Understanding Differences in Metal Tolerances for Commercial Applications

metal-tolerances

One of our goals at Metal Masters is customer education. One thing people often ask questions about is metal tolerance in commercial applications. For commercial metal fabrication projects, tolerances indicate how accurate and precise a fabrication will be. Different projects may require different levels of tolerance, and understanding tolerances is often the first step towards planning out a project. Here’s what you should know.

Different Types of Tolerances

Tolerances in metal fabrication may refer to welding, forming, machining, or cutting. You can complete these different processes for metal fabrication using different types of tools for different types of projects. Welding is the process of joining multiple pieces of metal, while machining and cutting can create 2D or 3D shapes from metal.

Working with different types of metal, such as sheet metal, may also involve specific tolerances. Sheet metal commonly references tolerances regarding hole sizes, hole to hole placement, hole to edge placement, and bend to bend placement. Individual projects may have required tolerances for different features of the project.

Different Types of Tools

Different types of metal fabrication tools have different levels of precision and tolerance. Laser cutting, forming, and machining are all highly accurate and precise methods of fabricating metal, with laser cutting being one of the most precise options available. Because of this, the desired tolerance you need will often control the type of fabrication tool you use—and consequently, the cost of the fabrication. Welding and cutting will often have the lowest accuracy tolerances, you can improve these tolerances through inspections and high-precision practices.

Once you know what tolerances your commercial application requires, you can select the tools and techniques to use to craft your project. If you still have questions regarding tolerances and metal fabrication, our team at Metal Masters, Inc. strives for constant, valuable customer education and is ready to help. Connect with us online now.


  • Understanding Differences in Metal Tolerances for Commercial Applications

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