Common Types of Metal Fabrication Processes

Common Types of Metal Fabrication Processes

Apr 09, 2018

CuVerro Copper is a versatile, ductile, and malleable metal. It’s ideal for most fabrication processes. So whether you need to cut, fold, bend, stamp, shear, notch, punch, roll, deep draw or spin your material, CuVerro is up to the task. In addition to being a drop in replacement for stainless steel, CuVerro is corrosion resistant, bactericidal, and retains close to 100% of its value when recycled – making it both safer and cost effective. Here’s a look at several metal fabrication processes that can benefit from using CuVerro.

Cutting

Whether you’re using aviation snips, lasers, plasma torches or more elaborate machinery, cutting is the most commonly used fabrication process. Lasers are especially effective when cutting the hardest metals like carbon steel and titanium or metals like aluminum and copper alloys that reflect light and heat. CuVerro Copper is slightly easier to cut than stainless and gives fabricators an option that is actively antimicrobial, thus requiring fewer enhanced cleaning protocols.

Machining

Ideal for manufacturing smaller component parts, machining allows fabricators to remove material from a piece of sheet metal using a lathe or by rotating material against a cutting tool. Many metals can be machined but CuVerro Copper’s stability and hardness make it a great alternative to stainless. CuVerro is also more cost effective than harder, more expensive metals like titanium. Fabricators who switch to CuVerro will also waste less raw material in the long run compared to softer, less hardy metals like brass and aluminum.

Punching and Blanking

Two processes, one set of tools: a steel or tungsten carbide punch and die. Regardless of the process, the punch press gouges a hole in a piece of sheet metal. In the punching process, the end product is the metal sheet itself. If the end product is the slug that was removed from the sheet metal, it’s blanking. Both processes are fast and cost effective for medium to high volume operations. This puts a premium on softer metals like aluminum or metals that resist warp: carbon steel, stainless steel and CuVerro Copper.

Stamping

Stamping also uses a punch and die on a piece of sheet metal but in this case the punch press does not penetrate the sheet. It simply creates a raised portion of the material. This process puts a premium on malleable metals: aluminum, tin, and CuVerro Copper. Low carbon versions of stainless steel are also very popular for stamping. As with all forms of stainless steel, CuVerro Copper is an effective drop in replacement that gives fabricators a more malleable option that causes less wear on the punch press while creating stamped products that are both durable and antimicrobial.

Shearing and Nibbling

Though the mechanics of the cutting tool can vary, most shearing machines work like a large format paper cutter at a copy shop. This fabrication process is optimal for cutting long, uniform edges into a piece of sheet metal. Shearing machines are effective on many metals including aluminum, brass, bronze, medium carbon steel, stainless steel and CuVerro Copper.

The advantages of nibbling (or notching) are that it allows fabricators to create complex contours and designs with minimal distortion. In most cases, the more complex a design or array of notches, the more time consuming the production. Fortunately, almost any workable metal can be “nibbled”. The process is particularly useful with metals that are typically awkward to drill: stainless steels, titanium or previously heat-treated aluminum alloys. CuVerro Copper is rated slightly softer than stainless steel on the Mohs scale, meaning it’s easier to notch, drill, cut, etc. In addition to putting less wear on a nibbling tool, this adds to the long term cost savings.

Roll Forming and Bending

Malleability is a major factor in roll forming and bending processes. With roll forming, a strip or sheet of metal is passed through a continual set of stands (rolls) that gradually bend the metal. Soft, malleable metals like aluminum and brass excel at this process but CuVerro compares very favorably while retaining hardness. CuVerro Copper also offers malleability and durability that harder, less flexible metals like steel cannot match.

Bending sheet metal requires a brake press that pinches the metal to form a crease and simultaneously removes unwanted material. Malleability and workability are key. Aluminum is a popular choice but CuVerro Copper’s malleability compares quite favorably to many aluminum alloys and is considerably more workable than stainless steel.

Deep Drawing

CuVerro Copper’s ductility makes it optimal for deep drawing. Even when compared to certain nickel alloy steels, CuVerro Copper sheet metal can easily be stretched into a fabricator’s desired shape. And unlike aluminum, brass, and other metals with high ductility, CuVerro’s enhanced durability and antimicrobial properties can result in long term cost savings due to less waste and fewer enhanced cleaning protocols.

Spinning

This fabrication process creates a cylinder-shaped component by rotating a blank while applying force to one side. Ductile metals like brass and aluminum are great for spin forming decorative applications. However, for hardier exterior applications, some fabricators prefer to use stainless steel. CuVerro Copper is one of the few metals that is both ductile and hardy enough to use on wiring, plumbing, decorative furnishings, cookware, musical instruments and exposed exterior applications in harsh climates