The sheet metal utilized in fabrication comprises an extensive list of possible materials. Making an ideal choice for your products means deciding about things like the sort of the metal, its width, and its shape.
What you select should be in accordance with your overall outlook, desired final product, and suggestions from your sheet metal manufacturer. Sheet metal is produced from a diversity of metals with unique properties, and each of them offers certain benefits.
Sheet metal is among the most significant building materials within the manufacturing sector. It’s usually fabricated from metals like aluminum, nickel, steel, tin, brass, titanium, and copper. When it comes to product design, manufacturers have to choose the most suitable metal choice to use for their specific requirements.
The landscape of materials within the manufacturing industry is immense, and sometimes it might be intimidating to select the proper material for your sheet metal fabrication project. With sheet metal fabrication experiencing diverse technological advances and innovations, you must also adapt to the latest trends by making an investment in the proper material to serve your needs.
To better understand why the material choice plays a significant role, you should be aware of specific factors before selecting a material. Once you go through these factors, you can link them to your goal and product to decide which material will be the best option for your sheet metal prototypes.
This article guides you through the most significant factors you must bear in mind when choosing the sheet metal material for your prototype. Therefore, if you’re interested in learning how to select your materials for sheet metal fabrication, continue reading ahead.
Consider The Material’s Hardness
Hardness relates to the metal’s capability to withstand deformation in case of impact, load, or abrasion. Hardness can be measured based on its resistance to indentations, scratches, and bounces. Besides, certain issues with hardness are possible to overcome through a hardening process.
Hardness is crucial for load-bearing constructions because hard metals are better at withstanding abrasion and load. Metals with high levels of hardness are titanium, bronze, hot rolled steel, spring steel, stainless steel, brass, and cast iron. On the contrary, metals with low hardness are copper, aluminum, and lead.
Purpose And End Use
You need to always begin with having clear objectives and views on how your product will be used. Once you get a new point of view and re-envision your metal products, you may even enhance your product’s lifetime. Furthermore, think about the other components your parts will interact with, and the conditions your sheet metal prototypes will be placed under for use.
Shape And Geometry
With all the technological advances in the manufacturing sector, various materials are easily adjustable. So, think if your prototype will require basic bends or complex linear forms. Examine and learn the qualities and characteristics of varied materials such as aluminum, steel, stainless steel, brass, copper, lead, and brass.
Discover which material and procedure go well together in order to achieve your expected results. Some types of sheet metal are easier for bending over others. For example, the majority of aluminum grades are very pliant. The advantage of a material that’s easily pliable is that it gives you the possibility to combine separate parts. In fact, you may replace screwing or welding. It will reduce piece count and ease assemblage.
When choosing a material, you should consider the conditions it’ll be exposed to once placed. Some metals react better than others to oxidation, water, or other elements. For example, metals such as stainless steel won’t erode, but they may develop an oxide layer.
You should also take into consideration that galvanic corrosion may happen when different metals are in contact together. Metals that are less corrosion resistant are cold-rolled carbon steel, copper, aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, nickel, and tin.
Requirement & Run Length
You have to think of the impact of the preliminary cash flow management and the long-term ROI (return on investment) offered by the material you choose. Make the necessary calculations and look into the approximate yearly units you will need, and if the material you pick will balance the return on investment. Tooling expense amortization can provide you the best investment return. Consequently, take into account that aspect likewise prior to zeroing in on materials.
Size of The Prototype
Depending on the size of the prototype you want to fabricate, know that each technique can fabricate a specific amount of metal length. For instance, roll-forming enables you to fabricate pieces as far as 16 meters in length. So, examine the size of your sheet metal prototypes, particularly the length of the part. Afterward, according to that criteria, select the proper material and the technique as well.
Think about the Cost for the Material Beforehand
Cost generally isn't the most significant factor when choosing a sheet metal for fabricating a prototype. It’s crucial to make the best selection based on the factors we’ve listed above. However, if there is a valid alternative with a lower cost, it’s always worth considering.
Still, bear in mind that many times lower cost materials need additional processing, which can result in you not, in fact, saving a lot, so you could have used the higher cost material in the first place. High price metal is stainless steel, and low price metals hot rolled steel, low carbon steel, and tin.
Why Material Choice is Important
These factors we mentioned above will enable you to exclude other material options while making your selection and choose the material which suits the most for your products or parts. The material choice is significant because metals behave differently to different surroundings and conditions. That involves actions like, for instance, cooling, heating, cooling, molding, and melting.
For that reason, most of all, the choice of material matters in sheet metal fabrication projects. Selecting the best material for your parts will provide you with a competitive advantage by improving factors like quality, mechanical properties, endurance, function, and performance.
The chosen material needs to be able to sustain its strength and physical features during the process of manufacturing. If you don’t select the proper metal, your product will probably fail during the manufacturing procedure.
Selecting the right material for your sheet metal prototypes will provide your product many benefits and improve its overall quality, function, and performance. If you overlook choosing the right material, the chances of prototype failure during the manufacturing process are high. Therefore, evaluate our guide before you begin with your sheet metal fabrication project because the factors we listed above can help any manufacturer select the correct metal.
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