Tips on Selecting the Perfect Prototype Sheet Metal for Your Needs
Sheet metal is one of the widely used materials for different products. It can become enclosures, car bodies, cabinets, brackets, assemblies, housings, and other parts and prototypes. Choosing sheet metal prototyping requires selecting an appropriate material that will suit your product based on factors like shape, width, type of metal, and the qualities of your final product. But how do you choose the best prototype sheet metal? Here are some tips to help with that:
Consider the hardness
Hardness is the capability of a metal to withstand deformation when subject to load, impact, or abrasion, and it is measured according to the material’s resistance to scratches, bounces, and indentations. It’s an attribute that may be crucial for product prototypes that can stand up to load and abrasion. Titanium, stainless steel, cast iron, brass, and bronze are some metals with high levels of hardness.
Think about the purpose and end-use
The objectives and uses for your product can help you pick the perfect prototype sheet metal. Moreover, consider the conditions the prototypes will be subject to and the other components the product will interact with.
Examine the geometry and shape of the product
Will your prototype require complex linear forms or basic bends? Get to know the characteristics and qualities of different materials, such as stainless steel, tool steel, aluminum, copper, and titanium, and determine the compatible procedures and materials to determine if they can produce the expected results.
Think about the conditions that can affect the prototype sheet metal. Some metals are more corrosion resistant and can withstand elements like water and oxidation. Consider galvanic corrosion, too, as it could occur when different metals come in contact with each other.
Every sheet metal prototyping technique can produce a specific metal length. For instance, roll-forming can generate pieces up to 16 meters long. So, consider the size of the prototype sheet metal, especially the length to determine the best material and technique.
Talk to the service provider.
Reputable providers of sheet metal prototyping services can review your project for free. They give tips on selecting the best materials and processes while considering your project’s requirements and have your best interests in mind.