Machine Design

Methods for Fastening Sheet Metal Without Fasteners

Folding and adding bending tabs is one of the easiest and most economical way of making moderately strong joints in sheet-metal parts that will permanently or semi-permanently attach to one another. It requires no screws, rivets, or other pieces of fastening hardware.

There are few limitations on fastening tabs. The metal tabs that are to be bent should be between 0.12 and 0.8 in. thick. And the metal should have the ductility to stay in place and not spring back after being bent. The metals most commonly joined using tabs are soft steel, aluminum, copper, and brass.

For the best results, parts should be designed to bend perpendicularly to the direction of sheet rolling, or at least 45 deg. from that direction. Also, the stamping burr should be at the inside of the bend when possible. The final bend should be made in the same direction as the preliminary bend.

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