Sheet Metal Research Case Study
How to Join Galvanised Sheeting Together With Great Strength!
Our Research and Development Team was approached by a customer who required a new means of fixing together galvanised sheeting.
With our experience of Research and Development they wanted us to guarantee an advanced, reliable solution without the need for awkward or difficult welding procedures, which had failed them in the past.
The welding which our customer had previously relied upon in this instance, had frequently proven itself liable to fail in the field.
While the final product achieved through this welding method was actually quite strong and robust. The percentage of failures which the customer encountered as a result of the assembly method and the specific materials being used made it simply ineffective and uneconomical over an extended period of time.
The customer wanted us to research a new method of bonding the galvanised sheeting together , which would reduce the length of time the process required to assemble and minimise or eliminate the number of failures which occurred as a result of joint failure over time.
Saint Ann’s Sheet Metal Research
Saint Ann’s accepted the project and almost immediately had to confront a number of potential difficulties. While our Company has extensive expertise in a number of joining technologies, the best means of attaching metal to metal in Saint Ann’s experience is welding, riveting or bolting.
None of these typical methods however would be appropriate in this instance, due to the nature of the product, we recognised that it would need us to locate a new means of affixing the metal sheets to each other, if they wanted to achieve the required project outcome successfully.
After some research into possible alternative means of achieving this, we considered utilising a device we located which clinched metals together, tightly clamping metals together and allowing them to hold firm in a bond as strong as a weld.
The first step was for us was to begin forming metals using a series of highly specialised tools, in order to facilitate the necessary swage forms which would allow for the elimination of welding or fixtures. The next stage was then for us to slot and tag the different components for easy assembly, in order to eradicate the need for any jigs or patterns to be integrated into the overall design system.
The First Hurdle
However, despite the progress the we had achieved by this point there was still a considerable amount of work to be done. We were unhappy with the finish that it was achieving for our clients because, although the clinch it had found fastened the products together effectively, it was not achieving the degree of strength that the Client had hoped for.
A series of trials were therefore carried out, with the assistance of a series of other manufacturing Partners that had been invited to offer their opinions on other means of ensuring an effective affixing of metal to metal. A number of prototypes and joining machines were tested to assess their effectiveness and, eventually, we secured a piece of machinery which, when operated, clinched metal together extremely tightly, far more tightly than the previous clinching mechanism which we had sought to use.
A number of bespoke tools were also procured, which allowed for the plunging and swaging of the metal and entirely removed the necessity of using the welding process entirely. The Company’s development of homemade dimple tools, along with clamping and bespoke jigs, all moved the project forward significantly and allowed for the effective realisation of a new process for securely connecting metal sheets.
Through developing and perfecting these techniques, we have managed to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of the process by eliminating the welding procedure, totally replacing the welding with a tagging, forming and swaging combination, which produced a final product which was just as secure and solid as a welded product but without the expensive assembly work required and the reduced likelihood of a damaged or failed product.
The process has proved to be an exemplary instance of Research & Development with the new process having a 100% Success Rate, With No Failures to date. A success rate we intend to build upon further in the future.
We are still carrying out work as part of this project, refining its process in order to achieve greater celerity of production and an improvement in the ecological impact of the manufacturing procedure itself.
We are proud to be able to boast great results on this service so far, and are very much looking forward to expanding on this work and helping our customer continue to grow in the future.
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