The Most Common Types of Metal Shaping Services

The Most Common Types of Metal Shaping Services

Published on July 11th, 2023

Understanding the basics of metal shaping services is crucial for anyone involved in the industrial or manufacturing sectors. Metal shaping is an intricate process that involves manipulating metal into a variety of forms, contributing to everything from the cars we drive to the utensils we use in our kitchens. Read on to learn more about out the most common types of metal shaping services.


Casting dates back thousands of years and is one of the oldest known metal shaping services. The process involves pouring molten metal into a mold, where it cools and solidifies into the desired shape. From intricate jewelry designs to large-scale industrial components, casting can accommodate a wide range of complexities and product sizes. Its versatility makes it a favored choice across industries like automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing.


Forging is a process that requires applying compressive force to shape metal. During forging, the metal is often heated, allowing it to be hammered, pressed, or rolled into the desired form. Known for producing incredibly strong parts, this metal shaping service finds common usage in the creation of tools, automotive parts, and various hardware. Due to their robust nature, forged parts can withstand high stress and severe conditions, making this metal shaping service a go-to option for many manufacturers.


In the rolling process, metal stock is passed through one or more pairs of rollers to reduce its thickness and achieve uniformity. The process induces plastic deformation of the metal, changing its grain structure and improving properties like strength, ductility, and toughness. Primarily used in the steel industry, rolling helps in the production of sheet metal, plates, and strips used in various applications, from construction to automotive manufacturing.


Extrusion is a process used to create objects with a fixed cross-sectional profile. It involves forcing metal through a die of the desired cross-section, similar to how toothpaste is squeezed out of a tube. It’s particularly useful for creating long objects with uniform cross-sections, such as rods and tubes. Aluminum, due to its high malleability, is commonly used in extrusion processes.


Drawing is another popular metal shaping service. It’s a process where metal is pulled—or drawn—through a die, reducing its cross-section and increasing its length. Drawing is frequently used in the creation of wire, tubing, and other similar products. Drawing is noted for its ability to produce smooth, high-precision results, which are often required in electrical applications.


Bending alters the shape of the metal by applying force along a linear axis on the workpiece. It’s most commonly used for shaping sheets and tubes. Bending is widely used in industries like construction and automotive, where it helps to form structural elements, vehicle body parts, and more. With the right machinery, a range of bending techniques can be applied, each offering unique advantages.


Stamping is a process that uses dies to transform flat metal sheets into various shapes. This process is often used to produce large quantities of a specific component and can be found in applications related to the automotive and consumer goods industries. Stamping allows for the creation of a diverse range of parts, from small electronic components to large automotive parts, and is appreciated for its high-speed, high-volume capabilities.

Deep Drawing

Deep drawing, a subset of metal stamping, involves pulling a metal sheet, or blank, into a die by a mechanical punch to create a three-dimensional shape. This process is particularly suitable for creating deep, hollow shapes like cans, tanks, and cups. It offers a high degree of precision and repeatability, making it a popular choice for manufacturing industries.


Metal spinning, also known as spin forming, involves rotating a metal disc or tube at high speed and forming it into an axially symmetric part using a CNC lathe. The process is highly versatile and can produce a variety of shapes, including conical, cylindrical, and complex hollow shapes. Common applications include cookware, rocket nose cones, and brass instrument bells.

Powder Metallurgy

Powder metallurgy involves creating metal parts from powdered metal. This process provides excellent control over the composition and microstructure of the final product, leading to superior mechanical properties. It’s a popular choice for producing components, such as high-temperature alloys and materials with unique properties, that would be difficult to achieve by traditional methods.

Laser Cutting

Laser cutting is a non-traditional metal shaping service that uses a high-powered laser to cut desired shapes and sizes. The heat from the laser beam causes the metal to melt and evaporate, leaving behind a smooth, clean cut. It’s a highly precise method for cutting intricate shapes without requiring any tooling. This technology is widely used in industries where accuracy and precision are paramount, such as aerospace and electronics.


Electroforming is a unique metal shaping process that uses electrodeposition to fabricate metal parts. It begins with a master pattern, often made of glass or plastic, that is coated with a conductive layer. Metal ions are then deposited onto this master, layer by layer, until the desired shape is achieved. Known for its precision, electroforming is commonly used to manufacture items like CDs, LPs, and precision parts for aerospace applications.


Hydroforming uses a high-pressure hydraulic fluid to press room-temperature working material into a die. It’s commonly used for shaping ductile metals, such as aluminum, brass, low alloy steels, and stainless steel, into lightweight, structurally stiff and strong pieces. The technique is widely used in the automotive industry to create intricate shapes and structures, which would be difficult to achieve with conventional methods.


Welding, while often thought of as a method of joining metals, is also a valuable metal shaping technique. It uses heat to melt the workpieces and additional filler material to form a pool of molten material that cools to become a strong joint. There are several types of welding, including arc, MIG, and TIG, each of which is suitable for different applications. Welding is essential in industries like construction, automotive, and maritime for both fabrication and repair work.

With this introduction to common types of metal shaping services, you now have a better understanding of the different techniques employed by the manufacturing industry to shape and manipulate metal.

These services—whether it’s casting, forging, or extrusion—each serve a unique purpose in creating durable, high-quality metal parts. Next time you encounter a metal product from a reliable steel distributor, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the processes behind the product’s creation.

The Most Common Types of Metal Shaping Services

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