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Bending is a process by which metal can be deformed by plastically deforming the material and changing
its shape. The material is stressed beyond the yield strength but below the ultimate tensile strength. The
surface area of the material does not change much. Bending usually refers to deformation about one
Bending is a flexible process by which many different shapes can be produced. Standard die sets are used
to produce a wide variety of shapes. The material is placed on the die, and positioned in place with stops
and/or gages. It is held in place with hold-downs. The upper part of the press, the ram with the
appropriately shaped punch descends and forms the v-shaped bend.
Bending is done using ress Bra!es. ress Bra!es normally have a capacity of "# to "## tons to
accommodate stoc! from $m to %.&m '( feet to $& feet). *arger and smaller presses are used for
speciali+ed applications. rogrammable bac! gages, and multiple die sets available currently can ma!e for
a very economical process.
Air Bending is done with the punch touching the wor!piece and the wor!piece, not bottoming in the lower
cavity. This is called air bending. ,s the punch is released, the wor!piece ends up with less bend than
that on the punch 'greater included angle). This is called spring-bac!. The amount of spring bac!
depends on the material, thic!ness, grain and temper. The spring bac! usually ranges from & to $#
degrees. -sually the same angle is used in both the punch and the die to minimi+e setup time. The inner
radius of the bend is the same as the radius on the punch.
Bottoming or Coining is the bending process where the punch and the wor!piece bottom on the die. This
ma!es for a controlled angle with very little spring bac!. The tonnage re.uired on this type of press is
more than in air bending. The inner radius of the wor!piece should be a minimum of $ material thic!ness
in the case of bottoming/ and upto #.0& material thic!ness, in the case of coining.
Design Considerations
The bend radius should be !ept the same for all radiuses in the part to minimi+e set up changes. Bend
radius guidelines are as follows1
2 3or most materials, the minimum inner radius should be at least $ material thic!ness.
2 ,s a general rule, bending perpendicular to rolling direction is easier than rolling parallel to the
rolling direction. Bending parallel to the rolling direction can often lead to fracture in hard materials.
Thus bending parallel to rolling direction is not recommended for cold rolled steel 4 5b 0#. ,nd no
bending is acceptable for cold rolled steel 4 5b 6&. 7ot rolled steel can be bent parallel to the rolling
2 The minimum flange width should be at least % times the stoc! thic!ness plus the bending radius.
8iolating this rule could cause distortions in the part or damage to tooling or operator due to
2 Slots or holes too close to the bend can cause distortion of these holes. 7oles or slots should be
located a minimum of ( stoc! thic!ness plus the bend radius. If it is necessary to have holes closer,
then the hole or slot should de extended beyond the bend line.
2 9imensioning of the part should ta!e into account the stac! up of dimensions that can happen and
mounting holes that can be made oblong should be.
2 arts should be inspected in a restrained position, so that the natural flexure of the parts does not
affect measurements. Similarly inside dimensions in an inside bend should be measured close to the
The Computer Numerical Control (CNC) fabrication process offers flexible manufacturing runs
without high capital expenditure dies and stamping presses. 7igh volumes are not re.uired to :ustify the
use of this e.uipment.
Tooling is mounted on a turret which can be as little as $# sets to as much as $## sets. This turret is
mounted on the upper part of the press, which can range in capacity from $# tons to $## tons in
The turret travels on lead screws, which travel in the ; and < direction and are computer controlled.
,lternatively, the wor!piece can travel on the lead screws, and move relative to the fixed turret. The
tooling is located over the sheet metal, the punch is activated, and performs the operation, and the turret
is indexed to the next location of the wor!piece. ,fter the first stage of tooling is deployed over the entire
wor!piece, the second stage is rotated into place and the whole process is repeated. This entire process
is repeated until all the tooling positions of the turret are deployed.
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2 The process is very flexible in being able to produce many different configurations of parts due to the
modular nature of the tooling employed. In most cases, most of the punches and dies are already
available and they can be mixed and matched to produce a variety of configurations.
2 9ue to the fact that most of the tooling is =available=/ the lead-time for tooling is reduced or non-
existent. ,ll that needs to be done is to schedule the wor! order in the production shop, after the
programming of the >?> process is done.
