Metals: Cutting, Forming & Machining Processes

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Cutting, Forming, and Machining Processes

Cutting, forming, and machining are some of the commonly used processes for metal.

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  • Cutting processes are used to separate or remove material from metal workpieces.
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Cutting processes

  • Common cutting processes include:
    • Sawing - using a saw or abrasive cutting tool to cut metal.
    • Shearing - cutting metal sheets or plates using specialised shearing machines.
    • Laser cutting - employing a laser beam to melt, burn, or vaporise metal to achieve precise cuts.
    • Plasma cutting - utilising a high-temperature plasma jet to cut through electrically conductive metals.
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  • Forming processes reshape metal materials.
    • Forming processes do not remove material.
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Forming processes

  • Common forming processes include:
    • Bending - applying force to metal to create angles, curves, or shapes.
    • Rolling - passing metal sheets or bars through rollers to shape them into desired profiles.
    • Extrusion - forcing metal through a die to create continuous profiles with a specific cross-section.
    • Drawing - pulling metal through a die to reduce its diameter and form wires or tubes.
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  • Machining processes involve removing material from a metal workpiece.
    • Machining processes use cutting tools.
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Machining processes

  • Common machining processes include:
    • Turning - rotating a workpiece on a lathe while cutting tools remove material to create cylindrical shapes.
    • Milling - using rotary cutters to remove material from a workpiece to create complex shapes or features.
    • Drilling - creating holes in metal using a rotating drill bit.
    • Grinding - abrasively removing material to achieve smooth surfaces.

Jump to other topics

1Core Technical Principles

2Paper & Board: Specialist Technical Principles

3Timber: Specialist Technical Principles

4Metal: Specialist Technical Principles

5Polymers: Specialist Technical Principles

6Textiles: Specialist Technical Principles

7Designing & Making Principles

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