Metal Manufacturing & Processes

Metal manufacturing encompasses a wide range of methods that are used to alter the condition of metallic materials. Metal processing is most often performed for two main purposes: to shape the metal, such as in metal spinning and metal stamping, or to alter the state of the metal’s surface, such as in galvanization or coating. Of these two purposes, metal forming is more common, and it includes processes like metal injection molding, metal casting, metal extrusion and more. In addition, there are many processes that are more unique and specialized. For instance, there are material specific processes like aluminum extrusion or processes that specifically form sheet metal. Although there is a wide variety of metal manufacturing processes, some of the most common methods of metal processing for industrial applications include electroless nickel plating, metal etching, roll forming, water jet cutting, die casting, forging and metal stamping.

Types of Metal Manufacturing:

Aluminum Extrusions

Aluminum extrusions are typically fabricated by forcing aluminum cylinders through a die, shaping the aluminum into many forms like profiles, channels, and tubing. Aluminum is one of the most commonly extruded materials because of its impressive strength-to-weight ratio, rust resistance, and temperature resistance. Due to their strength, aluminum extrusions are perfectly suited for structural applications as well as many other functions in the construction and automotive industries. These items are also simple to manufacture and are completely recyclable which makes them a cost effective and reusable solution.

Electronic Enclosures

Electronic enclosures are cabinets made to protect sensitive or important electrical equipment from environmental hazards. The cabinets also reduce the chance of workers suffering from electrical shocks. These enclosures can come in a variety of sizes and shapes to accommodate diverse equipment like wiring, electrical switches, or even entire computer networking systems. Sheet metals are most commonly used to manufacture electronic enclosures because they are good electrical and thermal conductors. Sheet metals like aluminum and steel are also very durable, making them perfect for protecting fragile electronic devices.

Metal Stampings

Metal stamping is a method of metal forming which utilizes a press to force sheet metal into a tool or die. Many other metal forming processes like bending, drawing, blanking, and cutting can be incorporated into metal stamping. With a variety of different tools and dies, metal stamping can produce a very diverse range of metal products. The metal stamping process is perfect for quickly and efficiently manufacturing large quantities of products at a low cost, and metal stamped parts are repeatable and can attain precision tolerances.

Perforated Metals

Perforated metals are created in a metal stamping process in which a pattern of holes is blanked out of sheet metal. Many different kinds of metals can be perforated including steel, aluminum, brass, and titanium, and these metals can serve a variety of purposes. They are commonly used in structural, design, and filtration applications. Lightweight perforated metals like aluminum can be used as decorations, while perforated steel is frequently used for architectural support. There are also many different kinds of perforation patterns like staggered and straight patterns, and the holes come in a variety of shapes and sizes as well.

Roll Forming

Roll forming is a metal forming process that uses a series of rollers to progressively bend metal strips into a desired shape. When a metal strip enters a roll forming machine, it is moved forward through the machine and passes through many different rollers, each slightly bending the strip closer to the final shape. The small successive bends allow the metal to be gradually formed into the intended shape without damaging or compromising the material. This process is ideal for creating large volumes of parts with a consistent pattern along their length.

Wire Forms

Wire forms are products which have been manufactured through the manipulation of the shape of wire. Processes like wire cutting, roll forming, and coil making are all common methods for creating wire forms. These items can serve as displays for commercial products or as wire grids. They are also frequently utilized in industrial settings as racks, shelves, or even as guards for important equipment. Steel, copper, aluminum, and brass are all common wire form materials.

Wire Mesh

Wire mesh consists of a multitude of interconnected metal wires which can be welded or sintered together. The metal wires are held together in a uniform pattern to create consistent openings in the material, and the mesh can have various spacing sizes and can be manufactured from many different materials. Wire meshes serve as perfect solutions for filtration, screening, structural, and many other applications. Finer meshes are frequently used in products like pasta strainers or window screens, while thicker meshes can be used to strengthen concrete or in conveying systems.