How Is Sheet Metal Made?

Small Crucible


Small Crucible

Sheet metal can be made from a variety of different metals including aluminum, steel, copper, brass, nickel, tin, sterling silver and titanium. No matter what type of metal is used, the first step is to melt the metal in a container called a crucible.


Pouring Liquid Gold

When the metal is completely melted, it is poured out of the crucible and into a rectangular mold. The metal must be kept hot as it is poured into the mold so that it does not begin to harden outside of the mold.


Aluminum Ingot

When the metal has cooled completely, it is taken out of the mold. We now have a rectangular block of metal known as an ingot. The ingot is then dipped into a mixture of chemicals to be cleaned; a process known as pickling.


Once the ingot has been cleaned, it is put through a press. The press consists of two large rollers that thin out the metal. The press rollers are then moved closer together and the metal is run through again. Ingots may have to be run through the press several times before they reach the desired thickness.


As the ingot is run through the press the metal will become increasingly harder. It may be necessary to anneal the metal several times throughout the rolling process. Annealing the metal consists of heating it up and then pickling it again. During the annealing process the metal is only made warm-it is not melted again.


After the metal reaches the desired thickness, it is either shipped flat or rolled into a coil. Finished sheet metal is anywhere from .05 millimeters to 15 centimeters thick.

Related Articles

How to Melt a Palladium Bullion
The Plastic Manufacturing Process
How to Melt and Cast Aluminum
Homemade Clear Liquid Plastic
What Is Zinc Alloy?
What Is Forged Steel?
How to Braze Copper to Steel with Silver Solder
How to Flame Harden Steel
How to Dissolve Steel
Types of Metal Hardening Processes
How to Make Glue From Sap
How Is Polyurethane Foam Made?
How to Make a Metal Detector Search Coil
How to Make a Sodium Silicate Solution
What Forms When Two Continental Plates Collide?
Properties of & Uses for 8620 Grade Steel
High Density Polyethylene Manufacturing Process
How Does a Rock Crusher Work?
Types of Molding Processes
How to Make a Model of Gutenberg's Press