The original shape of a material is a key factor in considering the design of engineered products. Different shapes have many different uses and characteristics and their accurate selection is imperative to the success of said product. Shape selection is also important when we consider the cost and manufacturing element of the final product. Finding a shape close to the final product's design, or one that can easily be modified to suit the end purpose will accelerate the production time and save money at the manufacturing stage.
All information presented is done so in good faith and as general reference and therefore should not be relied upon for design purposes. For further information on any of the materials listed, or to discuss your requirements for shapes not listed here, we invite our customers to contact us with their enqueries.
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Tubes and pipes are unique in that their shape is multi-purpose. Their hollow form allows them to be used as a conduit; carrying anything from acids to oil and gas. By distributing forces around their perimeter, they are a light, yet strong load-bearing shape, with extensive uses.
Sheets and plates are used extensively across the engineering industry. they may be employed as cladding for a building, the skin of an aeroplane, or the "walls" of a storage tank. Depending on their material, they may be structural, pressured or corrosion repelling.
Generally used to produce screws, nails, fixings etc., Bars and Rods' form make them an ideal starting point for milling or turning into finished products reflecting their original shapes, or cut to produce washers and shims.
They are also used in forgings and to produce wire.
A starting point for many different products, billets may be used as the basis for machined products, as well as an additive alloying element used in castings. A useful example is the same grade of aluminium either being cast or machined into an engine block, both from billet.
Wire, as a shape, has perhaps the most diverse range of uses of all. it may be spun to make cables for bridges, or made into jewellery as hoops and bands, and even as a filler in welding processes. Different metals will give their respective wires different characteristics.
If a non-standard mill product is needed and wrought manufacturing integrity is required, the resulting product would be termed as a shape or profile. These may be produced at mill level by drawing or extruding. Further processes may involve anodising or secondary machining.
Cast products are created by pouring molten metals into a mould in the form of the shape of the required product. Castings are used to cut the time and reduce the costs involved in machining from ingot. They are also used to create shapes where machining is unsuitable.
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