems you might face during sheet metal fabrication, and some simple solutions to help you eliminate them in the future.

1. Warping while punching holes.

If you need to punch a series of holes into a large piece of sheet metal, you run the risk of warping the sheet and causing permanent damage. This warping can easily be avoided by controlling the tension and compression accumulation that builds up within a piece of sheet metal during the hole-punching process.

Determine where you want your holes to be, then punch every other hole moving in one direction. Start moving back in the opposite direction to punch the remaining holes. This alternating technique will help you effectively reduce warping and maintain the quality of your sheet metals during fabrication in the future.

2. Scorching during welding.

If the aesthetic of your sheet metal is important, then it's essential you protect your raw materials from damage during the welding process. Welding is a common fabrication technique used to join two pieces of sheet metal together.

Since welding requires the use of extreme heat, there is the potential that your sheet metal could become scorched during the welding process. You can eliminate scorch marks by using a specialized shield to protect the surface of your sheet metal from heat exposure in order to retain its aesthetic beauty during fabrication.

3. Misalignment during cutting.

Laser cutting is a technique used to create unique shapes out of sheet metal. Unfortunately, laser cutting can result in significant waste when cuts are not made properly,

Alignment issues play a key role in waste, so taking the time to complete a test cut on a disposable piece of metal will help you correct any alignment problems before you begin to work on your sheet metal. This will help you reduce waste and keep fabrication costs low.

Being able to address some common sheet metal fabrication problems will allow you to improve the quality of your fabrication processes as you work with sheet metal in the future.