When it comes to sheet metal machinery and fabrication, there is no shortage of technical terms, and each is as important as the next. Hence, it’s essential for any professional in the metal fabrication industry to know what certain key terms and phrases mean. In this blog, we’ve compiled a glossary of the most important techniques, terms and tools you will come across in any metal fabrication workshop.

#1: Machinability

Machinability measures how easily a material can be shaped without using the assistance of cutting or abrasive tools. Materials with good machinability, for example, require little machine power to cut.

#2: Shrink flanging

Flanging is the process of forming or bending metal so that it sits at a 90-degree angle. Shrink flanging is when the breakline of the bend is smaller than the trim line, while stretch flanging is when the breakline is greater than the developed trim line.

#3: Die set

Although it may sound like a pair of dice, die set is actually a term that refers to the fitting together of the upper and lower die assembly (or the punch and die holders). This typically includes heel blocks, guide pin bushings and guide pins. This assembly can be purchased commercially as a unit.

#4: Welding

Welding is the process of joining materials (typically metals) together using tools that apply heat and/or pressure to fuse surfaces together.

#5: Material utilisation

This term describes the difference in weight between the raw materials that are used to produce a part, and the finished part. Essentially, a higher percentage of utilisation that is the outcome from this calculation indicates the economic efficiency of the stamping.

#6: Slitter

This piece of equipment appears in the slitting line in a metal workshop. Its slitting tools cut or shear the metal after it has unwound from the coil.

#7: Base metal (or parent metal)

The base metal is the primary piece of metal that other parts of metal are welded to.

#8: PPE

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is the protective gear that everyone in a metal workshop should wear at any given time. Workers, business owners and managers all share the responsibility of knowing how to enforce and follow PPE guidelines. There are many different types of PPE, including protective headwear and footwear.

#9: Case hardening

Case hardening is the term given to a treatment by which an iron-base alloy is heated so that its exterior (case) is made harder than the interior (core). Heat treatments can include flame hardening, carburising and cyaniding.

#10: Punch and die clearance

This refers to the space that sits between cutting edge of the die block and the cutting edge of the punch. The punch and die clearance is determined by the type of material being cut and its thickness.

#11: Surface roughness

The surface roughness refers to the fine cuts and scratches on the surface of a material after it has been through the production line. It is usually reported as a figure of micrometres or microinches.

#12: Lancing

Lancing is a cutting process and technique in which the material is cut without separating the workpiece or producing a slug (also known as scrap).

#13: Tensile strength

Tensile strength is the measurement of the greatest force or stress a material can withstand without breaking. It is often measured in pounds per square inch (PSI) or kilo-pounds per square inch (KSI or KPSI).

#14: Alloy steel

Any type of steel that contains additional elements in amounts between 1% and 5% is alloy steel. Adding these extra elements (which include nickel, boron and manganese) typically improves the strength, toughness and resistance of the steel.

#15: Elastic deformation

The term ‘elastic deformation’ is given to a deformation in materials that is recoverable or reversible when the applied force ceases. That is, the material’s changes are directly proportional to the amount of force that is applied and responds to both increases and decreases in force.

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ACRA Machinery has been in the metal machinery industry since 1977. We are dedicated to providing the best service and advice for our customers. This includes everything from our metal machinery repair and servicing, to the range of new and used sheet metal machinery that we sell.

To explore the new and used sheet metal machinery we have on offer, browse our online collection or get in touch with us on 03 9794 6675 today.