Sheet metal is one of the most versatile materials due to the processes that can transform its shape and appearance. Sheet metal, simply put, is a flat piece of a particular type of metal that can be cut, bent, and welded to form any shape. There are some situations where bending and welding are unnecessary. Flat sheet metal parts are still incredibly useful. In this article, how to pick a metal, the steps for receiving custom cut parts and more will be explained. For starters, some typical sheet metal types and their characteristics are listed below:
Stainless Steel Is:
Perfect for durable parts as it is strong as well as heavy.
A type of metal designed specifically not to corrode, meaning it can be washed and sanitized without issue.
Good looking with any finish such as raw, brushed, polished, or our favorite, vapor honed.
Lightweight and ductile while still maintaining its strength.
Excellent for prototypes.
Easy to tap, drill, and will not corrode.
A type of metal that forms an aluminum oxide coating that protects itself when exposed to air. This coating is thin, hard, and transparent. It is harder to remove than rust but is typically left on.
Carbon Steel is:
Very strong and welds easily.
Susceptible to rust and typically requires a surface finish, such as powder or clear coating.
In most cases, the metals listed above will fit perfectly with your project. Some additional less typical types of sheet metal are HRPO steel, copper, brass, and mild steel. HRPO (Hot Rolled Pickled & Oiled) steel and mild steel are like carbon in that they will rust. They are typically used in thicker applications where cost is a concern. Copper and brass each have certain characteristics that make them special, but they are both beautiful metals. Copper is malleable and conductive, making it perfect for electrical parts. Brass is also malleable and has a low friction point, meaning it will not throw sparks.
If you are uncertain which type of metal fits your application the best, our team of experts would be glad to help you reach a decision.
For custom cut sheet metal, one of our fiber lasers performs the cutting. Any design is achievable thanks to the precision provided by CNC control. Our in house-engineers can design your parts and give feedback on them before production.
The creation of custom cut sheet metal parts broken down into steps is as follows:
Based on the original idea, decide what metal to utilize.
Submit a design, or consult with one of our engineers to create one or receive feedback.
Determine if you need any post-processing.
Receive a quote for the project.
Once production begins, we will take care of everything and complete the project to your satisfaction. We will do this quickly, standing true to our slogan "when you need parts fast". If you have any questions regarding custom cut sheet metal, please contact us as we would be happy to help. If you are ready to create your own custom cut sheet metal parts, it would delight us to work with you.
Some sheet metal parts exiting our fiber laser (like cookies from an oven)!
If your project requires more than laser cutting, we also offer forming, welding, and controls. Along with our fiber lasers, we have a CO2 laser and router table. Our welding capabilities are top not, with welders certified in MIG, TIG, and Stick, ready to tackle any project.
To learn more about the metal fabrication process, check out our blogs on the matter.