2 The .uantities that can be economically made can be in the thousands depending on the complexity
of the part. Simple outer contours and normal si+e holes will allow the use of this process for many
thousands of parts. 7owever, when the part design involves irregular outer contours or large holes
re.uiring a long cycle time, then dedicated tooling can be :ustified for smaller production runs.
>ertain parts with tightly spaced hole patterns or slots re.uire expensive dedicated tooling, however
with the >?> turret press, these parts can be easily made using standard tooling.
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Design Considerations
2 To maximi+e utilization of material, parts are nested as close to each other as possible. They are
separated from one another by =micro-ties= which are small width strips that hold the parts together
during the punching process. ,fter punching, the parts are separated by vibrating them in a sha!er.
The parts are !nown as =sha!er parts= or =sha!e a part=. This is very cost effective since no special
tooling is necessary for separating them.
2 Burrs are inevitable in the stamping process. The burrs are formed on the side of the sheet metal
where the punch exits. roperly maintained tools 'proper die clearance and sharpening) have burrs
that are less than $# @ of stoc! thic!ness. Ahen designing parts, the burrs should be confined to
areas that will not be exposed to handling and should be either folded away or otherwise shielded
form the user. Btherwise, an added operation of deburring needs to be done at added cost.
2 Flatness/bowing can be an issue if the hole pattern is tight, and/or where excessive material is
punched out. This releases the residual stresses in the material, which causes bowing or twisting of
the part. roper use of clamping and strippers can minimi+e this, as can subse.uent straightening
operations. 5ecogni+ing which side the bow can occur can also allow some designs to accept this out
of flat condition by designing features that are not sensitive to this condition.
2 Edge conditions. Cuite often, curves and other difficult features are produced by punching out small
sections at a time. This process is called nibbling. This leads to triangular shaped features. These
triangular shaped features give the edge a scalloped loo!. This scalloping can be pronounced if the
nibbling pitch is coarse. The amount of scalloping that can be accepted is a function of tooling and
product cost. >lamp mar!s are cosmetic in nature, and if ob:ectionable, can be so positioned to cut
them away in subse.uent processing.
2 Lockwashers for threads can be eliminated by forming a dome on the side opposite to the screw
head. ,s the screw is tightened, the domed thread form loc!s against the male thread and prevents
the screw from vibrating loose in service.
2 arts that need to be welded can be positioned very precisely using shear buttons. Shear buttons on
one surface are snugly fitted inside the corresponding holes into the other surface. This allows the
parts to be self-:igging and eliminate the need for fixtures and other hold-downs.
2 Dimensioning. ,s in all part design, the designer should be aware of process strengths, wea!nesses.
9atums should be through hole centers rather than edges of parts. This is because edges can have
tapers or roll-offs, which can s!ew a datum and subse.uent measurement. Sound practice of
tolerancing methods such as geometric dimensioning and tolerancing are appropriate for the
dimensioning of these parts.
2 rocess !olerances. 3eature tolerances can vary from D#.$" to D#.(6 mm 'D#.##& to D#.#$& in).
The program can be twea!ed 'a littleE) to improve these numbers. 5epeatability is #.#& mm '#.##"
in) as long as the machine lead screw advances only in one direction.
Laser cutting machines can accurately produce complex exterior contours. The laser beam is typically
#." mm '#.##6 in) diameter at the cutting surface with a power of $### to "### watts.
*aser cutting can be complementary to the >?>/Turret process. The >?>/Turret process can produce
internal features such as holes readily whereas the laser cutting process can produce external complex
features easily.
*aser cutting ta!es direct input in the form of electronic data from a >,9 drawing to produce flat form
parts of great complexity. Aith (-axis control, the laser cutting process can profile parts after they have
been formed on the >?>/Turret process.
*asers wor! best on materials such as carbon steel or stainless steels. Fetals such as aluminum and
copper alloys are more difficult to cut due to their ability to reflect the light as well as absorb and conduct
heat. This re.uires lasers that are more powerful.
Design Considerations
2 *asers cut by melting the material in the beam path. Faterials that are heat treatable will get case
hardened at the cut edges. This may be beneficial if the hardened edges are functionally desirable in
the finished parts. 7owever, if further machining operations such as threading are re.uired, then
hardening is a problem.
