Formation of Sheet Metal

In this age of Industrial revolution, the sheet metal is termed as an important part of the industry. The sheet metal is formed by various operations over a metal which converts into thin and flat pieces. As per the requirement, the thickness of the sheet metal varies. The sheet metal work enables different industries to get their desired product according to their requirements. In the metal forming processes, various types of forces are applied to a metal in order to modify the structure of that metal, without hampering the product quality. The forming of sheet metal involves various methods such as:-

  • Roll forming – Here the sheet metal is operated over a set of rollers continuously from different angles, in order to achieve a desired flat shape metal. It is performed over a roll forming line. This roll forming line also involves other operations like shearing or punching. This process is used to form long sheet metal pieces with constant cross section area. It enables the mass production of components with good surface finishing.
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  • Deep Drawing – When die and punch are used instead of rollers to form sheet metal, and the diameter of the component becomes less than the depth of the drawing, then the process is termed as Deep Drawing. Sheet metal cups, pots, pans, and caps are formed through this process.
  • Bending – This is a process in which a metal is subjected to bend at a particular angle over various sets of rollers in order to achieve the desired shape. This process is performed on a machine named Press Brake. This machine is pretty simple to use as it can be operated both automatically and manually.
  • Stretch forming – This is a process in which a metal is stretched over a die by holding it tightly from its jaws to get large flat and thin pieces. This process is performed over a stretch press, which has gripping jaws on both the sides to grab the metal tightly. It generates components with good surface finish and high accuracy. Components like aircraft fuselage, car door panel, wing panel etc are formed through this process.
  • Spinning – This is a process in which cylindrical components are formed by rotating a sheet metal at high speed over a CNC Lathe machine. This process is also known as turning. Here the work is done only on one side of the metal, to get the desired output. Components like rocket nose cones, satellite dishes, hubcaps, and cookware are formed through this process.
  • Rubber pad forming – Here a die is used along with a rubber block, instead of a punch. This is mainly used in the aircraft industry. Here the tooling cost is low and soft materials like aluminum are used.
  • Superplastic forming – This process occurs at a high temperature at superplastic level to achieve maximum elongated components. In a single operation, you can create large and complex components. The components produced have a good quality surface finish but they cannot be used at high temperatures.

There are more methods to form sheet metals, but these methods are used on a regular basis to achieve the desired shape and size of sheet metals.