SMLease Design

Mechanical Product Design & Development Partner

Sheet Metal Electronics Enclosure Design

Sheet Metal electronics enclosure designs that reflect your design intent while satisfying product functional requirements and cost is a challenging task. This article will highlight key design consideration and their impact on product performance: material, assembly techniques, finish etc.


Product Industrial and Assembly Architecture Design


Table Top indoor Electronics EnclosureWall Mounting Enclosure19 Inch 1 U Electronics Chassis  


Industrial / Concept design is very important part of product design. Concept Design defines the product aesthetics. While finalising sheet metal product concept design product manufacturing and assembly also need to take care.

Following factors affects sheet metal product industrial design:

  • Internal PCB outline
  • Position of connectors
  • Heat dissipation requirements
  • Product IP rating
  • Product mounting requirements
  • Assembly process
  • Manufacturing Process
  • Cost Constrains

For telecom racks, chassis and enclosures, IEC 60297 has defined standards for length, width and height of the enclosures.

Selection of product assembly process is very important stage in product design. Good design for assembly can reduce the chances of product failure and it also helps in reducing product assembly cost.

Following factors affects product assembly process:

  • Product Industrial Design
  • Product IP Rating (waterproofing) Requirements
  • User Interface
  • Product functional requirements
  • Product disassembly requirements.


Material Selection

Material selection for your sheet metal part is very important stage in product design. Material selection is to be done considering product cost, Strength requirements.

Following points need to be considered before selection of material for a defined application and optimum decision need to be taken.


Strength Requirements

Stainless steel and CRCA are good option for high strength requirements as compared to aluminium which is relatively softer material.


Corrosion Resistance

Different grade of Sheet metal material with different corrosion resistance properties are available. SS 316 offers very good corrosion resistance while CRCA has least corrosion resistance. While selecting material end product requirements need to be considered.


Weight is very important factor in material selection process. If the requirement is for a material with less weight, good corrosion resistance and optimum strength, Aluminium is a good choice but if the requirement is for high strength, good corrosion resistance and weight is not a constrain, stainless steel is a good choice.

Weight of Aluminium < Steel/ GI / Aluzinc <  Stainless Steel < Copper


Assembly Process

Steel is easy to weld as compared to aluminium, If final product requires lot of welding, before the selection of aluminium as final material complete analysis need to be done



Cost of CRCA < aluminium < stainless steel < copper


Thermal and Electrical Conductivity

Electrical and thermal conductivity of copper is more than aluminum and steel. For more heat dissipation (heat sink) copper is a good choice but the weight of copper is more.

Thermal Conductivity of Copper > Aluminium >  CRCA (Steel)


Here You can find more information about sheet metal materials 


Detailed sheet metal Part Design

Detailed sheet metal part design is very critical stage of sheet metal enclosure design. At this stage designer make sure all parts are designed in such a way that parts are easily manufacturable, Product assembly is feasible and they can perform all desired functions. Following are some of the tasks done during detailed sheet metal part design.


Mounting arrangement for PCB

Mounting arrangement for PCB with housing is done at this stage. Studs, standoff or other required fasteners are added in sheet metal parts.


Cutout for Connectors and user interfaces

All required cutouts for pcb connectors and all other user interfaces are added. While adding cutout for PCB connectors you need to make sure all cutout are as per mating connectors and user will not face any issues.


Cutout for Ventilation and heat Dissipation

With miniaturisation of electronics, heat dissipation plays very important role of product design. If heat dissipation is very high we suggest to perform thermal simulation that will help in good thermal design. Here you can find a guide of ventilation option for sheet metal parts. 


Selection of assembly fasteners

Pem clinching fasteners, welding fastener, riveting nut, studs & standoff are used for the assembly of pcb and sheet metal parts. Correct fasteners need to be selected as per the requirements. Check out here various options to join sheet metal parts.


After detailed part design designer need to verify the design for manufacturing and assembly. Here you can find sheet metal part design guidelines. for manufacturing.


Finish Operations

Selection of type of required finish is very important step in product design. it greatly affects the life and quality of a product. Following are the points that need to considered before selection of type of finish operation.

  • Sheet Metal material
  • Corrosion resistance requirement
  • Product aesthetics requirements
  • Conductivity requirements

Following are some of commonly used material finishes available for sheet metal parts:


Powder Coating

Powder coating is a type of coating that is applied as dry powder. Powder Coating is typically applied electrostatically and is then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a skin. Powder coating is mainly used for coating on metal parts. Thermo plastic and Thermoset powder coating are available for sheet metal parts. check out in details about the powder coating here.


Chromate Conversion Coating

Chromate conversion coating is a type of conversion coating used to passivate zinc-plated Steel, aluminium, copper, silver, magnesium and tin alloys parts to provide protection from white rust or red rust. Check out more on chromate conversion coating Here



Anodising is an electrolytic process for producing thick oxide coatings, usually on aluminium and its alloys. Magnesium and Titanium also can be anodised. It is used to give improved surface resistance to wear and corrosion, or as a decorative layer. Check out more about anodising here


Zinc Plating

Nickel plating

TIN Plating



ISO 2768-m is used as general tolerance in sheet metal parts. If there are some critical points in design we suggest to perform tolerance stackup analysis



You Can Contact Us if you need any support in Design and Development of Electronics Sheet Metal Enclosure. We will guarantee you first time correct design. We offer our mechanical design services to new statups and innovators. Let us know about your requirements get quick quotes.

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