What is Sheet Metal Assembly?

This is the process of joining two or more separate components into a finished product. These components can be made of any variety of metal including steel, copper, plated materials, aluminum, or whatever metal best suits the project at hand.

There are numerous methods for assembling sheet metal, and what method is preferred depends on the materials being assembled, the function of the finished product, the environment the product is being installed into, and the desired durability of the finished, assembled product.

Welding is a very common technique used to assemble sheet metal. Multiple kinds of welding have been developed as the metals industry has grown and evolved, and the selection of welding technique relies heavily on the kind and size of the materials being used. Arc welding, oxy-fuel welding, resistance welding, laser beam welding, and electron welding are the primary types of welding being used today. Arc welding uses an electrical current to create a bond between materials.

Different categories fall within arc welding and include submerged arc welding, which is commonly used in shipbuilding; gas metal arc welding, which is used for non-ferrous materials; shielded metal arc welding, which uses a consumable electrode; flux-cored welding, which revolutionized the speed at which welders could work. All of these methods are just to name a few.

Resistance welding is a method that uses the material’s resistance to the electrical current to create the heat needed to bond the materials. Spot welding and seam welding are both forms of resistance welding as well as flash welding, projection welding, and upset welding.

Oxy-fuel welding, or oxyacetylene welding uses a gas to generate the heat to bond the materials together. Most commonly oxyacetylene is used, but other gases can be used depending on the material being welded. Whatever other gas is used, it is always passed through a steam of oxygen in order to create the combustion process that creates the weld. Laser beam welding uses laser beams as a concentrated heat source to join the two metals, and electron beam welding uses an electron beam as the heat source.

Besides welding there are numerous other techniques to joining sheet metal.

Riveting, bolting, screwing, and clipping are all potential assembly routes, and the efficacy of each technique will depend on the finished product itself. There are even some sheet metal components that are designed to fit together in a slot-A/tab-B configuration without the help of any major assembly process.