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Sheet Metal Fabrication - Metal Selection

July 9, 2021
This image features a metal worker for sheet metal fabrication.

Sheet metal fabrication is a complicated process that produces significant results. Nonetheless, we see improvements in the technology, the practice, and the science showing no signs of stopping. Today, we consider sheet metal as one of the most essential building materials, especially for the manufacturing industry as well as many other industries. Typically, sheet metal is fabricated from aluminum, nickel, tin, steel, brass, titanium, and even copper. But how important is the metal you choose in sheet metal fabrication? Let’s talk about all of that below.

What is Sheet Metal Fabrication

To simply state, sheet metal fabrication is the process that transforms flat sheets of metal (usually aluminum or steel) into different products or structures such as pipelines, or building parts. The sheet is changed either by punching, cutting, assembling, and/or folding it. Sheet metal might also be bent, cut, or stretched to any shape by burning or cutting the metal. The sheet metal fabrication process employs several tools from saws, cutting torches, and press brakes. These tools are used to transform the sheet metal into whatever form it will take on next. The company VeriForm has an excellent set of tools for sheet metal fabrication, and you can check out their processes along with past projects here.

The Importance of Metal Selection in Sheet Metal Fabrication

The type of metal you use for sheet metal work is significant as it can affect how well it will serve its purpose. That is why picking the type of metal to be used is the first step in any manufacturing process. But why?

There are a few factors that can affect the type of metal a manufacturer will use for production. These can include:

  1. Price
  2. Mechanical attributes
  3. Environmental considerations
  4. Physical properties
  5. Chemical properties

These factors will make it easy for the manufacturer to pick a suitable metal for the job. Different metals react differently when worked on or manipulated, so the choice should be deeply considered. If the manufacturer chooses the wrong metal, the product will fail at the manufacturing phase. This is because the material they choose should retain its physical properties and maintain its strength during the whole process. It will also play a part in how long the structure can stand wear and tear. However, if suitable materials are chosen, you will get a product with a competitive edge thanks to its endurance, quality, mechanical properties, and performance.

Different Metals You Can Use for Metal Fabrication

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a common term to refer to any variety of sheet metal that contains at least 10.5% chromium. However, there are different grades available with other properties. The most common are the ones that are corrosion resistant. Regular, ordinary stainless steel does not need heat to be processed.

Pros

  • Chromium additive gives it a corrosion-resistant finish.
  • Solid and durable for everyday use.
  • Available in a variety of hardness levels, thicknesses, and widths.
  • Recyclable.
  • Easily machinable.
  • Weldable and can be used for riveting or soldering processes.

Cons

  • Thick welding points may create corrosion points.
  • Easily chips.
  • More costly compared to other options.
  • Requires a lot of polishing and finishing to be presentable.

Spring Steel

Spring steel refers to several high-yield strengths of steel. This includes low-alloy manganese high and medium- carbon steel. Notably, spring steel is most often used in creating springs. The material tends to return to its original shape after load-bearing or twisting.

Pros

  • High yield strength and does not change shape when compressed or twisted.
  • The unique ability to be shaped, formed and post heat treated.

Cons

  • Not suitable for welding.
  • It might be challenging to work with in a tempered and hardened state.
  • Overheating can cause the metal to be brittle.

Aluminum

Aluminum is considered to be a pure metal that can easily be alloyed with other materials. It is not magnetic and is not combustible. It’s also a good conductor of electricity. Aluminum is corrosion resistant and is easy to process. Lastly, it is also non-toxic making it perfect for a variety of applications.

Pros

  • The non-toxic property makes it perfect for food exposure.
  • Excellent heat conductivity.
  • Non-combustible and reflective making it perfect for lighting applications.
  • Corrosion-resistant.

Cons

  • More expensive than other options
  • Not as strong as steel
  • It can affect the taste of food at times.

Contact VeriForm

If you are looking for a trusted name in sheet metal fabrication in Ontario, Canada, VeriForm is your best bet. VeriForm has 24 years of experience in the process of fabrication and continues to provide quality service to all customers. The experts at VeriForm can help you determine the best metal selection for your project and more. They will provide you with the best options based on the needs of your project and produce great lasting results. Choosing the right metal can ultimately reduce your costs and expenses as well as ensure your structure lasts. Visit our website to find out how we can help your next metal fabrication project.

