Sheet metal is basically a large metal sheet that is shaped into small, thin and flat pieces. Different types of metals such as steel, brass, aluminum, copper, etc. can be formed into sheet metal of varying thickness. Very thin pieces of sheet metal are called as foils/leafs; whereas the thicker pieces are known as plates. Sheet metals can be cut and bent into various shapes such as flat sheets or spiral coils using sheet metal machinery.
Applications of Sheet Metal Machines
Sheet metal machines are commonly utilized in several industrial segments to manufacture a wide range of machinery parts, steel metal components, stainless steel sheet metal pieces, metal assemblies etc. Hence sheet metal machinery is considered as one of the best machine tools. Simple hand tools or complex power operated automatic machines are used produce sheet metal.
Various Tasks Performed by Sheet Metal Machines
The various tasks performed by versatile sheet metal machines include stretching, stamping, cutting, bending, shearing, deep drawing, perforating, deburring, spinning, roll forming, press brake forming, rolling, ironing, decambering, wheeling etc. The hydraulic press sheet metal machines and tools are used for stretching the sheet metal to make it straight and flat. This is done by using a grip at either side of the sheet to pull it beyond its elastic limit.
The stamping process involves pressing the metal into a pre-determined shape. It includes one or more stamping stations in order to execute different operations on the metal sheet for creating the finished product. The metal sheet is passed through a series of steps to alter its shape by cutting, forming or drawing the work piece.
Methods of Cutting Sheet Metal
Sheet metal can be cut by applying different methods that includes cutting the sheet manually or by implementing computer controlled laser cutting techniques. Cutting large metal sheets manually is difficult as the sheet may bend. Computer aided laser cutting is more precise and reliable. The laser cutting method focuses a beam of laser light over the sheet metal in order to heat and subsequently burn the metal. Laser cutting is easier and faster; it delivers sheet metals with smooth edges and also minimizes wastage.
Sheet metal machines and tools also help to shear the sheet metal to achieve the predetermined size. Bending is accomplished by shaping the metal sheet into diverse forms. The different types of press brakes are utilized for bending the sheet metal into the desired shape using a die set. The shearing process incorporates cutting extra large sheet metals into smaller sheets of required dimensions. Shearing should be done before stamping the metal sheet. It utilizes shearing force to cut the metal sheets. The sheet metal is kept between two blades that are forced against each other to produce straight line cuts.
The Bottom Line
The deep drawing process also uses sheet metal machinery and tools. It incorporates transforming the sheet metal into the required shape by pulling the sheet metal using a die set. Perforating is another sheet metal working process. It includes punching holes in the metal object. Deburring is also done using sheet metal machines in order to eliminate the sharp edges of the cut metal sheets.
A woodworking machine is primarily a workshop equipment; which is used to process wood. These tool room devices are normally powered by electrical motors; and are commonly utilized in wood workshops, timber mills and furniture industry, to perform a wide range of woodworking tasks such as wood cutting, carving, and shaping.
These are highly accurate and versatile tools. They help to implement different woodworking projects in a wood workshop; in order to manufacture a variety of wooden furniture and many other wooden items. Some of the most popular woodworking equipments that make difficult jobs easy are as follows.
The band saw is the simplest of all the woodworking equipments. It is used to precisely cut wood with smooth curves. Moreover, band saws are mainly utilized for re-sawing and cutting broad strips of wood stock as well as long wooden logs. They are compact in size and can therefore be easily operated to perform diverse wood cutting applications even in congested workshops.
The surface cum thickness planer is the right woodworking tool for planing down very thick wooden boards to the required thickness. This surface finishing tool slashes the surface of wood stock into even layers to produce boards of various dimensions. Moreover, a thickness planer can create uniform and flat wooden boards with the same thickness throughout their length.
The jointer is mainly used for joining two pieces of wood. It is an ideal tool for milling a flat, even surface on one side of a wooden board. It is also the perfect for joining a wooden surface exactly perpendicular to the edge of another wooden piece. They are available in various shapes and sizes.
