Steel is one of the most widely used metals for sheet metal fabrication, found in almost every industry from consumer products to heavy manufacturing. It is a low-cost material with good mechanical properties, excellent formability, and is also compatible with a wide range of surface finishes that can improve its corrosion resistance or enhance its aesthetics.
Steel is one of the most widely used manufacturing materials and offers a great balance between cost and functionality since it can easily be bent and welded. Steel typically contains about 1% carbon plus smaller amounts of other elements to improve its mechanical properties. Steel also responds well to heat treatment—a fact that can further improve its mechanical properties.
|Application||Steel sheet metal has a wide range of applications which can include enclosures for consumer products and mounting brackets.|
|Advantages||Good mechanical properties, excellent formability, low cost|
|Disdvantages||Poor corrosion resistance|
|Lead Time||3 days|
|Tolerances||Bent parts achieve a cutout accuracy of +/- 0.0020” (0.0508 mm)|
|Sheet Thickness||Maximum of 3/8” (9.525mm) and a minimum of 0.0126” (0.32 mm)|
Generally referred to as mild steel, 1018 is highly formable, making it the ideal steel grade for sheet metal fabrication. It has poor corrosion resistance so it needs some form of additional surface protection if it will be exposed to the elements or corrosive environments.
|Tensile Strength, Yield (MPa)||Shear Modulus (GPa)||Elongation at Break (%)||Hardness (Brinell)||Density (g/cm^3)|
Xometry offers a wide range of surface finishes that can be used on steel for sheet metal fabrication applications.
Steel for sheet metal fabrication is a low-cost material but care must still be taken to manage expenditures.
DFM: The first opportunity to save costs on steel sheet metal parts is by following sheet metal DFM (design-for-manufacturing) principles. The design process itself should take into account the complexities of the manufacturing processes. An example is to include bend-relief cutouts that eliminate tears or cracks that might otherwise form at sharp bends. Review the Xometry Sheet Metal Design Guide to learn how to achieve the functionality you need using common sheet metal fabrication techniques.