2 , hole cut with a laser has an entry diameter larger than the exit diameter, creating a slightly tapered
2 The minimum radius for slot corners is #.0& mm '#.#(# in). -nli!e blan!ing, piercing, and forming,
the normal design rules regarding minimum wall thic!nesses, minimum hole si+e 'as a percent of
stoc! thic!ness) do not apply. The minimum hole si+es are related to stoc! thic!ness and can be as
low as "#@ of the stoc! thic!ness, with a minimum of #."& mm '#.#$# in) for upto $.G mm '#.#0&
in). >ontrast this with normal piercing operations with the recommended hole si+e $." times the stoc!
2 Burrs are .uite small compared to blan!ing and shearing. They can be almost eliminated when (9
lasers are used and further, eliminate the need for secondary deburring operations.
2 ,s in blan!ing and piercing, considerable economies can be obtained by nesting parts, and cutting
along common lines. In addition, secondary deburring operations can be reduced or eliminated.
Shearing is a process for cutting sheet metal to si+e out of a larger stoc! such as roll stoc!. Shears are
used as the preliminary step in preparing stoc! for stamping processes, or smaller blan!s for >?>
Faterial thic!ness ranges from #.$"& mm to H.(& mm '#.##& to #."&# in). The dimensional tolerance
ranges from D#.$"& mm to D$.& mm 'D#.##& to D#.#H# in).
The shearing process produces a shear edge burr, which can be minimi+ed to less than $#@ of the
material thic!ness. The burr is a function of clearance between the punch and the die 'which is nominally
designed to be the material thic!ness), and the sharpness of the punch and the die.
Design Considerations
2 Faterial selected for shearing should be standard stoc! si+es to minimi+e the extra costs associated
with special slitting.
2 Burrs and hold down mar!s which are inevitable, should be considered in the design of the end
product. Burrs should be !ept away from handling areas, preferably folded away, or in some obscure
area. The same can be done with hold down mar!s too.
Staking is a method of fastening 'usually sheet metal) by s.uee+ing protrusion formed in one part inside
a hole in the second part, and then deforming the protrusion. The act of deformation causes radial
expansion of the inner part and loc!s it in the hole.
The operations associated with stamping are blanking, piercing, forming, and drawing.
These operations are done with dedicated tooling also !nown as hard tooling. This type of tooling is used
to ma!e high volume parts of one configuration of part design. 'By contrast, soft tooling is used in
processes such as >?> turret presses, laser profilers and press bra!es). ,ll these operations can be done
either at a single die station or multiple die stations I performing a progression of operations, !nown as
a progressi"e die.
!uipment "#pes
The e.uipments of stamping can be categori+ed to two types1 mechanical presses and hydraulic presses.
$echanical %resses1 Fechanical presses has a mechanical flywheel to store the energy, transfer it to
the punch and to the wor!piece. They range in si+e from "# tons up to H### tons. Stro!es range from &
to &## mm '#." to "# in) and speeds from "# to $&## stro!es per minute. Fechanical presses are well
suited for high-speed blan!ing, shallow drawing and for ma!ing precision parts.
&#draulic %resses1 7ydraulic resses use hydraulics to deliver a controlled force. Tonnage can vary
from "# tons to a $#,### tons. Stro!es can vary from $# mm to 6## mm '#.% to (" in). 7ydraulic
presses can deliver the full power at any point in the stro!e/ variable tonnage with overload protection/
and ad:ustable stro!e and speed. 7ydraulic presses are suitable for deep-drawing, compound die action
as in blan!ing with forming or coining, low speed high tonnage blan!ing, and force type of forming rather
than displacement type of forming.
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"ooling Considerations
2 Bptimum clearance 'total J per side K ") should be from "# to "&@ of the stoc! thic!ness. This can
be increased to (#@ to increase die life.
2 unch life can be extended by sharpening whenever the punch edge becomes #.$"& mm '#.##& in)
radius. 3re.uent sharpening extends the life of the tool, cuts down on the punch force re.uired.
Sharpening is done by removing only #.#"& to #.#& mm '#.##$ to #.##" in) of the material in one
pass with a surface grinder. This is repeated until the tool is sharp. If it is done fre.uently enough,
only #.$"& to #."& mm '#.##& to #.#$# in) of the punch material is removed.
2 Lrinding is to be done with the proper wheel for the tool steel in .uestion. >onsult with the abrasive
manufacturer for proper choice of abrasive material, feeds and speeds, and coolant.
