Sheet metal usually refers to a thin metal plate with a thickness of 6 mm or less.

Sheet metal fabrication is a cold processing process, which is commonly used for punching, bending, drawing, and forming.

For sheet metal parts, the thickness is the same everywhere.

Sheet metal processing belongs to the forming process, the material utilization rate is high, and the quality is light, the strength is good, and it is beneficial to electromagnetic shielding, and is widely used in automobiles, electronics, home appliances and many other industries.

Mechanical engineers will inevitably use sheet metal parts when designing sheet metal products. How to join multiple sheet metal parts in an economical and reliable way?

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

Folding / Tab Joints

Folding Tab Joints
Folding Tab Joints

The two pieces of sheet metal connected to each other by folding or bending tabs in the form of a buckle and a clamping slot. This assembly method is relatively simple and convenient, and can complete rapid assembly.

However, the folding or tab joint operation does not guarantee full positioning and additional auxiliary positioning is required.

Pulling Rivet

Pulling Rivet Pulling Rivet

The riveting is carried out in the hole corresponding to the two parts, and the rivet gun is used to pull the rivet to expand and deform the outer rivet sleeve, thereby fixing the two parts.

This connection is simple, convenient and fast.

Self-clinching

Self-clinching Self-clinching

The so-called self-riveting is to use the mutual deformation between the sheet metal to complete the mutual fixation.

Although this method is simple, it is often used in places where it is not disassembled.

Screw Joint / Fasteners

Screw Joint Fasteners Screw Joint Fasteners

Self-tapping is the use of self-tapping screws to directly tap the thread on a piece of sheet metal, so the fit is very good and can be disassembled.

Pressing Rivet

Pressing Rivet Pressing Rivet

The pressing rivet process presses the crimp nut or screw against the sheet metal and can be mated with the corresponding outer nut or screw.

Welding Joints

The main purpose is to use the spot welding process to reserve a row of solder joints on the two sheet metal. Directly melt the local sheet metal material at the welding head to complete the sheet metal connection.

In the above content, we introduced various joining methods of sheet metal. Finally, a table is used to summarize the advantages and disadvantages of various joining methods.

Joining methods Tools used Pros Cons
Folding / Tab Joints none 1. Low cost
2. Quick assembly
Can not completely limit all degrees of freedom, other fixing devices are needed
Pulling Rivet rivet gun 1. 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-clinching dedicated mold Self-guided, no positioning required 1. Need to do the countersinking process
2. Do not disassemble
3. The yield rate is difficult to guarantee
Screw Joint / Fasteners screwdriver Low cost, detachable Limited number of disassembly
Pressing Rivet dedicated equipment 1. Safe and reliable
2. Removable
Higher cost
Welding Joints spot welding machine 1. 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