Metal processing, i.e., creating steel products

Metalworking is a key element of production processes in the automotive, metallurgical, shipbuilding, mining, as well as furniture and construction industries. Metalworking is essential for complex activities such as building houses, plumbing and venting, building bridges, and manufacturing cars.

        It is also necessary for the design of small-sized elements, such as those used in the decoration or furniture industry. However, not everyone knows what metal processing is, what its types are, and how to create steel products. Therefore, we will take up these issues in today’s article.


What is metal processing?

The term “metalworking” consists of several different activities aimed at changing the shape of metal parts by using appropriate processing techniques. The purpose of metal processing is to change its dimensions and physical and chemical properties. Metal processing is a set of technological activities carried out in industrial plants around the world. It is especially important in factories and production plants.

What are the methods of metalworking?

The breakdown of metalworking methods is as follows:

  • machining—a process consisting of giving the elements the expected shapes and dimensions by fragmentary removal of parts of their surfaces. This makes it possible to change the structure of the surface of the object, i.e., to bring it to the shape desired by the recipient. Metal cutting consists of three processes: turning, milling, and grinding.
  • plastic working-action during which the material is shaped, both dividing it and changing its properties or structure. This is due to the plastic action. Processing can be done cold, that is, at temperatures lower than the recrystallization temperature, or hot when this temperature is higher.

There are four types of plastic work:

  1. Forging—manual or mechanical—is about giving the desired shape through force or pressure and crushing.
  1. Embossing is most often used for sheets, strips, plates, and foil. The shape is achieved during the process of separating the secondary material from the base material. It consists of cutting, cutting, trimming or other forms of plastic shaping of the material.
  1. Drawing – it is a controlled elongation of a given material and the simultaneous reduction of its diameter.
  1. Bending—that is, changing the shape of a given material while maintaining the same transverse dimensions— Often, metal bending is preceded by a hydrothermal treatment that increases the deformation tendency.
  • Heat treatment is a process of exposing the material to temperature changes during which the structure of alloys changes, which changes the individual chemical, mechanical, and physical properties. Heat treatment is used primarily in the case of steel due to its particular tendency and susceptibility to this type of treatment. The scope of treatment, in this case, includes hardening, annealing, solution treatment, and stabilization.
  • Chemical treatment of metals: a type of metal treatment involving the chemical or physicochemical impact of the material on the metal’s surface to create a specific protective coating that protects against corrosion and increases the strength of the metal.
  • Thermo-chemical treatment: a treatment most often used in the case of iron-carbon alloys such as steel, cast steel or cast iron, where some of their physical and chemical properties are modified under the influence of heat and the chemical influence of the environment and other activities.