Interesting Facts About the Sheet Metal Fabrication Process

A laser can be used to cut sheet metal, just one of many facts about this adaptable material.Blog originally published on February 13, 2020. Updated on September 2, 2022.

Sheet metal fabrication is an integral part of many products that most people take for granted. There are many everyday objects in people’s homes, shops, and businesses that a technician created through metalworking and fabrication. There is much to the history, uses, and processes of sheet metal fabrication that is often hidden. 

If you’re new to sheet metal, you are in a good starting place to learn. Even if you are a veteran of the industry, you might pick up an obscure point in this article. Keep reading to learn more about interesting sheet metal facts. If you're interesting in our metal fabrication and finishing services, contact us at JML Sheet Metal today.

1. Historical Sheet Metal Facts

The process of sheet metal fabrication goes back thousands of years. From a humble beginning to the present, the industry has gone through many changes. Some interesting points from history include:

  • Leonardo Da Vinci - the famous inventor, was among the first people to use a rolling mill and press technology.

  • Early Beginnings - Most academic research leads us to believe sheet metal began between 5,000 and 4,000 BC. Originally, stone was the tool people used to shape metal. Now machines do the heavy lifting making the process much more efficient.

  • Armor - War has been an almost constant reality throughout history. Metal components used for weaponry became more sophisticated as time went on. Armor was one example where sheets of metal were joined to protect the wearer. 

2. Sheet Metal Led to Press Breaks and the Assembly Line

Sheet metal fabrication led to the development of multiple technologies. One innovation leads to the next, and eventually, society changes. Beyond the press brake and the assembly line, sheet metal working led Joseph Bramah, a British industrial worker, to come up with the hydraulic press in 1770.

3. Sheet Metal Comes from Different Types of Metals

During the process of sheet metal fabrication, workers will join different metal materials into one sheet for specific needs. Sheet metal may contain several metals, including aluminum, brass, copper, nickel, tin, steel, and zinc. Sometimes, precious metals like silver and gold also go into sheet metal.

4. Many Ways to Cut a Sheet

Cutting sheet metal is a necessary aspect of the overall process of metal fabrication. There are many methods that workers have developed throughout the years. Different types of metal require different cutting approaches. Being too rough during cutting could damage the metal beyond a useful state. 

Tinsnips are special scissors used to cut through sheet metal. These snips are most often used for thin or soft sheets of metal. Saws, laser cutting, plasma cutting, welding, and punch press are just a few other metal forming examples.

5. Sheet Metal is a Versatile Material

Cutting is one way to change metal to suit specific needs. There are many other approaches to reshape sheet metal to adapt to an individual use. Sheet metal parts can be bent or shaped in very small units or larger units. Given the right material, sheet metal can be durable and used in many industries. There are also numerous finishing options such as powder coating available.

Partner with the Professional Sheet Metal Fabricators JML Sheet Metal

Sheet metal fabrication has a long history that grew based on innovations of clever and dedicated metalworkers. Today, we use sheet metal in just about every sector of our business and personal lives.

For high volume production runs that demand quality and durability, make sure you work with a professional sheet metal fabricator like JML Sheet Metal. We guarantee you'll get the best product, right when you need it. Additionally, we take custom orders to give you the individual units in the quantity you need.

Give our team at JML Sheet Metal a call today at (586) 756-4133 to get a quote on your project and learn more about our metal fabrication and assembly services.

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