Sheet metal processing (stainless steel)
Sheet metal is a thin, flat piece of metal that's usually made of aluminum or steel. It plays an important part in the construction and manufacturing industries. It is used in construction as panels for houses and buildings. Sheet metal is used in the manufacture industry for components of automobiles, heavy machinery, floors, and other purposes. Companies often use one or more of these forming processes when making sheet metal.
Curling is a method of forming sheet metal that smooths out any sharp edges. After it is produced, sheet metal can have sharp edges and "burrs". Curling involves smoothening edges by deburring sheet metal.
Bending is another common method of sheet metal fabrication. Most companies bend sheet metal with a brake press or similar machine presses. The sheet metal is then placed on a die block. At that point, a punch is used to press down onto the sheet. The sheet metal doesn't get distorted by bending. It lives up to its name by "bending" sheet steel in the form of the die.
To achieve uniform thickness, sheet metal can also be ironed. Ironed aluminum is used in most aluminum cans. The aluminum sheet metal in its raw form is too thick to be used for beverage cans. It's therefore ironed to make it thinner and more uniform. Ironing is done with a punch. This allows sheet metal to be forced between two dies.
In recent years, laser cutting has been a more common method of sheet metal forming. Laser cutting involves exposing sheet metal to a powerful laser which burns the metal. Laser cutting is a quicker and more precise method of cutting that can be automated using a computer numerically controlled laser cutting machine (CNC).
Hydroforming is a less-known method of sheet metal forming. Hydroforming is similar to deep drawing. It involves stretching the blank across a die. What is the difference between hydroforming, deep drawing and hydroforming? Hydroforming can be done in one step, while deep drawing requires several draw reductions.
Punching, which is sheet metal forming, involves using a punch and a die to punch holes in sheet metal. The sheet metal is then placed between the die and punch. The punch then presses the sheet metal down through the die to create a hole.