Industrial metal enclosures often follow a set of design guidelines that ensure manufacturability. If you are familiar with the basics, it makes your job easier. There are now several CAD programs designed to help engineers in the planning and design development stages.
Here are some ways to ensure that your metal fabrication designs are up to standard at every stage.
Metal Fabrication Tips: Sheet Metal Enclosure Design
1. Consider Metal Selection
What type of metal are you working with, and how thick does it need to be? Some standard varieties include:
Cold rolled steel
The above materials are each different and will respond differently when welded, bent, or in environments that are prone to corrosion.
2. Test Minimum Bend Radius
When making sheet metal enclosure designs, remember that they must be fabricated by clamping and bending. Corners are curved to form the round shapes necessary.
Always determine your material’s strength. Depending on its chemical composition, thickness, and surface condition, you can test its flexibility. Soft aluminum and low-carbon steel can usually be bent to a sharper radius.
If you are using CAD software to create your designs, you can digitally calculate the bend allowance of the sheet metal.
3. Use Custom Cutouts
Some engineering design programs allow you to specify your needs and select custom enclosure templates. If you are new to creating sheet metal enclosure design, this option is useful.
4. Try Self-Clinching Fasteners
For the most secure fastening points, you can use threaded nuts and studs known as self-clinching fasteners. These will help with component-mounting problems.
5. Weld ‘em
Welding adds strength to enclosures and makes your sheet metal enclosures watertight.
To get the job done fast, you can specify spot welding, an efficient method for securing and closing any parts of the metal. Seam welding and tack welding are different approaches to enclosures.
At Blackstone Advanced Technologies, we have a combined 150 years’ experience in design for manufacturing. If you need detailed guides on the design process, just get in touch with us.