Thursday, July 22, 2021

6 Tips To Understand The Sheet Metal Fabrication Process

Rolls of sheet metal on industrial equipment

 Those who work in sheet metal fabrication know that there is a lot that goes into transforming a thin piece of metal into something entirely different. From small nuts and bolts needed for larger items to things like cans for canned goods, household appliances, door handles, handrails, cutlery, faucets, and everything in between - sheet metal fabrication is a huge part of our lives whether we realize it or not. 


How this metal is created into something new is a process many can’t fathom. Here are 6 tips to understand the sheet metal fabrication process. 

1. Industries of all Types Rely on the Sheet Metal Fabrication Process

It is easy to think that sheet metal fabrication is used by businesses that deal in construction or the like, but really there are industries of all types that rely on it. This is just a sample: 


  • Hardware manufacturing 

  • Cutlery manufacturing

  • HVAC manufacturing

  • Farm tool manufacturing

  • Hand tool manufacturing


The aerospace industry and automobile industry also rely heavily on sheet metal fabrication to create their respective forms of travel. 


There is no limit to who can benefit from this process -- and how it can impact your life. 

2. Many Different Metals are Used in Sheet Metal Fabrication

The process of transforming metal doesn’t work with just one kind, but rather a bunch of different metals, including: 


  • Aluminum

  • Copper

  • Galvanized steel

  • Stainless steel

  • Titanium

  • Carbon steel

  • Aluminized metal


This means that sheet metal fabrication can be used to meet a wide variety of needs without limitations. 

3. Sheet Metal Offers High-Precision and Detail

Regardless of the project or need, precision and detail are two key capabilities found in sheet metal fabrication. 


Just like a construction project requires blueprints to create a new home or building, the sheet metal fabrication process requires blueprints, too. These engineered drawings allow the manufacturer to create the finished product. A lot of analysis and intricate calculations are involved in getting them just right. 


Computerized machines then work the metal down to the exact calculation - leaving you with the perfect end product. 

4. Custom Built Designs with Blueprints 

There are many different types of processes that can be used to create a product. That means not all use the same method. Cutting, welding, burning, folding, stamping, and shearing are just a few ways that metal can be fabricated. The blueprints will guide the fabricator to the proper methods that need to be used. 

The ability to pick and choose which methods of sheet metal fabrication will work best with a design is what welcomes wide customizability in this process. 

5. Keep Production Moving Quickly in the Fabrication Process

It may take time for fabricators to analyze the engineered blueprints and determine the best way to approach the project. But, once the initial prototype is created and approved, production can be ramped up and handle heavy demand in a short amount of time.

6. Finishing Touches Seal the Deal

Metal isn’t just fabricated to create some magnificent things in this process. It also includes sealing, surface finishing, sand-blasting, coating, brushing, or any other desired finishes to get the desired aesthetic look, too.

Atlas Bronze for Your Metal Needs

Atlas Bronze is a local brass bronze metal supplier that manufactures made-to-order forgings, plates, and castings. And, even though we don’t supply sheet metal, we understand just how important it is in our world. 


At Atlas Bronze, we have great pricing, quality, fast delivery, and over 25 years of excellence! If you would like to discuss your metal needs, contact us today.


What is Sheet Metal Fabrication?

piles of formed metal parts made from sheet metal

We depend on metal - and our world is full of it. Just take a look at all the things around you -

everywhere you go, metal has been used. It is used in the building and creation of large construction

projects and heavy machinery down to small household appliances and kids’ toys. 


How that metal transforms from big, flat sheets to tiny parts and components is all part of the sheet

metal fabrication process. Let’s take a closer look. 

Sheet Metal Fabrication: Defined

To fabricate something means to invent or manufacture it. Sheet metal fabrication, therefore, means

taking sheets of metal and creating a finished, usable product. It starts with a design and works its

way through a process that turns that design into a reality. 

Developing an Idea

The first step in sheet metal fabrication is developing an idea. What are you trying to create? What will

it look like? What will be required? Your design needs to be realistic and contain the ideas for any

metal components. Addressing the needs of the component, such as its thickness, ways it will bend,

markings and holes, etc. will be done within the initial idea. 

Creating the Blueprints

To put the sheet metal fabrication into motion, an engineer puts together certified drawings that act as

a roadmap for the manufacturer. These blueprints state all the details and specifications of sheet

metal required for the fabrication. 


Once the drawings are complete, they will be reviewed by the manufacturer to ensure that the design

can be manufactured. 

Developing the Prototype

Manufacturing companies will develop a prototype using different methods of sheet metal fabrication.

