In order for the metal to be used for a further purpose, it is necessary to process it. Metal processing is a process by which the metal changes its dimension, shape or some properties so that it can be used later in the process. Metal as such can be processed manually or by machine. The choice of metal processing depends on its later use.

Machine metal processing is performed on a machine that has predefined tools which are used in processing. One of the main advantages of the machine metal processing, is the precision and the processing speed. As machines replace the man, the processing error is reduced to a minimum.

Machine metal processing can be divided into:

I. Processing with predefined tool geometry

  • Turning
  • Milling
  • Sawing
  • Drilling


II. Metal processing without a defined cutting tool blade

  • Grinding


III. Metal processing by using a free blade

  • Lapping
  • Polishing
  • Honing


IV. Processing without using a blade

Each of the above metal processing techniques has its advantages and disadvantages.

The choice of the metal processing technique depends to a great extent on the future use of the metal being processed, that is, on the precision and the processing quality.

On the other hand, manual metal processing is carried out using hand tools such as blades, shreds or abrasive paper.

This method of metal processing requires the strength of human muscles.


Manual metalworking can be divided according to tools

  • Filing
  • Sawing
  • Drilling
  • Grinding
  • Scraping

Sheet processing can also be carried out using the aforesaid techniques and methods.


Metal processing division

Metal processing can be divided into:

  • Treatment of the formless shape – eg waste material processing
  • Metal processing without separating particles – eg minting
  • Processing by particle removal – eg turning
  • Metal processing by joining: eg welding
  • Metal protection – eg coloring
  • Metal processing by changing properties – eg hardening


Heat metal processing

Heat metal processing implies the effect of the heat on the metal to change the metal properties and thus affect the microstructure.

The most common metals that are heat treated are steels, and the main reasons why metal processing is used are in the first place an increase in strength, followed by an increase in toughness and/or reshaping.

Heat metal processing takes place:

  • Before approaching to the deformation shaping
  • After formatting, to remove residual stresses
  • When an increase in strength is needed


Metal processing by using a CNC machine

The CNC lathe is a machine tool used to process metals and sheets by separating the particles. The application of the CNC technology in processing brings numerous advantages, primarily related to speed and precision. One of the main advantages of using the CNC technology in metal and sheet machine processing  is the ability to complete demanding projects using CAD-CAM technology where 3D drawings commands are used. However, one of the major drawbacks of this type of metalworking and breakage is the large amount of scrap forming . However, this disadvantage is compensated by high processing quality and small refinement requirements.

Metal and sheet machine processing, provides great precision and quality with little need for further refinement. By using the CNC technology, more demanding projects are transferred directly to CNC machines thanks to the CAD-CAM technology, and then processed.


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