Custom Metal Fabrication Tools - SolidWorks

June 30, 2021

Custom metal fabrication involves creating something out of particular metals with unique and specific requirements outlined by customers in various industries. Whether that’s cutting and bending metal to create certain shapes or welding and bending metal parts together. The vast array of custom metal fabrication tools facilitates the process of achieving accuracy in the design and dimension of various metals – such as carbon steel,  stainless steel, and aluminum to mention a few.

These tools used by fabricators to attain precision and meet desired requirements are used for:

  • Framing
  • Laser Cutting
  • Welding
  • Punching
  • Drilling & more

However, one size doesn’t fit all in the metal fabrication process and this is apparent in the variety of metal fabrication tools utilized to get neat cuts and precise dimensions. Some of the tools are; grinder, wire cutters, drill bits, and downdraft cutting tables to list a few. In custom metal fabrication, the era of 2D and 3D modelling through the SolidWorks platform has become a conventional technique commonly used by fabricators.

SolidWorks & Metal Fabrication Accuracy

Machinists and fabricators comprehend the importance of design and accuracy in custom metal fabrication and as such imbibe the use of SolidWorks from the mill to inspection and engraving stages. SolidWorks encompass a 2D model for cutting, milling, turning, inspection, and engraving. The 3D model allows for computerized machine fabrication with cloud-based integration. During the preparatory and development stage, SOLIDWORKS CAD and Finite Element Analysis are imperative to building and virtually testing processes.

SolidWorks Features

The diverse features of Solidworks, especially 2D and 3D modelling, provide ease in sheet metal fabrication and additionally bolsters productivity & profitability. Other SolidWorks features include:

  • Weldments
  • Conceptual Design
  • Large Assembly Design
  • Mold Design
  • Configurations

In the aspect of design, the accuracy of the tools reduces leftover scraps and ultimately improves the quality of the end product. However, in other situations, machine accuracy is easily achieved after digital adjustments are made. Top-notch surface finish and punching equipment used in fabrication achieve precise cuts and finishes.

With the virtual design, a fabricator can seamlessly communicate with clients to keep them involved every step of the way. It also allows for smooth and easy adjustment of design; to add new features or make corrections. All of these advantages are useable in the development of custom metal fabrication.

A Cut Above Commitment – VeriForm

VeriForm is an industry-leading fabricating company with in-depth experience in CWB welding, structural pipes, and rolling sheet metal. At VeriForm, we manufacture under the ISO quality system. VeriForm uses platforms and tools like SolidWorks to provide our valued customers with accurate and detailed engineering drawings to ensure we know exactly what you want to satisfy your needs. Contact VeriForm to learn more about our custom metal fabrication tools and processes. Learn more about our innovative fabrication equipment such as the Horizontal Pressbrake and a host of many other state-of-the-art fabrication tools for bending various metals.

Yale School Of The Environment Article: Fulfilling The Energy Efficiency Promise

June 29, 2021

“Among the many measures the world can take to wean itself off fossil fuels, few match the benefits of making homes, business, and cares more energy efficient. But financial and psychological barriers have kept individuals, businesses and governments from realizing efficiency’s great potential.” – Jon Luoma

Paul Rak along with his company VeriForm Inc. was recently featured in an article written by Jon Luoma and was published at the Yale School of the Environment. This article shines a light on Paul Rak’s decision and investment towards becoming a more energy-efficient Canadian metal fabrication company. It also touches on subjects such as financial and psychological barriers that have prevented companies from fulfilling the energy efficiency promise.

Since 2006, Paul Rak was inspired to do whatever he can to cut his company’s greenhouse gas emissions. After investing $46,000 in energy efficiency, the company immediately benefited from this decision after a return on investment of $90,000 from reduced energy bills annually. That comes out to approximately 200% return on investments. Since then, VeriForm Inc. has been able to cut energy costs by 58%. They’ve also reduced its greenhouse gas emission by 233 metric tons per year. The Canadian government recognized his efforts and granted Paul Rak a $100,000 award. To learn more about how VeriForm and other companies are taking steps towards a greener future, follow the link below.

