Punching & Forming

Punching and forming metal are two of the most common methods of fabricating metal.

Punching

We see the results of punching every day: from the holes on sheets of paper to air vent holes, the idea is the same. A punch is pushed against a material until a hole forms in the shape of the punch.

Simple, right?

Well, there are a bunch of factors to consider, such as:

Hole size: a rule of thumb is making sure the hole is small than the thickness of the material. For example, if the material is 1/2" thick, the smallest hole is 1/2" in diameter. Attempting to punch a smaller hole risks damaging the punch.

Punch: through increasing force and resistance, a part of the material shears and cuts away. Friction exposes the punch to heat and stress.

Die: a die is a template of the final product. An essential factor for using a die is to make sure it has the right amount of clearance. The uniform clearance allows early fracturing of the material, keeping any heat and stress from building up.

Stripper: holding the material still during the punching process is the job of the stripper. The stripper prevents the lateral force from occurring.

Alignment: The press should be maintained, aligned, and in good shape. The material should be uniform and flat.

Tooling: creating quality and accurate holes need necessary tool sizes and shapes. Look for how well a fab shop maintains their tooling.

Forming Steel

There are several ways to form steel and Schuette Metals uses the methods that best fits our company.

Cold-Forming Steel

Pressing steel around room temperature refers to cold-forming steel. Since it's not heated, cold-formed steel doesn't change its form or shrink.

Cold-formed steel framing is cost-effective, durable, and reliable.

Schuette Metals performs cold-forming steel for the following benefits.

  • Durability and Strength: if you need consistent finish and precise edges, use cold-formed steel. Pressing the steel without heat reduces the chances of flaws occurring. These flaws lead to buckling and weakness of thinner panels.
  • Sustainability: steel is North America's most recycled material and considered infinitely recyclable.
  • Cost-Efficient: factoring the previous two advantages leads to the fact that lifetime steel costs are very low.

Air Bending Steel

The primary method of cold-forming steel at Schuette is air bending.

Air bending steel describes the process where the steel presses into a die. The depth of the vertical punch determines the bend angle.

There are three main advantages of air bending steel:

  • Less Steel: There's less steel needed to bend when comparing other cold-forming methods.
  • Extends Tool Life: less tonnage means longer lasting tools and dies.
  • Flexibility: air bending steel allows both common and uncommon tools. This flexibility enables Schuette to create custom parts.

Here at Schuette Metals, we ensure optimal part quality and precision because we program our equipment offline and create a 3D image ensuring quality.

Finally, size doesn't matter; we form parts up to 16 feet long and 320 metric tons.

What can Schuette Metals do for you today?