Finding the right method to obtain the desired outcome - including functionality and aesthetics - comes

with developing the prototype. 

Production Mode

Once the prototype has been tested and meets the requirements of the design, it will be sent into full

production mode. 

Sheet Metal Fabrication Techniques

Not all sheet metal fabrication methods are the same. Different techniques yield different results - and

the desired method will be based on the design. Sometimes when developing prototypes, more than

one technique may be used to find the best result. 


Below are five of the most common sheet metal fabrication techniques used. 

Cutting

Most sheet metal comes in a large, rectangular-shaped piece. So to get it down to the desired size

listed in the blueprints, it needs to be cut. There are many different tools and ways in which this cutting

happens.

Bending

As its name suggests, bending sheet metal means just that - bending it. Some designs will require

simple bends while others may be complex. This process in sheet metal fabrication can be rather

difficult due to the metal's determination to return to its flat state. Bending takes skill. 

Welding

There is a high chance with all sheet metal fabrication processes that two pieces of metal, or two ends

of the same piece of metal, will have to come together. Welding joins metal together using heat. 

Stamping

Stamping is a method that creates shapes and designs and textures on flat sheet metal. Using

pressure and various techniques, this stage will vary greatly from one project to the next based on

design. 

Punching

Punching holes in the metal or indenting it may be a part of the blueprints. If so, force is used to

perforate the metal to create the hole. 

The Finished Product

Sheet metal fabrication doesn’t end with the formation of the metal. For instance, there are different

surface finishes and design styles that can be used based on what you are seeking. 


Metal is one of the most widely-used products due to its ability to be fabricated into nearly anything -

as long as the right skill is involved. 


Atlas Bronze for Your Metal Needs

Though we do not supply sheet metal, we understand how important sheet metal fabrication is to the

world around us. Atlas Bronze is a local brass bronze metal supplier that manufactures made-to-order

forgings, plates, and castings. 


At Atlas Bronze, we have great pricing, quality, fast delivery, and over 25 years of excellence! If you would like to discuss your metal needs, contact us today. 


Friday, June 25, 2021

Copper Corrosion: Why Does It Happen & How to Prevent It

corroded copper penny

 Copper is a popular metal that is found quite regularly in everyday life. It can be found in the plumbing and wiring throughout the home, in household appliances and telephones, as well as in your computer. 


Perhaps why most people turn to copper is that it can easily be combined with other metals, such as tin, zinc, and nickel. Together they produce a strong range of alloys with very useful properties -- making it one of the most versatile metals used by engineers. 


While all of this is wonderful news about copper, what about copper corrosion? Let’s talk about it. 

When Copper Corrosion Happens

Corrosion typically occurs when a metal begins to deteriorate as a reaction to its environment, such as air or water. After exposure to these factors, copper can quickly begin to oxidize. This puts a protective layer of tarnish (aka blue-green color patina) over the surface of the metal - and it acts as a protective barrier against further corrosion. 


Copper corrosion happens incredibly slowly in any normal environment. The longer it is exposed to certain environmental factors, such as water and oxygen, the greater the chance of corrosion to occur. However, when exposed to things such as saltwater, excessive heat, acidic compounds, ammonia, sulfur, etc. the rate of corrosion happens much faster. 

Preventing Copper Corrosion

Whether you have copper home furnishings, pots and pans, or pipes throughout your home, you want to keep them free from corrosion. Showing them some attention early can help prevent bigger problems later. 


To prevent copper corrosion, you essentially want to seal the object so that the metal does not come in contact with the air, water, or any other environmental factor we discussed. For copper pipes and plumbing, sometimes a thick layer of vaseline may do the trick, but you may want to contact a professional. For all other things made of copper, here is an easy two-step process that will help reduce the chance your copper will ever see corrosion. 

Clean the Copper

To clean the copper, you are going to use a mild soap and a soft cloth. Using a soapy water mixture, remove all the grime and dirt that have built up on the object and let it dry.


Next, you are going to create a paste made of vinegar, salt, and baking soda. Using a dry cloth, polish the copper using the paste. You will want to be gentle and patient as this process could take awhile depending on how bad the oxidation is. 


Rinse when finished and allow to dry. 

Add a Sealant

A copper sealant can be used to coat the copper and prevent any further corrosion. Place a coat over the copper and allow it to dry.


Remember, oxidation is the first sign that corrosion is one day to come. To keep your copper from oxidizing, be sure to repeat this process every couple of years - or sooner for those items subjected to harsh elements. 

