How Sheet Metal Is Made

August 9, 2019 11:14 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Have you ever partnered with a sheet metal supplier in Umatilla County, OR to fill your sheet metal needs? Have you ever wondered how they produce the products that you order?

Whether the order is large or small, the process of making sheet metal typically follows a common procedure. It involves the following key steps.

Metal Selection

Sheet metal can be made from a variety of metals. Depending on the desired qualities and product, a specific metal will be chosen. Common sheet metal choices include steel, brass, aluminum, tin, copper, nickel and titanium.


Once the type of metal is chosen, the first step in crafting it into sheet metal is to melt it. The metal is placed in a crucible for this step. This is a ceramic or metal container that can withstand the high heat that will be needed to melt the metal.


After the metal is fully melted within the crucible, it is poured from the crucible into a mold. While pouring the metal, technicians must keep it hot so that it does not begin to harden too soon.


Once in the mold, the metal is allowed to cool completely. It is then removed from the mold and dipped into a chemical mixture for cleaning. The block of metal in this stage is called an ingot. The process of cleaning it is referred to as pickling.


The ingot is next put through a press. Using two rollers, the press thins the metal. Depending on the desired thickness of the sheet metal, the ingot may be placed through the press several times.


If the metal must be put through the press multiple times, it may require annealing to re-soften the metal. This process involves heating the metal and pickling it again. When annealing, the metal only becomes warm. It is not re-liquefied.


When the sheet metal has been rolled enough that it reaches the desired thickness, it is prepared for shipping. Typical sheet metal varies from .05 mm to 15 cm in thickness. It can be rolled into a coil for shipping or shipped flat.


Once received by the customer, the sheet metal can be used in a variety of applications. It can be bent, shaped and cut to create myriad products that we use every day. This material is found in the automotive, aviation, construction and even food and beverage industries. It’s nearly impossible to go through your day without encountering multiple products made with sheet metal—and now you know a bit more about how they came into being!

Discover More

Do you have questions about sheet metal processing or sheet metal products? The experienced team at NW Metal Fabricators Inc. is here to help. With more than three decades of experience, we are equipped to answer any questions you have. Since 1986, we’ve been the go-to sheet metal supplier in Umatilla County, OR. Our specialties include custom production of storage bins, conveyors, catwalks, handrails, gates, storage tanks, water heater tanks, sanitary piping, steam piping and trailer truck hitches. Contact us today to discover what we can craft for you!

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