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Sheet metal, commonly known as metal sheet, is produced by working the metal into thin and flat pieces through an industrial manufacturing process. Today, sheet metals find its applications in various industries and is considered to be an essential part of metal working. Metal sheets can be cut and bent into different shapes.
The metal sheet cut to sizes can be of different dimensions depending on the requirements of the user. Besides dimension, metal sheets vary in thickness. Pieces with a thickness of more than 6 mm are referred to as steel plate, whereas extremely thin sheets are regarded as leaf or foil.
Metal sheets are formed using various metals such as aluminium, stainless steel, iron, copper, brass, and tin. However, the most commonly used metals are aluminium and stainless steel.
Owing to the benefits of aluminium such as low weight, recyclable, excellent electrical & thermal conductivity, corrosion resistance and higher weight to strength ratio, it is hence used in forming metal sheets. Some of the aluminium grades used are:
● 5052-H32: Good formability, often used sheet grade
● 5052-H34: Fair formability, excellent welding characteristics and corrosion resistance
● 5251-H22: Applications in marine environments
● 1050-H14: Good weldability
Stainless steel offers a number of advantages. It has excellent corrosion resistance property, good weldability and provides ease of fabrication. It is the only corrosion resistant alloy containing more than 10.5% chromium. Due to this feature, stainless steel goes into forming a metal sheet. Commonly used stainless steel grades include:
The metal sheet is formed on presses, and the parts of the sheet are formed between the die. The die on the top is known as punch. In presswork, extreme force is applied on a metal sheet. This helps in cutting the sheet or shaping it to the desired shape.
The steps involved in forming a metal sheet are:
In this step, the metal strips are bent to form metal components. The metal strips are bent by using dies. On the other hand, press brakes are utilised to press the lengthier metal strips. For complex shapes, repeated bending process set of rollers can be used.
The characteristics of bending include: it requires tooling and press to perform the bending operation. The metal sheet strip is deformed permanently to the desired shape.
In the next step, metal is rolled using a roll forming process. Metals can be rolled either employing hot or cold roll forming. Cold roll is formed by using hot-rolled metal after cooling down of metal strips, whereas hot rolling involves rolling of metal strips at a higher temperature.
The metal strip is fed to roll forming lines through a series of roll stations. The roll stations are roller dies rollers present on both sides of metal sheet and at different angles. When the metal passes via roller dies, it bends and deforms.
In the spinning stage, the metal revolves to form a shape. The metal sheets revolve at high speed and are pressed against an attached headstock spindle. A tailstock is used to support the metals during the spinning process. The pressure is applied to the metal to form a required shape.
In this step, the metal is put in the die. The initial stage of deep drawing is known as cupping. A typical pressure pad is used to hold blank on the die when the punch takes the blank into the cavity. The metal is then plastically bent and drawn over the edge to form a cup. Besides, holding the blank, the pressure pad eliminates all the wrinkles from the metal sheet. If a deeper product is required, deep drawing is performed repeatedly.
In the final step, the metal sheet is clamped around the circumference using a blank holder. The metal sheet then changes its shape in accordance with its thickness. The holder draws sheet metal into the cavity. As the metal is stretched, it becomes thinner and thinner.
The obtained metal sheets can be cut to the required size. The thin, shiny and durable metal sheet cut to size is widely used by various industries to produce a range of products.
● Automotive industry - Metal sheets are widely used in the automotive industry. The thin metal sheet is used for sculpting the bodies of vehicles, including the railroad cars.
● Construction industry - In the construction industry metal sheets cut to size can be utilised as wall coverings to resemble brickwork or improve the fire resistance. It can be used to form the furnace and ductwork. Metal sheets can also be used as roofing materials and conducting pipes to gather rainwater.
● Aerospace industry - The fuselages and wings of aeroplanes are using metal sheets. Thin sheets that are strong and lightweight are ideal for this application.
● Electrical and electronics - Sheet metals can be used in the body of microwaves, washing machines, air conditioners, etc.
● Decorative items - Metal sheets can also be used as decorative metal screens, light fixtures, vents, wall panels, trim, and many more.
Variety of metal sheets cut to size are available in the market. Depending on the application, choose a suitable metal sheet from a reliable supplier with SteelScout
We also supply a wide range of mild steel including Structural Sections, Tubing, Sheet, Merchant Bar, Re-Rolled Steel, Hollow Sections, Rebar, Flooring and Mesh, available in standard as well as custom dimensions for all your project needs. Simply tell us what you need, and we will provide you with a quote in 20 minutes to 3 hours. Once we receive the purchase order, we will complete your order and deliver to suit your requirements.
We also provide you with 45-days interest-free credit for buying products, get approved in less than 24 hours. So, order fast and get your product, and get an additional benefit of free delivery.
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