finish processed metal

5 of the Basic Ways to Finish Processed Metal

Metal provides a wonderfully diverse starting point for many of the products we interact with on a daily basis. There are hundreds of ways to finish processed metal, methods for cutting, boring, etching, and smoothing. Over the next few months, we will be elaborating on some of the methods for processing metal that we employ within the Norfolk Iron & Metal Group.


Preparing to weld requires a lot of treatments. One of those is often beveling. Beveling is the process of cutting a sloping edge into two metal pieces so the joining edges have a greater surface area in contact. The precision of the diagonal cut makes for a strong weld. The fact that the way to finish processed metal also reduces the thickness of the two pieces’ butting endings further improves weld fusion.

A double bevel further strengthens the joining of the pieces by reducing the risk of a gap in the point of the V-shaped gap. Even without the double bevel, the introduction of a bevel makes the risk of the centerline cracking significantly less. The seam is also cleaner. 

Beveling creates emissions, which means that it is important to wear the correct safety gear when handling or around beveling equipment. Our Cd’A Metals component of the Norfolk Iron & Metal Group can complete your beveling efficiently and quickly, just what you need for successful welding. finish processed metal


Blanking is a form of stamping out a piece of metal from a larger coil of sheet metal. The material that is punched out of the sheet is the piece (or “blank”) that is then used in further applications. The sheet metal is fed continuously in a coil between a press and die where blanks are cut out in a minimally wasteful way.

Blanking is a highly customizable way to finish processed metal. It is mostly commonly used for punching out pieces of iron, copper, aluminum, carbon steel, and stainless steel. Blanking is beneficial in its ability to level and cut-to-length slit and smaller coils in a way that significantly reduces waste. We complete all blanking projects in-house at our Metalwest facilities.finish processed metal

Hole Punching

Similar to blanking, hole punching is a method for puncturing through sheet metal. The metal is fed into a press with dies and other tools on the other side of the sheet. The press, supported by the dies, puts pressure on the metal, causing plastic deformation until the metal is eventually perforated cleanly through. Unlike blanking, the piece that is then further processed is the one with the hole, not the blank created in the process. 

Blanking is a way to finish processed metals such as copper, aluminum, iron, brass, and stainless steel. The punches used are usually specific to customer specifications and depend on the application the metal will be subsequently used for, be it engineering, automotive, manufacturing, or textile applications. It should be noted that hole punching is most effective on material that is 25–30 mm thick. Our Cd’A Metals facilities manage all hold punchingfinish processed metal applications. 

Laser Cutting

Laser cutting is a way to finish processed metal that utilizes a focused high-energy laser beam to cut sheet or plate metal to intended specifications. The directed beam follows the programmed design (called a G-code) in a 2-dimensional profile, burning or melting through the metal, usually stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, or brass.

Laser cutting offers the option to make cuts highly precise, with low cut widths as small as 0.1 mm depending on the thickness of the material being cut. Occasionally the process also involves a high-pressure stream of gas to blow the molten material out of the bottom of the material being processed. This removes the waste from the cut area. Alternatively, the laser can  simply vaporize the excess. 

One of the advantages of laser cutting is that parts do not generally require significant post-processing other than the occasional deburring in the event of leftover slag. The process is also automated, quick, and highly precise. It can be used to finish processed metal of nearly any variety. It is, however, usually limited to making cuts of 25mm deep, so laser cutting is best suited to thin sheet material if fabricators want a high-quality cut.

Laser cutting is not without its drawbacks, however. The process requires a lot of power and can create noxious and dangerous fumes. The initial setup is expensive, and the maintenance costs are also high. We manage laser cutting at both our Cd’A Metals and Norfolk Iron & Metal sites.finish processed metal


Leveling is the process of unrolling metal coil and cutting it into lengths. The parent coil is unwound, leveled, and cut into cross sections. These newly cut pieces are then stacked and packaged. The point of this way to finish processed metal is to convert coil into sheet. Technology is at the point where tolerances during the process can be very tight, ensuring that quality is consistent and meets specifications.

These tight tolerances also accommodate minimal waste along the metal supply chain, saving customers time and money. We manage leveling and the cut-to-length process at both our Metalwest and Norfolk Iron & Metal properties, occasionally even processing non-ferrous material. Our customers can expect cut-to-length and leveling requirements from 28 gauge to 10 gauge carbon steel.

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