The drill press is a multi purpose woodworking machine. It is a vital component of the wood workshop; that is extensively used for drilling accurate holes in the work piece. Wood workers also use it to bore holes at different angles in a precise manner. The drill press holds the work piece stationary while the drill moves axially to penetrate the wooden material in order to make holes.
Every woodworker also uses either a circular saw or a table saw. The table saw is regarded as an essential tool of any wood workshop. Large table saws are rapid and safe tools. They are commonly used to neatly cut large pieces of timber. Several tasks can be done on the table saw. It is a versatile workshop tool around which a woodshop is designed. A typical table saw unit includes a large and strong table; a solid fence and a sturdy electric motor. Table saws are intended to make deep square cuts, cross cuts, beveled cuts or compound cuts.
The adjustable circular saw is another type of woodworking machine that includes an adjustable, tilting working table to perform cuts of specific depths on the work piece. This workshop machine is a highly efficient wood working tool used for crafting highly accurate straight cuts. It is also equipped with accessories like motor pulley, motor plate etc.
The grinding machine is a type of tool that is utilized for grinding work pieces. It basically use an abrasive wheel as the cutting tool. The rough surface of the abrasive wheel shreds off small portions of the work piece as required. It is also known as a grinder.
A grinder is generally used to precisely shape and finish the given materials with low surface roughness and high surface quality. It is primarily a finishing operation that removes relatively small quantities of metal, to deliver highly accurate products. However, certain grinding applications also involve swiftly eliminating high volumes of metal.
It comprises of a bed with a fixed guide to hold the work piece; and a power driven wheel that spins at a predetermined speed. The head of the grinder can be set to move across a fixed work piece; or the work piece can be moved while the head remains in a stationary position. The position of the grind head or table can be fine controlled by using a hand wheel, or a computerized numeric controller.
It generate considerable amounts of heat; hence coolants are used to cool the work piece to avoid overheating, prevent accidents and maintain its tolerance. In some high accuracy grinding machines such as the hydraulic cylindrical grinders and surface grinders; the final processes generate relatively little heat; thus coolants are not needed as the temperature is tolerable.
Grinders are used in engineering, electrical, automobile and many other industries. The various types of these tools are as follows:
A bench grinder is manually operated and normally has two wheels of different grain sizes that are fixed on a floor stand or work bench; to perform roughing and finishing operations. It is mainly used to shape tool bits; and repair or make various tools.
A belt grinder includes a machining process to grind metals and other materials, with the help of coated abrasives. Belt grinding is a versatile process that involves several kinds of applications such as stock removal and finishing.
A jig grinder is used for finishing jigs, dies, and fixtures. It grinds holes and can be used for complicated surface grinding and finishing work. A gear grinder is used to remove the last few inches of material while manufacturing high precision gears.
There are two types of cylindrical grinders, one that has a center and the other is center less. A cylindrical grinding machine may have multiple grinding wheels. Here the work piece is rotated and fed through the wheels to form a cylinder. It is widely utilized to manufacture accurate objects like tubes, rods, bushings, bearings, and other parts.
An efficient surface grinder may be manually operated or CNC controlled. It has a head that is lowered, while the work piece moves back and forth; past the wheel on a table. Tool and cutter grinder, and the D-bit grinder perform the functions of a drill bit grinder, or other special tool room operations.
Today, several types of machines, equipments and tools are invented in order to automate numerous industrial activities; such as cutting, drilling, milling, threading, shaping etc. A small or large work piece made from wood, metal etc. can be used to create the required product using a shaping tools. It is basically utilized to shape straight and flat metal surfaces.
Applications of Shaping Machine
It helps to cut and form aluminum, steel, ferrous and non-ferrous metals into different shapes, curves, and angles. A variety of shaping equipments with different specifications are available nowadays. Metal shaping equipments vary from inexpensive hand tools to latest devices that save both time and effort. Hence choosing a highly efficient shaping machine will primarily depend on the exact requirements of the user, their budget and quality of the selected one.
