Jump to navigation
Product manufacturing starts with the choice of raw material. Raw materials comprise about 60 % of the typical product cost. The remaining are manufacturing costs and overheads. The raw material is the very essence of the product and any reduction in the cost without compromising the quality will benefit the product in the competitive market. The raw material choice depends upon the structural strength required, process complexity, and the final finish. Consider high strength low thickness sheets wherever possible. For components where a natural finish is sought, design the process to protect the natural finish from damages due to processes and handling. In such cases design parts with less mobility from workstation to workstation.
Sheet metal processes surprisingly high strength. Like in structural angles and channels in steel, thin metals also can be bent into profiles with good structural strength characteristics. For example, the whole weight of an aircraft with a full load is entirely carried out by aluminium alloy structures.
Thin metal profiles are also widely used in structural frames for electronic enclosures and architectural frameworks. Thick metal profiles are used in architectural applications. The all-around material is steel. The kitchenware material is stainless steel. The light and durable material is aluminium. The high-strength materials are titanium. One can refer to a wide variety of materials and their grades that are available.
2. Typical grades of sheets and their applications