The Importance of Sheet Metal Fabrication for Industrial and Construction Projects

Sheet Metal Fabrication

Sheet metal is an underappreciated construction option that offers many advantages over options like wood panels, plastic, and exotic options like carbon fiber. A machine shop in Lebanon TN will be able to consult with you on your metal fabrication job and then do the custom machining work. Sheet metal is so versatile and useful that any machine shop ought to have experience working with it and helping clients make the best use of it in construction and renovation projects. In other words, if a business owner thinks about metal fabrication shops near me, they may well be thinking about using sheet steel or aluminum for something.

Fabrication by a Machine Shop in Lebanon TN

A machine shop’s ability to cut, bend, stamp, and drill metal sheets or panels should not be underestimated. A vast array of fabrication jobs in manufacturing, retail, and public utilities call for strong, corrosion-resistant metals like aluminum and steel. The versatility of sheet metal, regardless of what metal it is, means that sheets of steel, alloys, or aluminum can often be great alternatives to wood, plastic, and fiberglass for a range of fabrication jobs that our machine shop can handle. Some welding and fabrication firms, like Hamilton Machine, can also do some welding and sheet metal work on-site.

The 411 on Sheet Metal Fabrication

Over the millennia, craftspeople have come up with a wide range of techniques for rolling, stamping, and bending metal into sheets for applications as diverse as body armor, belt buckles, and fireproof roofing.

Fabricators use a variety of metals and alloys. Aluminum and steel are the most common sheet metals, but they are not the only options by any means. Galvanized steel, which is coated with a thin layer of zinc, offers improved corrosion resistance relative to standard carbon steel. Speaking of steel, stainless and alloys are also available in sheet form. Of course, stainless steel is a popular choice for applications needing both high strength and high corrosion resistance. Aluminum is great in applications where you want lightweight and/or good rust resistance but strength is necessarily a major consideration. Fabricators, designers, and builders also use tin, nickel, copper, titanium, and brass in different applications.

We usually think of common commercial uses for sheet steel or aluminum. Much of this material ends up being used in sheds or barns, as well as being used for roofing. Other applications include cladding for buildings, boxes for electrical equipment, appliances, and framing for windows or doors.

Sheet metal workers can use a variety of tools and techniques to create complex shapes if needed. Creating a thin sheet of metal with compound curves, for example, can take a good deal of skill. The result can be an attractive and tough outer shell or covering or architectural feature that withstands wind, rain, and temperature extremes.

If your fabrication job calls for metal sheets, a fabrication shop will have someone who can evaluate the alternatives and pick the right material for custom machining, stamping, and so on. If you have a design job, you might want to consult with a professional engineer to see what material and thickness to use.

7 Benefits of Using Sheet Metal

Many industrial and construction firms use sheet metal in its many forms for a simple reason – usefulness.

There are several reasons to consider using sheet metal panels or plates in an application:

  1. Strength
  2. Durability
  3. Malleability
  4. Transportability
  5. Ease of production
  6. Finishing options
  7. Cost-effectiveness Let’s take a closer look at some of those advantages to see how they can be valuable to so many construction and industrial projects.

Strength and durability are what most industrial and construction jobs need. Sheet metal, especially steel, resists minor damage, heavy loads, and moisture-laden air, providing years of service at a modest cost. As noted above, sheet metals can be highly durable if chosen carefully to suit the application. Primed and painted steel will not have enough corrosion resistance for some applications. Galvanized steel may be too durable and tough, thus needlessly expensive.

Being so thin, metal sheets are easy to work with and easy to transport. With the right tools and training, a fabricator can quickly make a metal sheet into a range of forms. Depending on the thickness and the material in those metal sheets will probably weigh between 0.25 and 10 pounds per square foot. Thermoplastic panels might be even lighter than steel in the same thickness, but plastic lacks the durability and corrosion resistance of steel.

Fabricating Parts from Metal Sheets

Sheet metal stands out from the options for several reasons, mostly utility and cost-effectiveness. Look to a local machine shop if you need sheets of steel or aluminum bent into boxes, panels, or plates for a variety of commercial and industrial applications. Are you looking for a machine shop in Lebanon TN with sheet metal fabrication experience? If you are looking for metal fabrication shops near me, in Lebanon, or convenient to the Nashville suburbs, check with us to talk about your sheet metal fabrication job and learn more about our custom machining capabilities.