What Are Some Common Design Parameters Need To Be Considered While Material Selection For Sheet Metal Parts Is Done

Sheet metal is an industrial process that involves cutting and bending metal into thin sheets or pieces. Countless everyday products are manufactured using sheet metal, thus inflating the demand for sheet metal manufacturing companies in Noida and other parts of the country. 

It is one of the most versatile and widely used manufacturing methods. You can easily find a manufacturing unit while searching using the keyword “the best sheet metal industry near me.”

The core of the sheet metal fabrication process is its material, making it crucial to select the right quality materials. If you don’t know how to do it, no worries, this article will help.

Here we will put a spotlight on sheet metal design considerations, such as material selection, bend allowance, wall thickness, K factor, bend radii, bend reliefs, CAD platforms, manufacturing process, advantages, limitations, which will lead to improvisations.

Before jumping onto that part, let’s have a look at a brief definition of sheet metal.

What Is Sheet Metal?

Sheet metals are thin sheets of metal with thickness ranging from 0.4 mm to 6 mm. Different metals like steel, aluminum, brass, copper, titanium, and nickel can be converted into thin sheets by moving them through a series of processes, like cutting, bending, welding, etc. They serve several industries, including automotive, aerospace, construction, and electronic appliance.

Many manufacturing industries in Faridabad offer sheet metal fabrication that meets the exact requirements of customers.

Design Considerations For Sheet Metal Parts

Selecting sheet metal material is a crucial process. Once the material is selected, it must be tested and validated to ensure workability based on the product design requirements.

Different materials are used for sheet metal, each having its own advantages, applications, and limitations. The factors that impact material selection are aesthetic requirements, expected product functionality, and cost.


Here are a few things that must take care of while selecting sheet metal of the required thickness and material:


  • Weight constraints
  • Cost constraints
  • External forces impact the metal during its functional lifecycle
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Availability
  • Assembly Process

Steps To Make Sheet Metal Components


  1.   Material and Size Selection:

For selecting the right material, you need to determine the application, formability, corrosion resistance, weldability, cost, strength, and weight. The thickness of the sheet depends on the strength requirement. A detailed comparison can be made with the design data available with the different material specifications.


  1.   Designing:

Below are the factors you must consider during modeling a sheet metal component.

Wall Thickness: Maintaining uniform wall thickness throughout the metal piece. If there is a requirement for more than one wall thickness, it consumes more time for reorientation and alignment. Different parts with different thicknesses will have unique bend parameters that may lead to inaccuracy of the desired shape.

Bend Radii: It’s always better to keep in the bend radius at least equal to sheet thickness to prevent fractures and distortions. Also, the same should be maintained consistently throughout the part to ensure the same radii at all bends and make the part cost-effective. Always remember to make bends in a single plane to eliminate additional reorientation while manufacturing.

Orientation of Holes & Slots: Ensure that the diameter of holes and slots is at least as large as the thickness of sheet metal. Holes & slots diameter less than the sheet metal thickness may lead to higher punch loading, excessive burr, and longer burnish in the holes. Also, the spacing between the holes should be double the metal thickness.

K Factor: It is the ratio of the neutral axis to the metal thickness. K factor changes its value in relation to the thickness and other physical properties of the metal.

Bend Allowance: The bend allowance is about adding the material to the actual leg lengths of the part to create a flat pattern. 

Bend Reliefs: They are implemented when a bend extends on edge and prevents tearing and easy bending of the metal part. It controls unwanted sheet metal deformation and should be at least of the same thickness of the sheet metal and greater than the inside bend radius.


  1.   Creating Engineering Drawings:

After designing a prototype, further work is done to create drawings for manufacturing. In the drawing, the flat patterns represent bend lines, the bend table represents the angle and direction of the bend, and includes all the information necessary for manufacturing. Plus, all things like surface finishing, plating, and coating are also sorted in the drawings.


  1.   Manufacturing Process: 

The manufacturing process includes:


Laser Cutting: It cuts sheets up to 8mm thick, but the cutting speed varies from thickness to thickness. The technique ensures a precise cut with a tolerance of +/-0.005.

Water jet cutting: It involves using a high-pressure water jet with abrasive particles. The technique helps cut up to 150mm thick plates, but the speed is less than laser cutting. It provides the same tolerance as laser cutting, with surface finish varies based on parameters.

Mechanical shearing: It helps in cutting sheet metal for mass production. A faster cutting technique uses a die and a punch to shear the sheet into the desired shapes.


As the name says, it is a process that bends the metal sheets along a straight axis. A brake press machine carries the process using V-bend dies, U-bend dies, goose-neck dies, etc.


Drawing involves processing the sheet metal blank into a forming die using a mechanical punch to get a curved or hollow surface. The forming limit of the sheet is taken into account while developing the component, and the same varies with materials and thickness.


  1.   Fabrication Process:

After forming the sheet metal model, don’t forget to weld the corners or open edges/gaps to maintain the strength and geometry of the piece. You can use any welding methods, like MIG, TIG, spot welding, etc. When joining metals like brass and aluminum, it’s better to use brazing. Although, you can also consider using riveting.


  1.   Post-Processing Process:

The welded sheet metal pieces go through one last process called surface finishing that removes sharp edges and optimizes the appeal of the product. The cosmetic appearance of the product can be achieved through hand grinding, jitterbugging, buffing, powder coating, wide belt sandpapers, sandblasting, priming and painting, plating, etc.

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