To read the full article, click here.

VeriForm Wins Net Zero Award - Sustainable Waterloo Region

June 25, 2021

At VeriForm, we are very proud to announce that we are the recipient of the 2020 Net Zero award that’s presented by Sustainable Waterloo Region!

For the past six reporting years, VeriForm has maintained an absolute net-zero inventory. In 2020, GHG emissions were reduced by 75%. Evidently, only 25% of our emissions were offset compared to the year 2006. VeriForm also goes above and beyond when it comes to reporting. We also include all the information that we have along with information on Scope 3 emissions that are optional in the sustainable program structure.

Video of Paul Rack Accepting Net-Zero Award

What is the Net Zero Award?

This award recognizes a member that has reduced and/or offset their entire greenhouse gas emission inventory. It also demonstrates the member’s success in maintaining a zero inventory for one or more reporting years. *Taken off sustainablewaterlooregion.ca website.

At VeriForm, it continues to be an honour to represent sustainability in our community. To view our award on the Sustainable Waterloo Region website, click here.

The Advantages Of Laser Cutting

June 15, 2021

For quite some time now, laser cutting has emerged as an optimal choice in metal cutting techniques. The field of mechanics, robotics, and IT has coalesced to replace the manual approach with computerized machines to achieve precision and high-quality smooth finish in metal cutting. Nowadays, bringing digital designs to reality in metal fabrication uses CNC laser cutting methods. In many industries such as construction and manufacturing, lasers are used to cut through steel, aluminum, tungsten, and nickels to name a few. To learn more about the advantages of laser cutting, continue reading.

Advantages Of CNC Laser Cutting

With the use of laser optics and computer numeric control, metals are cut smoothly according to preset measurements. This process entails a laser beam that melts through metals or vaporizes the metal leaving a smooth and clean cut behind. There are many advantages of laser cutting such as being an ideal tool replacing plasma cutting. Laser cutting gives more precise cuts using less energy.

Versatile Application

One of the major reasons why VeriForm advocates and incorporates the use of laser cutting techniques is due to the versatility it offers in metal cutting. The laser beam is universal and is used to cut through different metals, shapes, and thickness all while not requiring any changes. For this reason, it’s even applicable to achieve intricate and detailed cuts without any unnecessary tool changes need. CNC laser cutting doesn’t require any custom-built tools in order to complete your projects.

Precision & Repetitive Process

One of the obvious advantages of laser cutting is the precise cuts it gives compared to other forms of thermal methods or the outdated manual method. It uses an extremely small but powerful laser to complete a variety of projects. Once the accurate measurements have been set, the same dimensions can be efficiently repeated on subsequent metals cut by the laser. This repetitive process takes us to the next advantage, and that is speed.

Speed & More…

Experts at VeriForm hammer on the speed laser cutting gives compared to mechanical methods particularly. The advantage of the speed becomes more pronounced in achieving complex metal cuts. Plasma and flame cutting methods perform below par in terms of thick cuts. Laser slices through thick metals faster and more accurately. Other supplementary advantages include quality cuts and automated systems that require less human control to avoid unwanted errors. CNC laser cutting done right causes no damage or warping to even thin metals. Fewer mistakes mean less metal wasted, which in turn, saves you more on production and material cost.

Contact VeriForm For CNC Laser Cutting

In conclusion, large-scale industrial metal sheet cut, CNC laser cutting proves a lot more beneficial and practical. The industrial metal cutting and fabrication process require accuracy of the highest quality. To get such, the use of laser cutting plays a huge role.

At VeriForm, we work hard to provide top-notch sheet metal fabricating services for different sectors. Ultimately, we incorporate laser cutting to obtain clean and precise cuts. This ensures prompt delivery while taking advantage of the speed laser cutting provides. Contact us today to get a quote. Visit VeriForm to learn about our services; best cutting practices and our standards of operation. We guarantee that we’ll provide a cut above commitment.

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