If you take a good, careful, hard look around, you will most likely be able to find some form of sheet metal usage around you. After all, it is an incredibly important part of the world that we live in today, with many different applications and uses, and with many more being added daily. As you can imagine, there are many different ways to design sheet metal, especially considering all of the various forms that it can take on.
However, it may not always be so easy to work with, as with any material. Sometimes you just need a few tips when working with certain materials. What exactly are some tips that could help you out with sheet metal design, though? In the guide below, you will find five great tips for sheet metal design that will hopefully make the process go much smoother in the future!
1. Bending Radius
The sheet metal must withstand stress during the flexure test. This test is performed to check the flexibility of the metal sheet. If a sheet metal is bent beyond a point, it cracks down. This point is referred to as the minimum bend radius. Always design metal sheet parts keeping the minimum bend radius in mind.
2. Hole Sizes
As you can imagine, the size of holes within sheet metal are pretty vitally important. It is recommended that the spaces between two holes should be at least two times the thickness. The distance between two holes will help in avoiding deformation during processes like forming or bending. After all, the last thing you want is your expertly crafted sheet metal being brought down by something as simple as a hole size, right?
3. Flange Width
Flanges are essentially internal or external ridges, which help in positioning or strengthening an object. There is a standard rule of sheet metal fabrication, and that is the flange width should not be less than 4 times the metal sheet thickness. This is because the lower flange width may leave marks on the metal sheets. Naturally, this can really tarnish the entire project if that does happen, so it is advised that you be extra careful with this step.
4. Edge Bending
This one is a bit tricky, as it may create unnecessary complications if performed incorrectly. In order to avoid that, it is advised that you have provisions for angles lesser than 90 degrees. This step is performed during sheet metal fabrication to strengthen the edges. Which is naturally an important factor into sheet metal design, considering some of the applications that sheet metal is used for, so do try to keep that in mind.
5. Clearance Between a Bend and a Hole
It is incredibly important to maintain a clearance between a bend and hole to avoid deformation during other processes. The sheet metal design rule is that the distance between the bend line and the hole edge should be two times greater than the thickness of the metal stock. As was mentioned before, considering some of the applications of sheet metal, it is better to take these tips into consideration carefully so that your pieces are of the best quality possible.