5 Quick Facts You Didn’t Know About Industrial Sheet Metal

Date: 30/04/2019

We at Yorkshire Laser consider sheet metal fabrication to be one of the greatest crafts of the industrial world and we are well versed in the history of sheet metal fabrication, as well as being extremely knowledgeable about its contemporary and future applications.  

Some of these outlandish facts about sheet metal fabrication may sound completely fabricated! But, in point of fact, they are hard-as-metal truths!

1. Leonardo Da Vinci Invented Sheet Metal Fabrication!

Well – sort of! This may sound like something the author Dan Brown would use as a plot device for one of his novels, but this little-known contention is based upon black and white facts – not Dan Brown fiction! Indeed, an image in one of Da Vinci’s sketchbooks details the first example of what would later become a rolling mill.

Da Vinci’s sketch is thought to originate from 1485 and technological variations on his original design are still used within the sheet metal fabrication industry today. Da Vinci was, quite literally, way ahead of his time. Or, quite specifically, 534 years ahead of his time!

2. Sheet Metal Fabrication is BIG Business!

The steel industry is the second biggest industry in the world, after the oil and gas industry. Steel production turnover is approximately $900 billion and the industry continues to grow at a healthy rate.

The primary uses of steel are in buildings, roads, railways, houses, appliances and infrastructure. This essentially implies that consumption of steel rises inline with global population and the widespread development of nations and communities. As such, investment in the global steel industry is widely seen to be a safe, long-term bet.

3. The Height of the Eiffel Tower Varies Depending on the Season

The Eiffel Tower is made of 7,000 tons of wrought iron – a type of iron that is forged and rolled. Additionally, sheet metal fabrication was also used to cast some of the supporting mechanisms of the tower.

Due to the fact that steel and iron expand when heat is applied to them, the Eiffel Tower has been observed to increase in height during the summer months. When the sun continually heats the metal during the warmer months, thermal expansion causes the tower to grow and its height has been observed to increase by up to 17cm during the hottest months.

4. Metal is Highly Recyclable

Any type of metal is a highly desirable material and this is down to two extremely advantageous factors. Firstly, metal is incredibly durable and, secondly, metals can be repeatedly recycled without damaging their properties.

Steel is the most recycled material in the world, whilst other common metals such as copper, tin, lead, and, in particular, aluminium are continually recycled over and over again. It is estimated that 200 billion cans of beer and soft drinks are consumed across the globe every year, all of which are continually recycled.

5. Sheet Metal Fabrication Has its Own Place in History

The entrepreneur Ransom Eli Olds is widely credited with inventing the assembly line in 1901, whilst Henry Ford used it to his great advantage in 1913 and ushered in the mass production of automobiles.

Sheet metal fabrication had become much more prominent over the course of the late 19th century. Employees within the sheet metal fabrication industry during this era were increasingly using press brakes to shape metal and sheet metal rolling machines to flatten metal.

Thus, the advancements of technologies within the sheet metal fabrication industry during the 19th century directly contributed to the speed with which Ford could later assemble his automobiles.

Our Ethos

Yorkshire Laser has been operating to the highest of professional standards for over 25 years. We respect the history of sheet metal fabrication, and we also recognise that production methods and technologies are always evolving and advancing.

To this end, we have continually invested in the latest technologies, software and hardware in order to enable our business to meet the needs of a variety of clients. We consider no job too large or too small and pride ourselves on producing the finished product for you or your business at a competitive price and in good time.

We are also happy to offer you consultation, should you require any advice regarding any of the projects that you may have in mind.

Please contact our friendly team on 01924 220 236 if you require any further information.