Sheet metal fabrication can be a hard concept to grasp because there are many different processes and tools necessary to complete a project. To help you better understand what sheet metal fabrication is, which processes are used and which tools are necessary to get the job done, here is Kaempf & Harris’ quick glossary to basic sheet metal fabrication terms:

Stretch Forming is a unique metalworking process by which sheet, rolled sections or extrusions are formed over or around dies, with the required shape and contour, while the work piece is held in tension. The work metal is held just beyond the yield point (generally 1-3% total elongation) to permanently retain the desired contour and shape. Normally, if you want to have open space in a metal object, you’d use a wire mesh, or cut holes into a piece of sheet metal using a CNC punch/laser. However, an alternative way of adding open space is to take sheets or coils of metal and put it through an expanding machine.