Importance of Shaping Machine in Different Industries
All industries apply a wide range of hand and/or power tool room to shape sharp sheets of metal into usable materials. Soft metals like copper, or hard metals such as steel, require the appropriate equipments to transform sheet metal into the final product; without damaging or denting the work piece. The various metal cutting and shaping tools that help to transform raw metals into usable objects with accurate and customized shapes; are as follows:
A versatile lathe is a tool that turns metal materials to shave away the exterior part and form the desired shape. A metal stock is mounted on a lathe that spins the material like a potter’s wheel. The turning work piece is pressed against a sharp cutting tool to create a precisely shaped material.
About Different Other Shaping Machines
A milling machine is another metal cutting that has the ability to carry out a variety of tasks; that includes cutting, carving, stamping, milling and shaping. Milling are normally large, floor mounted units. A metal stock is placed on the milling table, to cut and shape the object. Programmable and automated, CNC milling deliver highly accurate shapes.
A machine press refers to several multi-purpose metal cutting tools. They are primarily used to cut and deform metals by pressing the work piece in between two heavy plates. The machine can cut, bend, stamp and shape metal sheets into different forms; depending on the shape of the pressing plates. A typical press may be bench or floor mounted; and is usually powered by pneumatic force or electricity.
A metal working plane or planer shaves thin and exact strips of metal away from the surface of a work piece. It can cut flat surfaces, and create long slots, channels and grooves through a metal work piece. Metal working planes are generally large, floor mounted. Here the metal stock is placed on the machine’s stationary table and passed through a cutting attachment with an adjustable arm to produce the required shape.
Moreover, before selecting the right shaping machine assure; that it is manufactured using high quality cast iron for higher efficiency and stability. Also ensure that it is sturdy, safe and durable;corrosion resistant, energy efficient and cost-effective.
A milling machine is a tool that is basically used to shape or cut solid metals by removing the excess material in order to form a finished product. These are mostly utilized in the metalworking industry to perform a wide range of complex cutting operations; such as keyway and slot cutting, drilling, diesinking, threading, carving, milling, rebating, planing, routing, and much more.
Versatility is the primary reason to use milling machines for shaping metals. These are powerful tools with the capability of cutting a wide range of metals from aluminum to stainless steel. Nowadays, a variety of technologically advanced are manufactured to satisfy the growing needs of several industrial sectors.
Milling equipments are built with different specifications and each is named based on a particular function. All milling tools essentially serve the basic purpose of cutting and shaping metals. However, each is categorized into different groups based on the various standard specifications. These multi purpose machines can simultaneously carry out multiple tasks such as milling, cutting, drilling etc.
Milling tools are available in various sizes and can have a horizontal or a vertical orientation. In a horizontal the spindle faces horizontally, whereas a vertical has a spindle axis that faces vertically. It can be manually operated or mechanically automated. A computer numerical control or CNC milling tool is digitally operated, and helps to avoid accidents and save labor costs.
Every type has a different working speed to accurately cut the metals. It can be adjusted to move at a slow or fast speed as per the material being cut and according to specific requirements. Soft materials are usually shaped at higher speeds whereas hard materials are normally milled at a slow speed. Moreover, small quantities of a hard object can be cut at the same time.
A typical operation involves feeding the material over a device called a milling cutter. The ground slides, lead screws and teeth of the cutters; carve the work piece into precise and desired shapes. These popular machines can mill, thread, grind and do much more. A milling machine can even drill holes straight down like a drill press. The work piece can also be kept at the side of the tool in order to shape its edges.
There are numerous types of it, each with varying functions based on standard requirements. They are normally termed based on the orientation of the spindle; number of axis present; type of control; size of the tool; its purpose; as well as the source of power. The common types of manual milling include; turret milling equipment also known as vertical ram mills; box or column mills; c-frame mills; planer style mills, knee-mill or the knee-and-column mill; horizontal mill, bed type mill, tracer controlled mill etc.
The main advantage of manual milling machines is that they are not very expensive. Hence, It is a perfect solution for performing different tasks related to shaping various metals.