Sheet Metal Forming Process Advantages and Disadvantages

Sheet metal enclosure manufacturing involves many different sheet metal forming processes such as roll forming, stamping, peen forming and more. This list compares the good and bad of each process so you can determine the proper one for your own unique requirement.

1. Roll Forming

This process is for long parts with constant complex cross-sections. It produces good surface finish and has high production rates. However, this process has high tool costs.

2. Stretch Forming

Stretch forming can be used to produce large parts with shallow contours but it is only suitable for low-quantity production. The cons are high labor costs, although tooling and equipment costs vary depending on part size.

3. Drawing

Drawing process is for production of shallow or deep parts with relatively simple shapes. The pros are its high production rates. The cons are its high tooling and equipment costs.

4. Stamping

Stamping process actually includes a variety of operations, such as punching, blanking, embossing, bending, flanging, and coining. Drawing can be used to produce simple or complex shapes. This process has high production rates and low labor costs and is very suitable for large volume production. On the other side, its tooling and equipment costs can be pretty high.

5. Rubber-pad Forming

Rubber-pad forming is being used for drawing and embossing of simple or complex shapes. This process produces sheet surface protected by rubber membranes. High flexibility of operation and low tooling costs are its main selling points.

6. Spinning

Spinning process is used to produce small or large axisymmetric parts. This process produces good surface finish and has low tooling costs. However, labor costs can be high unless operations are automated.

7. Superplastic Forming

Superplastic forming is being used to produce complex shapes with fine detail and close tolerances. However, the disadvantages are that forming times are long, production rates are low, and the parts are not suitable for high-temperature use.

8. Peen Forming

Peen forming is suitable for shallow contours on large sheets. This process is also used for straightening parts. Its operation has high flexibility but equipment costs can be high.

9. Explosive Forming

Explosive forming is being used to produce very large sheets with relatively complex shapes but the shape is usually axisymmetric. This process is suitable for low-quantity production because of its high labor costs and long cycle times. The main selling point is its low tooling costs.

10. Magnetic-pulse forming

Magnetic-pulse forming can be used for shallow forming, bulging, and embossing operations on relatively low strength sheets. This process is most suitable for tubular shapes. It has high production rates, although it requires special tooling.

Source by Colin Yao

2 replies
  1. Avatar
    Scott says:

    I like that you talked about how superplastic forming takes longer but provides more detailed shapes. I have been wanting to start making things out of tungsten metal. I can see how it would be nice to choose superplastic formed metal because it could give me the round shape that I want.

  2. Avatar
    Taylor Bishop says:

    Thanks for helping me learn more about sheet metal forming processes. I didn’t know about the drawing process or that it produces deep parts with simple shapes. Reading all of these processes makes me interested to see what they are like in action and how long it takes to perform them.


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