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What is metal processing -metal parts machined

Oct 12,20

What is metal processing -metal parts machined

Are you a metal processing enthusiast?Are you interested in complex works of art or logos made of metal?Well, welcome to the various applications of this industry, from metal marking, engraving, stamping and etching to grinding and milling, we will show you the unique charm of various processing techniques.

What is metal processing?

Metal processing is the process of applying various processes to metallic materials to make the required parts, assembly lines, or large structures.From large projects such as oil RIGS, ships and Bridges to small components such as engines, to jewellery, it is made from metal.Therefore, a wide range of techniques, processes, and tools are needed to work with metals and to achieve desired results.

There are three main types of metalworking processes: metal forming, metal cutting and metal joining.In this article, we will focus on the latest technologies used in metal cutting.

Cutting is the process of removing material to a specified form by using various tools.The finished parts shall meet the specified requirements in dimensions, workmanship, design and aesthetics.There are only two products in cutting -- the scrap and the finished product.After a metal is cut and processed, the waste is called metal chip.

Cutting processes can be further divided into three categories:

- Chips that produce chips fall into one category, also known as processing.

- Classification of the combustion, oxidation, or evaporation of materials.

 - The two are mixed, or other processes are divided into one category, such as chemical cutting

Drilling holes into metal parts is the most common example of a type I (chip generation) process.Using a cutting torch to cut a steel plate into small pieces is an example of a type of combustion.Chemical grinding is an example of a special process that USES etching chemicals to remove excess material.

Cutting technology

There are many techniques for cutting metals, such as:

- Manual techniques such as saws, chisels, scissors.

- Mechanical techniques such as stamping, grinding and milling.

- Welding/combustion technology: by laser, oxygen-fuel combustion and plasma combustion.

- Erosion technology: water jet, discharge or abrasive flow machining.

- Chemical techniques: photochemical processing or etching.

As you can see, there are many different types of metal cutting methods, and knowing and mastering them is a good place to start so that you can take advantage of all the technologies available in this wonderful field.

Several meta processing techniques

It is impossible to cover all of these techniques in one article.We will select six of them and explain what they are, their respective relevant tools, and possible use cases.

Metal Laser

Direct part marking is a series of techniques for permanently marking metal parts for traceability, industrial part labeling, decoration, or any other purpose.Marks have been made on metals since the beginning of man's use of tools such as axes and spears, and metal marking is as old as the invention of smelting.However, current technology has advanced to a level that allows humans to create highly sophisticated markers for any product imaginable.Marking can be achieved through a variety of techniques, including engraving, embossing, die-casting, stamping, etching and grinding.

Metal sculpture

Engraving is a technique mainly used to carve patterns, words, pictures or codes on metal surfaces in order to obtain products with permanent marks, or to print engravings on paper using engraved metals.Engraving mainly USES laser and mechanical engraving two technical means.Although laser technology has become very versatile and easy to use, it provides us with the highest quality metal engraving technology because it is computer-assisted and can be precisely ordered on a variety of surfaces for the best engraving results.Mechanical engraving can be done by hand or by more reliable zooming machines or CNC machines.

Metal engraving technology can be used for personalized jewelry, art products, laser imaging of light polymer, industrial marking technology, engraving trophy of sports competition, printing plate making, etc.

Metal stamping

Metal stamping is not a material reduction process.It USES molds to fold sheets of metal into various shapes.Household utensils such as pans, spoons, cooking POTS and plates that we come into contact with are punched out.Punch presses are also used to make ceiling materials, medical equipment, machine parts and even COINS.Its products are widely used in medical, electronic, electrical, automotive, military, HVAC, pharmaceutical, commercial and machinery manufacturing and other industries.

There are two kinds of metal stamping machines: mechanical and hydraulic.Stainless steel, aluminum, zinc, and copper sheets are generally cast, punched, and cut into three-dimensional objects by these machines.Because they are relatively easy to process, they have very high product turnover.Punch presses can be arranged in series to process metal raw materials, using different steps to convert them into finished parts and separate them from the processing line.