Atlas Bronze For All Your Copper Needs

When it comes to knowing the ins and outs of copper, Atlas Bronze has the answer. So, if you are interested in learning more about copper or other metals, contact us today at 1-800-478-0887. Our team of experts are waiting to take your call.


5 Reasons You Need Brass Welding

multiple brass rod sections

 Brass is the name given to a certain group of alloys that are most often used in decorative pieces around the home or on musical instruments. The ability to weld different metals together gives us great opportunities to create some magnificent things. But, of course, that’s not the only reason you need brass welding

What Brass Welding Entails

Before you can begin welding, you need to determine the zinc content of your brass so you can determine how strong of a flame you will need. Brass contains both copper and zinc - and each of the metals is treated differently in the welding world. You must determine just how much of each is in your brass before you start welding. 


You also want to make sure your brass is clean and free of blemishes. In addition, you will need to invest in a mixture of oxygen and acetylene gases - known as oxyacetylene gas - to form a protective shield around the brass as you weld.  


Make sure you have a clean workspace, gather your protective gear, and start welding. Remember, welding brass successfully means having control and being cognizant of temperatures at all times. 

5 Reasons You Need Brass Welding

There are various methods to use when connecting brass to another metal. However, welding is the most common. Here’s why. 

1. Multiple Welding Methods Can Be Used with Brass


When welding brass, you have multiple methods available to you. These include using the Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding procedure, the Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding method, and flame welding brass. 


Each method has its perks though each also has certain details that you must follow when working with brass. If you find yourself welding brass, be sure to have a thorough understanding of the method you choose.  

2. Brass Welding Requires Minimum Power


Unlike other types of metals, brass doesn’t require a lot of power welding to get the job done. And using minimum power allows for greater control over the welding project at hand. 

3. Brass Can Be Welding to an Array of Metals


Brass doesn’t just have to be welded to brass. Instead, it can be welded with an array of metals, including aluminum bronze, silicon bronze, aluminum, or phosphor bronze. 

4. Brass is a Fairly Easy Metal to Weld


There are certain levels of skill required to weld different types of metal. Some, like steel, are incredibly easy while others, like titanium, nickel, and copper are much more difficult. Brass requires that you have some skill, but it is not hard to weld once you do. 


The biggest factor when it comes to welding brass is knowing what type you have so you know how much heat to approach it with. 

5. Create Impeccable Finished Products


We’ve already discussed the fact that welding can lead to the creation of some incredible things, but it is worth saying again. Brass can be found everywhere, but for the sake of this list, let’s just focus on how quiet the world would be if we couldn’t weld brass to create musical instruments. 

Learn More About Brass Welding from Atlas Bronze 

Atlas Bronze has over 25 years as a local brass bronze metal supplier. So, to find out more about brass welding from Atlas Bronze, contact us at 1-800-478-0887 to speak to one of our knowledgeable sales representatives.


Brass Corrosion: Why Does It Happen & How to Prevent It

tarnished brass bell on wood stand

Brass is an alloy made of copper and zinc, but it's gold color often gets it confused with bronze, an

alloy of copper and tin. When most people hear the word brass, musical instruments such as trumpets and tubas often come to mind. Brass is found in so many other places, though. It is commonly used in tubing and piping, screws, doorknobs and locks, ammunition, zippers, and even as architectural accents.


While this beautiful alloy serves as a great choice for so many metal needs, it doesn’t come without its

biggest downfall - corrosion. The good news is that by understanding how it happens you can take

simple steps to prevent brass corrosion. 

What is Brass Corrosion - And Why Does it Happen? 

Corrosion is the breakdown of metals, over time, due to chemical reactions they have with certain

factors in their environment. In the case of brass, this environmental factor is often water. Most brass

comes with a sealant over it to protect it from exposure to moisture and water. However, with use and

age, the sealant begins to wear down, leaving the metal vulnerable.


It is important to note that corrosion is not rust. In order for a metal to rust, it must contain iron.

Because brass is made of copper and zinc - with no iron - it cannot rust. 

Is it Corrosion or Oxidation? 

There is a difference between brass corrosion and brass oxidation. Oftentimes, it is easy to get them

confused. 


Unlike corroded brass, oxidized brass occurs when brass comes in contact with the air. See, when it is

first created, there is a lacquer sealant that protects the brass from the air. As time passes and things

such as doorknobs get used, the sealant begins to wear down until the brass is exposed to the oxygen

in the air. 


Oxidized brass appears dark black with hues of green and blue. This forms a crust-like cover over the

brass that can be removed rather easily.


Corrosion, on the other hand, shows colors of red or pink on the surface of the brass. Depending on

the colors you see you will be able to determine whether or you are really dealing with corrosion or if

it is just oxidation occurring. 

