General Characteristics of Forming and Shaping Processes

General characteristics of different forming and shaping processes such as flat rolling, shape rolling, drawing, extrusion, forging, forming and shaping of ceramics, sheet-metal forming, powder metallurgy and processing of plastics & composite materials.

S.no
Process
Characteristics
1 Flat rolling Production of flat plate, sheet and foil at high speeds; high surface finish, especially in cold rolling; very high capital investment; low-to-moderate labor cost.
2 Shape rolling Production of various structural shapes (such as I-beams and rails) at high speeds; includes thread rolling; low-to-moderate labor cost; requires shaped rolls and expensive equipment; requires moderate operator skill.
3 Drawing Production of long rod and wire with various cross sections; good surface finish; requires low-to-moderate operator skill; low-to-moderate die, equipment and labor costs.
4 Extrusion Production of long lengths of solid or hollow shapes with constant cross section; product is then cut into desired lengths; usually performed at elevated temperatures; cold extrusion has similarities to forging and is used to make discrete products; low-to-moderate labor cost; moderate-to-high die and equipment cost; requires low-to-moderate operator skill. 
5 Forging Production of discrete parts with a set of dies; some finishing operations usually required; usually performed at elevated temperature, but also cold for smaller parts; moderate-to-high labor cost; die and equipment costs are high;  requires low-to-moderate operator skill.
6 Forming and shaping of ceramics Production of discrete products by various shaping, drying and firing processes, requires moderate-to-high operator skill; low-to-moderate die and equipment cost.
7 Sheet-metal forming Production of wide variety of shapes with thin walls and simple or complex geometries; generally low-to-moderate die, equipment and labor costs; require low-to-moderate operator skill.
8 Powder metallurgy Production of simple or complex shapes by compacting and sinstering metal powders; low labor cost and skill and moderate die and equipment cost.
9 Processing of plastics and composite materials Production of wide variety of continuous or discrete products by extrusion, molding, casting and fabricating process; moderate die and equipment costs; requires high operator skill in processing of composite materials.
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