The press is widely used and can produce all kinds of products.These products come in different sizes and designs and are mostly used for industrial purposes.Usually, you just send a sample and a sheet of metal to a company that makes metal stamping, and you get what you want.

Metal etching

Etching can be done by photochemical or laser processes.Laser etching is a popular technology at present.Over time, the technology has grown exponentially.This is done by etching a metal surface with high precision using coherent amplifying beams.

Lasers are the cleanest form of etching marking because they do not involve the use of corrosive agents, or drilling or grinding processes with dense noise.It simply USES a laser beam to vaporize the material, following instructions from a computer program, to make an accurate image or text.As technology continues to make them smaller and smaller, researchers or laser enthusiasts can now buy newer, cheaper laser equipment.

Chemical etching

Chemical etching is the process of exposing a part of a sheet of metal to a strong acid (or etch), cutting patterns on it, and creating design shapes in grooves (or incisions) in the metal.It is essentially a reduced-material process, using etching chemical methods to produce complex, high-precision metal parts.In basic metal etching, the surface of the metal is covered with a special coating resistant to acid, parts of the coating are scraped off by hand or mechanically, and the metal is then placed in a bath of strong acid reagents.The acid eats away at the uncoated metal, leaving the same pattern as when the coating is scraped, and finally removes and cleans the piece.


Photolithography is the photographic process of acid - resistant layers on metal surfaces.A major difference from the mechanical or manual scraping technique before chemical etching is that the acid-resistant layer applied is also irradiated to produce a photoresist layer (photoresist layer), a process that helps to produce highly accurate and reproducible patterns.

There are all kinds of machines in this field.They include optical fiber lasers, CO2 and uv machines.

Metal grinding

Grinding is the physical grinding of a workpiece using a cutting tool (or tool). It is usually used to trim rough edges, deburr, polish welds, remove chips, create sharp edges, or create a unique finished appearance for metal parts.Usually, grinding is the last step of a part after it has been engraved, punched, etched, or any other form of metal processing.

Here are the six main types of grinders and their different types of applications.

- Abrasive belt grinding machine: It mainly USES an electric belt coated with abrasive to process the metal surface to obtain the desired finish.

- Grinder: This is a very cheap hand tool that USES a tabletop tight electric grinding wheel to grind agricultural tools, small metal parts, etc by rotation.

- Cylindrical grinder: This type of grinder is used primarily for cylinders, cams, or a
combination of the two.It consists of a rotating grinding wheel and a feed system that feeds the workpiece to the grinding machine.Some types of cylindrical grinding machines use a built-in cooling system to make the workpiece as close to room temperature as possible to obtain the best grinding effect.

- Surface grinding machine: This is the most commonly used type of grinding machine. Surface grinding is mainly a finishing operation.A grinding machine polishes a metal surface by rotating the grinding wheel to give it a more refined appearance or ideal functional surface.

- Bit grinder: This type of grinder is mainly used for grinding various types of bits.

- Coordinate grinder: This type of grinder is used for finishing jigs, fixtures and dies.Their main function is drilling bushing and pin grinding.They can also be used to complete complex surface grinding not completed on milling machines.These grinders enable us to make drills with high precision and complex geometry.

As you can see from the above example, grinders can be used in many fields, including making engine cylinder blocks, aerospace, ship and automobile parts, as well as moulds for other metal processing.

Metal milling

Milling is the process of cutting material from a metal surface to form the final shape.The milling machine consists of a milling cutter rotating on the spindle and a table that can be moved in multiple directions relative to the face.As the table moves along the X and Y axes, the spindle usually moves vertically, milling complex shapes as designed in advance.The milling machine can be operated manually or processed automatically by CNC system.Can perform a variety of complex operations, including grooving, cutting, drilling, thread milling, edge milling, etc.

Two common types of milling machines are: horizontal and vertical milling machines.Milling is the main process of manufacturing engine cylinder block, gear parts, threads and other parts.They are mainly used for milling surfaces, but can also be used for irregular surfaces.They can also be used to make drill bits, boring heads, hobbing, milling and grooving.