In sheet metal fabrication, cutting is one of the most important steps of the whole process. Fabricators must cut the metal pieces to get them into the desired shape and size so that they are ready for making various products. Cutting may be required at various stages of the fabrication process. The technology employed is important because it determines how the fabricator is able to balance between costs, material wastage and quality work. Some prefer shearing for cutting because of the benefits it has over other cutting methods like sawing. When choosing a metal fabricator, here is some of the shearing technology that you should look out for to guarantee quality work:
A guillotine is one of the machines used for metal shearing. It is also referred to as a squaring shear. The machine comes with various powering alternatives. They can be foot, hydraulically, mechanically or hand powered although the hand alternative is not very common. A guillotine works by clamping the metal sheet firmly using a ram. Thereafter, a moving blade glides downwards across a stationery blade, generating a shearing effect over the material. If there is a need for a large cut, the moving blade can be set at an angle or rocked back and forth so that it can shear the metal repetitively. Guillotines are fast and accurate. A gauging device is used to ensure that the metal is being cut precisely at the point where the fabricator desires.
A bench shear is also referred to as a lever shear. Just as the name implies, the shearing device or mechanism is mounted on a bench-like structure for optimum stability. This increases the mechanical advantage of the machine and makes work easy for the fabricator in terms of handling. Essentially, a bench shear is designed for cutting rough shapes and thick metal sheets measuring as much as ten millimetres. It is not ideal for delicate work. In spite of this, however, the blades on a bench shear are fitted accurately and carefully to deliver quick, easy and clean cuts.
Power shears are hand tools powered pneumatically or by electricity. They are meant to blank (create holes) on metal sheets, cut out straight lines or curves with a large radius. Unlike other blanking methods using tools like bandsaws, power shears have no limitation when it comes to the size that they can cut. Large power shears can make cuts in thick sheets measuring over ten millimetres.