Mastering 6 Sheet Metal Joining Techniques

Sheet metal refers to metal plates with a thickness of 6mm or less.

Sheet metal fabrication is a cold processing method that involves punching, bending, drawing, and forming.

The thickness of sheet metal parts is consistent throughout the process.

Sheet metal processing is a highly efficient and cost-effective forming process that results in lightweight, strong, and electromagnetically shielded components.

It is widely used in industries such as automotive, electronics, and home appliances.

Mechanical engineers often use sheet metal parts when designing products made of this material.

The challenge lies in finding an economical and reliable way to join multiple sheet metal parts and in determining the best method for fastening sheet metal.

In this article, we will introduce the 6 types of sheet metal joining process that is often used in product design.

Folding / Tab Joint

Folding Tab Joints
Folding Tab Joints

Sheet metal parts can be connected to each other by folding or bending tabs in the form of a buckle and a clamping slot. This method of assembly is simple and convenient, resulting in quick assembly.

However, it may not guarantee full positioning, and additional auxiliary positioning may be required.

Pulling Rivet

Pulling Rivet
Pulling Rivet

Riveting is carried out in the hole corresponding to the two parts, and a rivet gun is used to pull the rivet, expanding and deforming the outer rivet sleeve to fix the two parts together.

This connection is simple, convenient, and fast.



Self-riveting is a method of using mutual deformation between sheet metal parts to achieve mutual fixation.

Although this method is simple, it is often used in applications where disassembly is not required.

Screw Joint / Fasteners

Screw Joint Fasteners
Screw Joint Fasteners

Self-tapping refers to the process of using self-tapping screws to create threads directly on a sheet metal piece, resulting in a tight fit and the ability to be disassembled.

Pressing Rivet

Pressing Rivet
Pressing Rivet

The press rivet process involves pressing a crimp nut or screw against the sheet metal, which can then be mated with a corresponding outer nut or screw.

Welding Joints

The main purpose of spot welding is to create a row of solder joints on two sheet metal parts.

This is achieved by melting the local sheet metal material at the welding head to complete the connection between the sheet metal parts.

In the above content, we introduced various sheet metal joining methods.

Finally, a table is used to summarize the advantages and disadvantages of each joining method.

Joining methodsTools usedProsCons
Folding / Tab Jointsnone1. Low cost
2. Quick assembly
Can not completely limit all degrees of freedom, other fixing devices are needed
Pulling Rivetrivet gun1. Easy to operate, good fluidity
2. Self-positioning
1. Need to pre-punch
2. The pull stud will have a bump
3. There is a limit to the use space of the rivet gun
Self-clinchingdedicated moldSelf-guided, no positioning required1. Need to do the countersinking process
2. Do not disassemble
3. The yield rate is difficult to guarantee
Screw Joint / FastenersscrewdriverLow cost, detachableLimited number of disassembly
Pressing Rivetdedicated equipment1. Safe and reliable
2. Removable
Higher cost
Welding Jointsspot welding machine1. Simple process
2. No pre-processing required
1. Equipment complexity
2. Weak welding force, easy to remove welding
3. Unable to remove
4. Welding materials should match

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