Sheet metal forming

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Sheet metal forming is a process of cutting and forming relatively thin metal sheets, strips, and coils to create the desired shape.

What is Sheet metal forming?

Sheet metalworking, also known as Sheet metal forming and sheet metal fabrication, is a manufacturing process of cutting and forming relatively thin metal sheets, strips, and coils to create desired shape sheet metal parts. Because manufacturers typically perform these operations on presses with a set of dies, the terms pressworking or press forming are also commonly used in industry to describe them.

Sheet metalworking

Typical metal sheets measure between 0.4 (1/64”) mm and 6 mm (1/4) and are widely used across consumer and industrial applications such as beverage cans, automobile bodies, aircraft fuselages, appliances, metal furniture and filing cabinets.

Sheet metal forming processes are typically performed at room temperature on machined tools called Presses using Dies. The parts are referred to as “Stampings”.

Sheet metalworking processes are classified into three categories: bending, sheet metal drawing, and shearing.

  • Shearing – Cutting
    • Shearing
    • Blanking
    • Punching
  • Bending
  • Drawing


Shearing, as the name suggests, cuts the sheet metal using a punch and a die by applying shear stress.


Bending is a typical forming operation defined as metal straining around a straight axis. Bends can be either short or lengthy, depending on the design.


Drawing, also known as Deep Drawing, is a sheet-metalworking operation that creates cup-shaped, box-shaped, and other complex-curved and concave parts. It is accomplished by punching a metal sheet into a die cavity.

Sheet metal forming advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of sheet metalworking

  • Sheet metal is strong and durable
  • Due to its malleability it can be formed into various shapes while retaining its strength and structural integrity.
  • Wide range of materials
  • Low cost compared to processes such as forging, casting, and extrusion.

Disadvantages of sheet metalworking

  • High tooling and equipment costs
  • Cost for Complex Designs
  • Slower Production Process
  • Aesthetic Appearance


Because of their low cost and generally good strength and formability, low-carbon steel sheets are the most common and widely used.

  • Aluminium alloys
  • Stainless steel
  • Carbon steel
  • Alloy steel
  • Tool steel
  • Galvanized steel