Sheet Metal Operations

Different Sheet Metal Operations with Diagrams

In this article, we will discuss the various types of Sheet Metal Operations. But before moving ahead to understand these operations, we should also understand what actually the sheet metal is.

Sheet Metal: Sheet Metal is a thin sheet produced by rolling or hammering. These thin sheets are used to produce various types of sheet metal products according to requirements. The thickness of the sheet metal ranges from 0.15mm to 6 mm. Above 6mm, the sheet is not called sheet metal. It is called a plate. And, below 0.15mm, the sheet is called a foil.

Types of Sheet Metal Operations:

The sheet metal operations are of the following Types:

  1. Bending Operation
  2. Shearing Operation
  3. Blanking Operation
  4. Punching Operation
  5. Piercing Operation

Bending Operations are further of the following types:

  • Channel Bending
  • U-Bending
  • V-Bending
  • Offset Bending
  • Edge Bending

All of these types of operations are explained below in detail:

1)   Bending Operations:

The metal forming processes, in which a sheet metal piece is caused to bend and get formed in the desired shape by application of a force, are called Bending Operations. The types of bending operations are explained as follows:

Channel Bending:

In this type of bending, there is a die of channel shape and also a punch according to the shape of the die.

channel bending

As shown in the above image, the sheet metal piece is placed in-between die and punch. When a force is applied to the punch to move into the die, the sheet metal piece, in between, gets the shape according to the shape of the die and punch (i.e., a channel shape).


In this bending operation, there is a die of U-shape and the punch is also according to that as shown in the image given below:


When the punch is pressed by a force to move into the die, the sheet metal piece (in between the die and punch) gets formed in U-shape.



In V-Bending operation, the die and punch are according to V-shape, as shown in the image given above. In this kind of sheet metal operation also, when the sheet metal piece is pressed between the die and punch; it gets formed into the shape of the die i.e. V-shape.

Offset Bending:

In this type of bending operation, the sheet metal piece is formed in an offset shape.

offset bending

As shown in the image given above, the punch and die are also according to this shape so that the sheet metal piece can be formed into the desired shape.

Edge Bending:

Edge Bending

In edge bending operation, an edge of the sheet metal piece is bent. In this operation, the sheet metal piece is fixed or held in between two dies from one end, as shown in the above image. Then a punch is forced to strike upon the other end which is free (unfixed). Thus the open/unfixed edge of the sheet metal piece is bent to complete the forming process.

2)   Shearing Operation

Shearing is the metal forming process in which a sheet metal piece is separated into two parts.

shearing operation

In this, the sheet metal piece is placed or held in between two dies from one end (as shown in the image above). And, the punch is impacted on the other end of the sheet, causing the shearing effect. Thus the piece is divided into two parts.

3)   Blanking Operation

In this type of sheet metal operation, small piece/pieces of a circular shape or any other shape is sheared from the center of a large piece of sheet metal.

Blanking Operation

In this, the small piece which comes out is called a Blank (desired product) and the remaining material in the large piece (after blanking) is called scrap, as shown above. A Punch and a Die is used for this blanking operation.

4)   Punching Operation

Punching is also an operation just like Blanking. But the main difference is that the Blank piece which was the desired product in blanking is the scrap here in the punching operation. And, the remaining material which was the scrap in blanking is the final/desired product in this punching operation, as shown in the image given below.

Punhing Operation

So it is just opposite to Blanking but the process is almost the same. Punch and die are also used here just like blanking operation.

5)   Piercing Operation

Piercing is the operation in which very small holes are created in the sheet metal piece without removing any material from the sheet or by removing very little quantity of material (shown below in the image).

Piercing Operation

Punch & die both are used in this process also. The punch used in Piercing operation is generally of bullet shape.

So I hope this article has made a comprehensive explanation of various sheet metal operations in a detailed way.

I also recommend you to read the articles whose links are given below:

Sheet Metal Tools List (With Description and Images)

Sheet Metal Bend Allowance Explained [with Formula and Calculator]

Bend Deduction Explained [With Formula and Calculator]

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