Consider the Product Design Requirements
The first step in every design process is to first understand the requirements of the product in question. The same goes to a sheet metal enclosure. You need to first need to think about what you want to achieve both functionally and aesthetically. This is because you want to end up with a sheet metal enclosure that will be most suitable for your needs. While drafting the requirements, there are certain aspects that you need to put into consideration. Among them are the application of the product, anticipated working conditions, and size requirements.
Select the Material
Now that that you have a good understanding of the design requirements, you can go ahead to choose the metal that you will use. The main consideration when choosing the type of metal is the intended application of the sheet metal enclosure. This is because you want to select a metal that is strong enough to withstand the specific working conditions. Various metals will be suitable for various conditions. It is therefore important that you study the pros and cons of each metal option and their best applications.
In general, there are certain criteria that you should pay attention to when choosing a metal for your sheet metal enclosure. This includes tensile strength, workability, corrosion and wear resistance, thermal and electrical conductivity among others.
One of the metal options includes aluminum which is resistant to corrosion and light weight. It is also great when electricity conduction is required. Another great metal option for your sheet metal enclosure is stainless steel which offers a lot of strength and corrosion resistant abilities. You can also go for copper especially in cases where you are looking for high electrical and thermal conductivity. Cold rolled steel and galvanneal are also some of the metal options you will have.
Choose a Suitable Shape
Apart from choosing a suitable material, you also need to choose a suitable shape for your metal sheet enclosure. This is something that you need to consider at the design level to avoid any issues along the way. There are several shapes to choose from for your metal sheet enclosure. One is the folded box shape which is also the most common. This is simply a four sided box design. It is advantageous in that it offers easy access and a wider range of mounting options. You also have the option to choose among the F-shape, L-shape, and U-shape.
Consider the Thickness of the Metal Sheet
Another key consideration when designing your sheet metal enclosure is the thickness of the sheet of metal to be applied. This is because this thickness will determine a lot of things. This includes things like the strength, weight and length of the enclosure. Generally, as the size of the enclosure increases, so should the thickness of the enclosure. This enables you to end up with large products that have additional strength. If you are unsure, you can refer to the sheet metal thickness gauges. While choosing the thickness, ensure that you keep it uniform all the way through the enclosure.