Metal forming is the process of metalworking of fashion metal parts and objects through mechanical deformation. The workpiece is reshaped but still contains the same density and no material is removed. There are four major methods used to do this process which are rolling, forging, extrusion, and wire drawing.
Rolling is the process in which the workpiece in the form of the slab or plate is compressed between to rotating rolls. This will reduce the thickness of the workpiece. The rotating rolls will draw the slab into the gap and compress it. The final workpiece is in the form of the plate.
Forging is when the workpiece is compressed into two dies containing shaped contours. The die shapes are used for the final process to shape the workpiece.
Extrusion is when the workpiece is compressed or pushed into the die opening to take the shape of die in its cross section. Wire or rod drawing is similar to extrusion, except that the piece that is being worked on is pulled through the die opening to take the cross section.
There are different types of bends that can be made during metal forming. There are three to be exact which are bending, deep draw, and shearing. Bending is when the sheet metal is strained to give its shape. Deep drawing will be when flat sheet metal is formed into a concave cylinder. This is performed by stretching the metal in certain areas. The punch will push into the metal creating that circular cup shape. Shearing is simply cutting parts out.
Forging is great to use for high strength parts for automobiles, planes and aerospace. Some things that are forged are engine cranks, connecting rods, gears, aircraft structural components, and jet engine parts. Forging is when the workpiece is compressed between two dies. The metal will change its structure through impact or hydraulic load.
Press braking is a great alternative if you would like to save more money. This is best used with lower volume and shorter parts. Big parts become very labor intensive. The break press is much easier to set up therefore saving more time. There are few challenges when using this method. The first thing is it is hard to add holes or punched shaped during this process. Having multiple bends or angles will also be challenging during press braking. Press breaking is more for smaller volume objects that don’t need that much detail.
Stamping is another method in which you can reshape metal. The time to deform will be much faster and can produce complex fabricated parts. This method can not produce long parts therefore that is its only flaw. Therefore you will need a different length for each die which will drive up the cost.
Physics is a great tool that is used to figure out the ratios at which each compress needs to be set at. Also putting the load in different areas to reshape the metal in different ways. Also understanding how much pressure is being applied to the compression will also give you an idea of how to bend or reconstruct the metal in the way you would like. Depending on what type of metal forming you’re trying to accomplish will determine the method you choose. If you’re trying to make aircraft or car parts using methods that are rolling will be much better. As for smaller parts using methods such as stamping will reduce your cost and make the speed of the process much quicker.