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Sheet metal processing process research

October 5, 2022

Sheet metal workpieces are widely used for their lightweight, high precision, and pleasing appearance. With the spread of electronic technology and equipment, the sheet metal processing process has changed qualitatively in more areas. Modern machinery and equipment have simplified the machining process and improved efficiency significantly, making it the primary process for producing complex parts in the manufacturing industry. The sheet metal working process is divided into three main steps. The process of sheet metal working is the initial processing of the sheet material, followed by the forming of the workpiece using CNC welding equipment, and finally, the surface treatment of the sheet metal workpiece to extend its service life.



1.Basic overview of sheet metal processing




The sheet metal working process is the basis for the management and execution of the sheet metal working process. It is the basic rule for improving the efficiency and level of manufacturing of the workpiece. The definition of sheet metal comes from the UK. It refers to the process of deforming thin, uniformly thick sheet metal by stamping or manual processes, with the possibility of adding some adjustment processes to make more complex manufactured parts.


Traditional sheet metal processing usually involves shearing, cutting, coiling, welding, and other treatments, as well as shears, punching machines, bending machines, and other surface treatment equipment. Car shells, tin stoves, and metal cabinets are all sheet metal parts in daily life. With the development of science and technology, the sheet metal processing process has undergone specific technical changes, from cutting, bending, and grinding by hand or rough equipment to more scientific and technological processing methods such as laser cutting, plasma cutting, and roll forming. The surface treatment of sheet metal parts has also become an essential part of today's processing process, given the new sensual nature of modern people. To ensure that the finished metal does not rust or wear out, the surface of the sheet metal needs to be de-oiled, de-oxidized, baked, and coated with a corrosion-resistant layer. Therefore, to guarantee the quality of manufacturing products, it is essential to strengthening the research and exploration of the sheet metal processing process.


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2.The specific process of sheet metal processing





2.1 The process of sheet metal processing



The popularization of mechatronics equipment has made the processing equipment of sheet metal processing process also start the era of numerical control. The application of CNC punching machines and laser cutting machines has made the sheet metal unloading process more delicate and accurate. In processing sheet metal undercutting, the selection of metal plates and the grasp of punching size are the focus of the whole process. In using a CNC punching machine to punch the material, strict compliance with the drawing and analysis of the material's mechanical properties are the key points to ensure the undercutting steps. In addition to sheet metal punching, there are other methods of material cutting, shearing, and laser punching, all of which require reasonable control of the material properties and dimensions.



2.2 Bending process




The bending process of sheet metal is a step based on the processing capability of the equipment, and it requires attention to some of the processing indicators. The first is the minimum radius of sheet metal bending. The mechanical properties of different metal profiles are different, so the curvature of the bending process varies. The corresponding processing standards must be implemented according to their minimum bending radius. Secondly, the height of the straight edge and the distance between the holes need to be noted. In the sheet metal bending process, the straight edge's height directly affects the subsequent processing process. At the same time, the opening is an essential step in the bending process and a decisive step in the productivity of sheet metal parts. Therefore, guaranteeing that the workpiece after the opening will not be mechanically affected by the material is the key to perfecting the whole sheet metal processing process.



2.3 Welding and surface treatment




Many parts used in manufacturing projects are made up of several components, and the best way to do this in the sheet metal working process is by welding. Welding is a molecular or atomic level joining method that meets sheet metal parts' strength and accuracy requirements. Many types of welding are used in sheet metal processing, such as arc welding, gas welding, brazing, etc. Therefore, the actual sheet metal processing process requires selecting a suitable welding method according to the characteristics of the material.


The part is finished with a suitable surface treatment at the end of each sheet metal processing step. The essential part is the plating of the cold worked sheet metal. For example, the surface treatment of stainless steel sheet can be added to the bending step by brushing, while aluminum sheet usually needs to be adequately oxidized.



3.Extended technologies for sheet metal processing





3.1 Computer-aided technology



The design of many sheet metal parts is still done by hand, which makes it difficult to standardize the quality of the manufactured sheet metal parts. For this reason, researchers have developed computer-aided process software that creates perfect processing models following the dimensions of the workpiece. The computer-aided process for sheet metal parts usually consists of a database and a functional system, which is programmed to set up the process modules and then integrates the sheet metal parts information base by outputting the process card files to complete the computer design of the sheet metal parts.



3.2 Application of laser processing technology




In recent years, laser sheet metal processing technology has emerged as the most widely used for sheet metal perforation because of its coherence and good directionality. When focused at a certain point on the sheet, the laser instantaneously generates heat that vaporizes the metal, thus solving many of the problems associated with traditional sheet metal processing. In traditional sheet metal processing, the equipment is usually fixed. However, in laser processing, the cutting end can be moved flexibly, and the whole process is strictly controlled by a computer, which can improve the cutting accuracy and the quality and efficiency of the sheet metal processing process.



4.Considerations for the sheet metal processing process




In the design part of the sheet metal working process, it is necessary to pay attention to the results of splitting the sheet material. First, the components' elements and structure should be analyzed to establish a scientific and perfect sheet metal design model. Secondly, the use of tools in the machining process should be selected according to the materials used, as a direct consequence of mixing them will cause damage to the tools.


Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the wear and tear of the tools in practice and to check and replace them as soon as they exceed the margin of error. When bending sheet metal, the position and direction of the bend must be determined and placed. In addition, the bend's angle needs to be considered in the cosmetic treatment. In the case of multiple steps interfering with each other, the processing sequence should be arranged so that the burden of the surface treatment process is not increased.







In summary, sheet metal processing has become increasingly sophisticated with the development of science and technology. Therefore, optimizing the production process of sheet metal parts is the direction of reform and innovation for modern manufacturing enterprises.


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