2 ,fter sharpening the edge is to be lightly stoned to remove grinding burrs and end up with a #.#"&
to #.#& mm '#.##$ to #.##" in) radius. This will reduce the chance of chipping.
2 unching 3orce1 unching can be done without shear or with shear.
- unching without shear. This is the case where the entire punch surface stri!es the material
s.uare, and the complete shear is done along the entire cutting edge of the punch at the same
time. unching 3orce J unch erimeter K Stoc! thic!ness K Faterial Shear Strength.
unch 9iameter J "& mm '$ in),
>ircumference J 06.&% mm '(.#G" in)
Thic!ness J $.& mm, '#.#H# in)
Faterial Shear Strength 'Steel) J #.(%& !?/mm
'"& tons/in
unching 3orce J 06.&% K $.& K #.(%& '(.#G K #.#H# K "&)
J %#.H& !? '%.H% tons)
J %.$% Fetric Tons '%.H% -S Tons)
- unching with shear. This is the case where the punch surface penetrates the material in the
middle, or at the corners, first, and as the punch descends the rest of the cutting edges contact
the material and shear the material. The distance between the first contact of the punch with the
material, to when the whole punch starts cutting, is the Shear 9epth. Since the material is cut
gradually 'not all at the same time initially), the tonnage re.uirement is reduced considerably.

- The unching 3orce calculated above is multiplied by a shear factor, which ranges in value form #.&
to #.G depending on the material, thic!ness, and shear depth. 3or shear depths of $.& mm '#.#H#
in) the shear factor ranges from #.& 'for $." mm / #.#%0 in stoc!) to #.G 'for H."& mm / #."& in
stoc!). 3or shear depth of ( mm '#.$"# in) the shear factor is #.&.
unching 3orce J unch erimeter K Stoc! thic!ness K Faterial Shear Strength K Shear 3actor.
Since shear factor is about #.&, the unching 3orce is reduced by about &#@.
3or the same example above,
unching 3orce J 06.&% K $.& K #.(%& '(.#G K #.#H# K "&) K #.& 'Shear 3actor)
J %#.H& !? '%.H% tons) K #.&
J ".#0 Fetric Tons '".(" -S Tons)
Blanking is cutting up a large sheet of stoc! into smaller pieces suitable for the next operation in
stamping, such as drawing and forming. Bften this is combined with piercing.
Blan!ing can be as simple as a coo!ie cutter type die to produce prototype parts, or high speed dies that
run at $###M stro!es per minute, running coil stoc! which has been slit to a specified width.
3or production parts, the final configuration of the drawn or formed shape needs to be established before
the blan! die can be built-since the blan! si+e and the slit width si+e needs to be established precisely.
Design Considerations
2 >orners should have a minimum radius of #.& x material thic!ness or #.% mm '#.#$Hin) whichever is
greater. Sharper corners can be produced but at a greater die maintenance costs and more burrs.
2 Slots or tabs widths should be greater than $.& ; stoc! thic!ness.
The length can be a maximum of & times slot/tab width.
These rules can be violated at an increased tooling cost-- width as low as $ ; thic!ness and length
as high as 0 ; thic!ness can be achieved.
2 Bn cutoffs, avoid full radiuses across the width of stoc!. , s.uare cut-off is best. If a radius is
necessary, then an angle-blended radius is best.
Burrs1 Burrs are the normal by product of the stamping process. Burrs are often not acceptable, usually
for safety reasons, either for handling or for product safety 'burrs cutting into insulation, or mechanical
chafing). ,nother reason could be to improve surface appearance-discoloration from welding/bra+ing,
oxidation, scale from heat treatment etc.
>osmetics re.uirements of finished parts sometimes re.uire graining. Lraining is used to hide surface
defects by creating uniform scratches using an abrasive belt sander for example. This results in an even
surface appearance. *i!e all finishing operations, this is to be avoided since it adds extra costs to the
product. The grinding grit can range from N$## for removal of gross defects, to about N$6# for materials
that need sil! screening. The abrasives used are dependant on the material. ,luminum oxide is used for
steels and silicon carbide is used for softer materials such as aluminum.
, normal burr from well-maintained tools is usually less than $#@ of material thic!ness. If burrs are not
acceptable 'burr-free re.uirement), then deburring needs to be done. Typically deburring results in a
rounded edge with a radius of #.#& to #.#0& mm '#.##" to #.##( in).
