Metals such as steel, aluminium and copper receive many compliments about their versatility and strength. However, you can only turn these materials into the products you want by fabricating them. Fabrication takes different forms, and shearing is one of them. Essentially, shearing refers to the separation of a metal piece by applying a great force that is adequate to split it. The process is better, more efficient and faster than traditional cutting techniques. More importantly, shearing gives your pieces good quality edges that would be difficult to achieve with traditional tools. The following piece discusses the fundamentals of metal shearing to help you understand what goes into making your products:
The Basic Components
The primary arrangement of a metal shearing setup comprises a table assembly bolted or welded to robust side frames. Furthermore, the arrangement also features ram assemblies powered by mechanical or hydraulic means. There is a hold-down ram attached to the side frame for better grip of the materials being sheared.
Typically, the components sit in ideal positions that facilitate the shearing process. The process is straightforward with the sheet metal cut into separate pieces by special knives installed at an angle to each other.
The Benefits of Shearing Metals
Shearing your metal pieces has several advantages over traditional cutting techniques. First, shearing works well for soft metals that often present challenges when cut with regular tools. Shearing delivers cuts without burning, melting or chipping the material, which works well for soft metals. Secondly, shearing eliminates wastage of metal materials. Angling the blades and pinning them forcefully over the material eliminates any kerf, reducing wastage during the fabrication process. Third, you get straighter edges with lesser effort than you would when using a torch or traditional cutting device.
The Types of Shearing Machines
Fabricators used different types of shearing machines to cut and mould your metal pieces. Some of the popular types here include:
- Power shears — power shears are powered by electricity or hydraulic systems. They come in handy when you want to reduce the size of the metal pieces into components that you can transport easily.
- Bench shears — just as their name suggests, bench shears are installed on a bench to enhance their mechanical abilities. They are efficient at cutting medium-sized metal pieces into rough shapes awaiting secondary fabrication procedures. It is also worth noting that these machines have ground cutting equipment and lightweight natures that facilitates fast cuts.
- Throat-less shears — throat-less shearing machines allow the operator to move the cutting blades freely. They are the best alternative for cutting complex curves and arcs.
Contact a metal fabrication service for more information.