From the infamous Chrysler building in New York City to the framework of the cars we drive, countless everyday objects are fabricated with sheet metal. Sheet metal is produced by processing various metals like aluminum, brass, and copper into thin sheets. The sheet metal process typically has four stages: the melting stage, the pouring stage, the pickling stage, and the rolling and annealing stage. Curious to learn more about the processes and how they work to create the structures we know and use every day? Read on to learn how sheet metal is made.
The 4 Stages of the Sheet Metal Process
1. The Melting Stage
Because metal can be formed into thin sheets, the metal needs to be processable. To do this, metals are melted into a processable, uniform ingot to be later pressed and flattened into a sheet. Regardless of the type of metal used, the metal stage always comes first in the sheet metal-making process.
2. The Pouring Stage
Once the metal is completely liquified, the metals are poured out of the crucible and into a rectangular mold. The metal must stay in a liquid state for this process so that it does not begin to harden outside of the mold. Once the metal cools, it forms to the shape of the mold and into a rectangular object known as an ingot.
3. The Pickling Stage
When ingots cool, they are later cleaned in the pickling stage. This stage involves using a chemical mixture, which cleans the ingots for later processing.
4. The Rolling and Annealing Stage
Once clean, the rolling and annealing process begins with two large rollers to thin out the metal in a repetitive motion, moving closer together each time to attain the desired thickness. As ingots run through rollers repeatedly, they become harder. Sometimes, it’s necessary to anneal metal repeatedly throughout the rolling process. The annealing process consists of heating the metal up and pickling again before rolling once more. However, the metal is only heated and pickled again, not melted.
Contact Tampa Steel & Supply for Quality Sheet Metal
Tampa Steel & Supply is a family owned and operated business that has been serving West Central Florida’s steel needs since 1983. At Tampa Steel & Supply, our highest priority is providing personalized experiences and customer care that makes us stand out from other steel providers. For all of your sheet metal needs, call to get a free quote.