Deburring1 9eburring is done by tumbling parts in a barrel or a vibratory bowl, along with finishing
media. >eramic media is often used for steels. 3or softer materials, plastic media, walnut shells etc can
be used. This type of deburring is usually confined to unfinished materials. 3or materials that are already
finished, such as pre-plated or pre-painted materials bul! deburring operations are not suitable, because
the deburring will remove the finish along with the burrs. 3or these materials, other forms of deburring
such as belt sanding or hand filing will have to be done with the associated higher costs.
9eburring can be avoided by considering the direction of the burrs in the design of the parts. If the burrs
will be in a non-accessible area or will be folded later, then deburring can be avoided.
In dra'ing, a blan! of sheet metal is restrained at the edges, and the middle section is forced by a
punch into a die to stretch the metal into a cup shaped drawn part. This drawn part can be circular,
rectangular or :ust about any cross-section.
9rawing can be either shallow or deep depending on the amount of deformation. Shallow drawing is used
to describe the process where the depth of draw is less than the smallest dimension of the opening/
otherwise, it is considered deep drawing.
9rawing leads to wrin!ling and puc!ering at the edge where the sheet metal is clamped. This is usually
removed by a separate trimming operation.
Design Considerations
2 5ound shapes 'cylinders) are easiest to draw. S.uare shapes can also be drawn if the inside and
outside radiuses are at least H ; stoc! thic!ness. Bther shapes can be produced at the cost of
complexity of tooling and part costs.
2 The corner radiuses can be reduced further by successive drawing operations, provided there is
sufficient height for the draw.
2 erpendicularity can be held to D$O, flatness can be held to #.(@. This can be improved by
performing extra operations.
(orming is similar to bending. >omplex parts such as --sections, channel sections of different profiles
can be produced by doing multiple bends.
There is no change in thic!ness. Lood dimensional repeatability as well as close tolerances is possible
with this process.
Design Considerations
2 Bn bends, the short leg 'inside length) should be a minimum of ".& ; stoc! thic!ness M radius.
2 Finimum hole 'and short slot) to bend distance should be ".& ; the stoc! thic!ness M bend radius.
3or long slots, the distance should be % ; the stoc! thic!ness M bend radius.
2 Bending using tight radiuses or in hard materials often results in burrs and fractures on the outside
of the bends. These can be eliminated by using larger bend radiuses and by providing relief notches
at the edges on the bend line.
2 Bend relief notches should be provided J " ; stoc! thic!nesses in width 'minimum $.&mm / #.#H#
in) and radius M stoc! thic!ness in length.
2 Lenerally, bending perpendicular to rolling direction is easier than rolling parallel to the rolling
direction. Bending parallel to the rolling direction can often lead to fracture in hard materials.
Thus bending parallel to rolling direction is not recommended for cold rolled steel 4 5b 0#. ,nd no
bending is acceptable for cold rolled steel 4 5b 6&.
7ot rolled steel can be bent parallel to the rolling direction.
Drilling, tapping, counterboring, and countersinking are the usual operations done in sheet metals.
Drilling1 9rilling is done in sheet metal only when piercing cannot deliver the accuracy re.uired. 3or
example, on a formed part, when holes on different features need to be coaxial, the accuracy obtained by
machining may be re.uired.
"apping1 Tapping can be done using cut threads or formed threads. 3ormed threads 'thread rolling) is
preferable for the following reasons1
Thread rolling is faster than cutting.
3ewer burrs are generated, so no clean up is re.uired or ris! of future ha+ards such as shorting
with electronic components.
*arger si+ed holes are re.uired for thread rolling vs. tapping, resulting in improved tap life.
5olled threads are stronger due to cold wor!ing. Typically, rolled threads are "#@ stronger than
cut threads.
3or very thin stoc!, either threaded fasteners such as clinch nuts, or forming thread in extruded
holes is recommended.
The material is upset in the sheet metal hole to form one thread pitch.
Counterboring1 >ounterboring is often done to provide clearance and a bearing surface for the
fastenerPs head.
Countersinking1 >ountersin!ing allows for flush mounting of flat head fasteners. >ountersin!ing cannot
always be done for very thin stoc! or for very large fasteners.
