Sheet Metal Fabricator

What Materials Do Sheet Metal Fabricators Work With?

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You’re unlikely to go about your day without encountering sheet metal fabricators products made with sheet metal fabrication. Whether it’s a retail display cube or an industrial kitchen sink, these products are assembled using various techniques like forming, punching and welding. Most commonly, shearing is used to cut metal sheets into usable components. Other deformation processes include bending, stamping, and spinning.

Alloy Steel

You’re almost always working with metal when you go about your day, from the car door to the desk chair to the cellular phone. Sheet metal fabrication processes can shape these and other products and structures into their finished, specialized form. The process is highly scalable and provides more flexibility than other types of metal manufacturing, including machining. The most common sheet metal fabrication materials include alloy steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. These are used for their strength, durability, and corrosion resistance, among other features. The type of material used depends largely on the project and production specifications.

Other materials such as copper and brass may also be used for aesthetic purposes. These have lower zinc content and come with protective oxide layers, making them ideal for decorative applications. Welding is another important part of the manufacturing process, with methods ranging from stick welding to MIG, TIG, and laser welding. This brings the parts together, joining them into a cohesive and robust whole. The tolerances for working with sheet metal are more lax than those for machining, but they still need to be carefully considered and met.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is durable and malleable, making it an ideal material for sheet metal fabrication. It can be formed into a variety of shapes and is resistant to corrosion and stains. Plus, it can be welded easily and is extremely cost-effective. It’s also able to withstand high temperatures, which is beneficial for applications that may be exposed to heat.

To bend metal into a specific shape, sheet metal fabricators use machines like press brakes, rolling mills and coining dies. Forming is a key step in the fabrication process and requires skill and training to ensure that the metal is bent properly. Sheet metal is known to have a “spring back” effect and must be bended at the correct angle to avoid distortions or cracking.

For cutting, sheet metal fabricators often use high-tech lasers to create precise cuts. However, it is still possible to cut the sheets using traditional tools like metal snips, hacksaws, and band saws. These old-school methods require the fabricator to be careful not to apply too much heat. They could burn the metal.

Sheet Metal Fabricators Aluminum

As a fabrication metal, aluminum is highly versatile. It can be cut, stamped, punched, sheared, formed, bent, welded, and rolled into components of various shapes. It can also be drilled, tapped, and machined. Hardware can be inserted into these parts, and they can be brushed, plated, powder coated, spray painted, silk screened, or otherwise marked. 

Sheet metal fabricators use both shearing and nonshearing methods to cut their materials. Shearing involves using specific scissors or blades to cut through the material, while nonshearing uses water jet, plasma, and laser cutting techniques.


Forming is the process of shaping the sheet metal into a different shape along a single axis. Some common forming technologies include bending, deep drawing, hydroforming, spinning, and stretch forming. These are the types of processes that create things like car bodies, sinks, and beverage cans. They are also the kinds of processes that can be used with a variety of other metals. Including copper and brass, which are commonly chosen for decorative applications. They are often chosen for their aesthetics and corrosion resistance.


Sheet metal fabrication is a multi-faceted process that involves cutting, forming, and finishing. Its use can include a wide range of materials, each of which has specific properties and requirements. To help ensure a successful outcome, it is important to follow best practices and keep certain guidelines in mind. For example, it is essential to always maintain consistent bend radii to avoid distortions in the final product. 

It is also important to place collars or bend relief near pierce areas to strengthen the component and reduce the likelihood of cracking. Finally, it is important to keep punch-to-die clearances large to minimize wear and tear and ensure that the holes are formed correctly. All metals turned into industrial supplies start out as ores, which are extracted from the earth and then melted and cast into different shapes and sizes. 

Result Blocks of Metals

The resulting blocks of metal can then be used in the fabrication process to produce different parts and components. Brass is a common metal used in sheet metal fabrication because it has high ductility and can be easily formed to take on different shapes. It is also known for its golden appearance and is often used to make musical instruments.


Sheet metal fabricators work with a wide variety of materials to create high-quality, finished parts and components for a multitude of industries. From aerospace and automotive manufacturing to household appliances and industrial furniture. The range of projects that use this fabrication process is vast. Some of the most common metals that are used in these applications include stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and copper. Each of these comes in varying strengths, corrosion resistance, and visual appeal that can suit various needs and projects. In addition to cutting, stamping, forming, and bending, metal fabrication also includes annealing, deburring, grinding, and sanding. 

These are processes that help to improve the quality of the metal by heating and cooling it in a controlled way. They also smooth out rough areas, ensuring that the material is safe to handle and can withstand the assembly and machining processes during production.This is a great way to make sure that the metal has the strength and durability needed for the project in question. It is also a good way to protect the material against rust or other elements that could damage it during future use.

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