The Magic Behind Stretch Forming Sheet Metal

The process of stretching sheet metal has been described as working with pizza dough. However, those who have studied and mastered this art may raise an eyebrow at this simplistic explanation. But let us clarify.

Metal moves in a very similar way to pizza dough in that it grows larger and ever thinner as you stretch it out as it is kneaded and rolled.

Manually stretching metal can be a time-consuming but very satisfying process. Watching a skilled craftsman rolling and shaping a stubborn sheet of metal is a beautiful thing.

In today’s modern age, however, we need to do things a little faster which is why we have some incredible machinery to work sheet metal into the shapes that we need for manufacture.

What is stretch forming?

Stretch forming is the process of pressing and bending a sheet of metal into a preconfigured shape, usually over a form die. Pneumatic or hydraulic force is used to push the sheet over the form block which will then distort to take on the contours of the die.

The benefits of stretch forming sheet metal

Stretch forming offers superior surface quality and shape control. The process also allows for the production of complex shapes and detail. These are of great benefit in the intricate world of car manufacturing, as well as within the aerospace industry and even find application in domestic household appliances.

While we’ve offered a simple overview of the stretch forming process, the fact is that this is a complex and multifaceted procedure requiring precision equipment. Stretch forming machinery required skilled men to set up and operate the die table, the jaws, jaw swing and gripping pressure, as well as factoring in the maximum tonnage of the die table, the motor speed, pressure and flow of the power unit, and so much more.

Whatever your steel needs are, we can help. Our skilled team are experienced in all forms of metal fabrication including die cutting, hydroforming, roll forming, spinning, shrinking, stretching, stamping and finishing.

If you need more information on Stretch forming, we’d love to talk to you. Chat to one of our friendly team today.