%iercing is the operation of cutting internal features 'holes or slots) in stoc!. iercing can also be
combined with other operations such as lance and form 'to ma!e a small feature such as tab), pierce and
extrude 'to ma!e an extruded hole). ,ll these operations can be combined with blan!ing.
iercing of all the holes is best done together to ensure good hole-to-hole tolerance and part
repeatability. 7owever if the material distorts, the method described below can be done.
Ahen there are large numbers of holes, in a tight pitch, there could be distortions, due to the high
amount of tension on the upper surface due to stretching and compression on the bottom surface. This
causes the material not to lay flat. This can be avoided/lessened by staggering the piercing of the holes.
7oles are punched in a staggered pattern/ then the other holes are punched in the alternate staggered
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Design Considerations
2 Finimum hole diameter should be at least "# @ greater than stoc! thic!ness. In the case of
stainless steels, it should be " times the material thic!ness.
2 Finimum wall thic!ness 'distance from hole to edge or hole to hole) should be at least " times stoc!
2 3or non-round slots, the minimum wall thic!ness should be " times thic!ness for short slots Q $#
thic!nesses long/ and % times thic!ness for long slots 4 $# thic!nesses long.
2 Finimum hole 'and short slot) to bend distance should be ".& K the stoc! thic!ness M bend radius.
2 3or long slots, the distance should be % K the stoc! thic!ness M bend radius
+elding is the process of permanently :oining two or more metal parts, by melting both materials. The
molten materials .uic!ly cool, and the two metals are permanently bonded. Spot welding and seam
welding are two very popular methods used for sheet metal parts.
Spot welding is primarily used for :oining parts that normally upto ( mm '#.$"& in) thic!ness.
Spot-weld diameters range from ( mm to $".& mm '#.$"& to #.& in) in diameter.
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2 *ow carbon steel is most suitable for spot welding. 7igher carbon content or alloy steels tend to form
hard welds that are brittle and could crac!. This tendency can be reduced by tempering.
2 ,ustenitic Stainless steels in the (## series can be spot welded as also the 3erritic stainless steels.
Fartensitic stainless steels are not suitable since they are very hard.
2 ,luminums can be welded using high power and very clean oxide free surfaces. >leaning the surface
to be oxide-free, adds extra costs 'that can be avoided with low carbon steel).
2 9issimilar materials cannot be spot welded due to different melt properties and thermal
conductivities. lated steel welding ta!es on the characteristics of the coating. ?ic!el and chrome
plated steels are relatively easy to spot weld, whereas aluminum, tin and +inc need special
preparation inherent to the coating metals.
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$anufacturing Considerations
2 Thic!ness of the parts to be welded should be e.ual or the ratio of thic!nesses should be less than
2 Spacing of welds
Min. Weld to weld spacing = 10 x Stock thickness.
- >enter of weld to edge distance J " x weld diameter, minimum.
- Aeld to form distance J Bend 5adius M $ weld diameter, minimum.
2 ,de.uate access for spot welding should be considered. Small flanges in - channels for example may
restrict the electrode from entering the part.
2 3lat surfaces are easier to spot weld due to easy access. Fultiple bends impose access restrictions,
and special fixtures may have to be designed to handle the parts, if access is not a problem.
2 rior to finishing, the spot welds have to be sanded or ground to blend the welds with the rest of the
2 It is best to choose the same spot weld si+e, to minimi+e setups and increase throughput.
2 lating of spot welded assemblies can cause problems when the sheet metal is overlapped. This can
cause plating salts to be trapped-re.uiring special cleaning, or potential long-term corrosion
problems. By carefully designing the assembly to allow easy draining of plating solutions this can be
2 The mating parts can be self-:igged for easy location prior to welding. This can be done by lancing
one part and locating in a corresponding slot in the other part/ or by boss type extrusion, weld
buttons, in part locating to a slot in the other. This type of design can often eliminate the need for
external fixtures
$etal Inert ,as ($I,) +elding1 ,n arc is struc! between a consumable electrode and the sheet metal
to be welded. The consumable electrode is in the form of continuous filler metal. ,n inert gas surrounds
the arc and shields it from the ambient to prevent oxidation.
>arbon steels, low alloy steels, stainless steels, most aluminum alloys, +inc based copper alloys can be
welded using this process.