How to Prevent Brass Corrosion

Brass is a beautiful metal that shouldn’t be ignored due to its potential for corrosion. Instead, measures

should be taken to prevent brass corrosion in the first place. This can be done with a sealant.

Although it may depend on the brass item itself, there is a good chance it came with a sealant already

on it. Should you find that your brass item is corroding, the sealant may have grown weak or worn. 


Try these steps to clean and reseal your brass, protecting it from further corrosion. 

Step One: Wash the Brass 

Using a mild soap, such as dish soap, wash the brass with a soapy water mix using a soft cloth. The

purpose of this step is to remove all buildup of grime or dirt. Once washed, let it sit until its air dried

completely. 

Step Two: Remove the Corrosion

Once the brass is completely dry, you are ready to make a paste to remove the corrosion. This paste is

made with a combination of lemon juice and salt. There is no specified amount, but the idea is to

create a paste. 


Using another soft cloth - a dry one this time - polish the brass with the paste. If necessary, you can

use a gentle polisher, but go easy on the metal. Be patient with this process. 


After the corrosion is removed, rinse the brass and, again, allow it to dry. 

Step Three: Add the Sealant

Using a brass sealant, wipe down the brass with a clean soft cloth. If you have a spray version, you

can spray a coat on the metal. Allow it to dry and apply a second coat. 


Because corrosion and oxidation occur when the sealant wears down, you may want to consider

resealing your brass every year or two to keep it looking beautiful.

Atlas Bronze For All Your Brass Questions

When it comes to knowing about brass, Atlas Bronze has the answer. So, if you are interested in learning more about brass or other metals, contact us today. 



Bronze Corrosion: Why Does It Happen & How to Prevent It

bronze cast sun face

 During the Bronze Age thousands of years ago, it was discovered that mixing tin with copper produced an alloy that was stronger than any pure metal. Nowadays, bronze is still commended for its strength but is used as a generic term that lumps together a whole set of copper alloys.

Bronze has always been used in creating items that are designed to stand the test of time - things like statues, medals, musical instruments, weapons, and coins. While it is long-lasting and durable, it is still vulnerable to corrosion. 

By understanding how - and why - bronze corrosion occurs, you can take steps to prevent it. 

What is Bronze Corrosion - And Why Does it Happen? 

Bronze is a combination of elements, generally copper mixed with metals like tin and zinc. Over time, the bronze will begin to oxidize due to exposure to the air and develop a colorful coating. This is often a mixture of colors of red, brown, black, blue, or green. 


This colorful outer layer of corrosion is known as a patina coating. And though it may seem like the bronze is ruined, this coating acts as a layer of protection for the bronze, keeping it from deteriorating any further. Some people even find the colors of the patina add more beauty to the bronze.


This corrosion is different from rust. For metals to rust when exposed to moisture, they must contain iron. And, since bronze is iron-free, rust is not a concern. 

Bronze Disease

Bronze disease is active corrosion. Items with this condition are constantly corroding - and are in danger of being seriously damaged. To determine between corrosion and bronze disease, look for powder-like growths in shades of green or brown that can easily be peeled off. If you find them, then you know what you’re dealing with. 


It takes more than oxidizing with air to spark this disease. It is most commonly found in areas where the air is salty, has constantly high humidity, or contains ammonia pollution. Though not cleaning bronze properly could yield the same result. 

How to Clean and Prevent Bronze Corrosion

If you decide that you are not a fan of the colorful patina that has formed over your bronze, then you can remove it. After cleaning the metal thoroughly, you can protect it from future corrosion. Just follow these steps: 

Create a Paste and Scrub


Mix baking soda with lemon juice until a paste is formed. Then, after rinsing off your bronze with warm water, use a soft toothbrush and gently scrub the bronze. Once the entire surface area is covered, leave the paste on for approximately 20 minutes or so. Rinse with warm water. 


You may repeat this process if needed. 

Protection from Future Corrosion

Your nicely cleaned bronze will not be free from future corrosion because it has no protection from the air. Oxidizing will occur without question. 


Prevent this from happening by coating the freshly cleaned bronze with a lacquer. Be sure to coat every piece so that you don’t leave it vulnerable and exposed.


Keep in mind that some items that are touched and used frequently may result in the thinning of the lacquer over time. If so, you may see more corrosion. Just repeat these steps to keep your bronze looking fresh. 

Atlas Bronze For All Your Brass Questions

When it comes to knowing about bronze, Atlas Bronze has the answer. So, if you are interested in learning more about bronze or other metals, contact us today.