"ungsten Inert ,as ("I,) +elding1 ,n arc is truc! between a tungsten electrode 'non-consumable)
and the sheet metal to be welded. ,n inert gas shields the arc from the ambient to prevent oxidation. ,
filler material is optional
>arbon steels, low alloy steels, stainless steels, most aluminum alloys, +inc based copper alloys can be
welded using this process. TIL is .uite suitable for welding dissimilar materials, but usual cautions of
galvanic corrosion still apply.
The TIL process is a slower process compared to the FIL process, but the .uality of weld is cosmetically
better. There is no weld spatter, and the .uality of welds is higher than FIL welding.
)-# Acet#lene ,as +elding1 ,cetylene or some combustible gas is combined with Bxygen and the
flame heats the sheet metal to be welded. , filler metal rod supplies the molten metal for the :oint.
This method is readily available, but the heat can cause distortion in sheet metal. 9ue to this, this
method is being displaced by other methods such as FIL and TIL welding.
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"#pes of +eld .oints
2 Butt, T, corner, lap, and T :oints are the common types of :oints used in sheet metal welding. These
can all be used with FIL and TIL welding.
2 >orner :oints are used fre.uently in sheet metal cabinet construction.
2 Types of welds are often confused with the types of :oints. The basic types of welds are fillet, s.uare,
and grooved.
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$aterial "hickness and +eld Strength
2 FIL welding can be done for thic!nesses ranging from #.& mm to H.( mm '#.#"# to #."&# in). TIL
can be used for thic!nesses as low as #.$"& mm '#.##& in).
2 Aeld strength can be upto the strength of the underlying material. To improve overall system
robustness it is better to increase material thic!ness rather than over specifying the weld.
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$anufacturing Considerations
2 The surface to be welded needs to be clean and degreased and any foreign debris should be
removed. In the case of hot-rolled steel or aluminum, wire brushing may need to be done to remove
scales and oxides, for the highest .uality welds.
2 Aeld distortion occurs whenever a weld is done. This can be minimi+ed by spacing the weld tac!s at
least &# mm '" in) apart. Aelding distortion can also be minimi+ed by fixturing 'and clamping) while
welding as well as heat sin!ing.
2 arts should be designed with features that are self-locating with respect to mating parts. This
removes the need for dedicated fixtures and its costs. 3ixtures also introduce additional tolerances
due to deflections imposed on the parts by the clamping pressure. 3ixtures can also slow down
production due to fact that parts have to be placed in the fixture and clamps 'if any) that need to be
2 Aelds locations should be located with operator access in mind. If it is not accessible to a weld
electrode, it is not weldable. Thus, in designs that involve sections such as channels, boxes access of
electrodes needs to be considered.
2 Tolerancing of welded parts is usually generous. This allows the parts to be welded without too much
elaborate fixturing or secondary processing such as grinding. If tight tolerancing is desired, it is best
achieved by self-locating features on the mating parts.
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Cosmetics Considerations
2 FIL welding causes a lot of spatter that needs to be sanded or filed, if cosmetically ob:ectionable.
Thus, it is best to avoid FIL welding on exterior surfaces if cosmetics are important. TIL welding is
better suited for no spatter welding, even though it is more expensive.
2 The parts that are to be welded need to fit well with each other without too large a gap. This is
particularly important in fusion welding, where no filler material is used. If too large a gap is used,
then excessive shrin!age will ta!e place.
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(inish Considerations
2 arts that need painting will re.uire surface preparation in the form of sanding and grinding. The cost
of this preparation needs to be considered in the total cost.
2 arts that need to be electroplated should have seams that do not overlap, and not have corners or
edges where the plating solutions can be trapped, leading to corrosion in the long term.
%ro/ection 'elding is a variation of spot welding. ro:ections are designed in one part. These act as
current concentrators for the welding process. Ahen the two parts are mated together, these pro:ections
are the high points that first ma!e contact. ,s the power is cycled, the pro:ections simultaneously carry
the current and are welded. This process is !nown as 5esistance ro:ection Aelding, 5A.
9ue to the efficiency of power transfer, thic!er materials can be successfully welded. Faterials as thic! as
( mm '#.$"& in) can be successfully welded. 3or thin stoc!, the traditional spot welding is a preferred
*ow carbon steels, low alloy steels, stainless steels, as well as aluminum can be welded using this
ro:ections are usually semi-spherical or blunt conical type.
ro:ection welding re.uires that the height of pro:ections be controlled to within a range of #.#0& mm
'#.##( in).