Metal forming and welding glossary

To help site visitors understand the metal stamping, bending, deep drawing, roll forming, corrugating, and other metal fabricating processes, Advantage Fabricated Metals has included this one-of-a-kind metal forming and welding glossary. Our glossary is organized as an alpha listing to quickly assist you in finding the term you are looking for.



Object or drawing showing or having two dimensions, so that the object or drawing is lacking depth.


Object or drawing showing or having three dimensions, so that the object or drawing is showing a depth dimension.


Abrasion resistance

Ability of a coating to withstand rubbing, scraping and other eroding forces.

Accordion reed steel

Hardened, tempered, polished and blued or yellow flat steel with dressed edges and a carbon content of about 1.00%. Material has to possess good flatness, uniform hardness and high elasticity.

Actual weight

Actual weight is also called the scale weight. Customers buy by the actual (scale) weight of the steel. The theoretical weight is used in estimating, not billing.

Adapter (lower)

Lower section of a die on which the part nests. Also called a boss, die post, horn, locator, master, master adapter, master plug, riser, and stool.


A block used to mount a forming tool to a slide.


See progression.

Aerial cam

A cam attached to the upper half of the die with a driver on the bottom half of the die. Also called flying cam, dog leg cam, or walking cam.


See skin or cast.

Air bend die

Angle-forming dies in which the metal is formed without striking the bottom of the die. Metal contact is made at only three points in the cross section – the nose of the male die and the two edges of a V-shaped die opening.

Air bending

A metal forming operation in which a metal part is formed without the punch and die closing completely on the part. See press brake.

Air cushion

An air-actuated die cushion.

Air draw

A draw operation performed in a single action press with the blankholder pressure supplied by an air cushion.

Air hardening steel

An alloy steel that will harden by cooling in still air from a temperature higher than the transformation range. It is also referred to as self-hardening steel.

Air pin

See pressure pin.

Air spring

See pneumatic spring.


Acronym for American Iron and Steel Institute.


A substance that has metallic properties and is composed of two or more chemical elements of which at least one is an elemental metal. A metal that contains one or more other elements usually added to increase strength or give the base metal important properties.


Base metal with other metal or non-metal constituents melted together into a new molecular structure.


Commercial trade name for a chromate conversion coating over aluminum.


A soft, lightweight, silver-white metallic chemical element that is the third most common element. Aluminum is denoted by the symbol Al and has an atomic number of 13, an atomic weight of 26.9815, a melting point of 650°C, and a boiling point of 2450°C. It is highly ductile, malleable, conductive, and resistant to corrosion and wear, and is widely used in alloys for beverage cans, household utensils, aircraft and automobile parts, electrical equipment, and many other products.

Aluminum alloy

Pure aluminum that has been melted together with other constituents to achieve specific physical and mechanical properties.

Aluminum oxide

Hard mineral of aluminum and oxygen (AI03) used as an abrasive and multi-tooth cutters.

Angle steel

See pre-hem steel.The steel in a hem die that bends the 90° flange to approximately a 45° flange so the hem steel can finish hemming the flange. Also called starting steel or starting ring.


See plastic anisotropy.


A process, consisting of heating to and holding at a suitable temperature followed by cooling at a suitable rate, used primarily to soften metallic materials, such as steel. This process also simultaneously produces desired changes in microstructure, as in other properties, such as improvement of mechanical or electrical properties, increase in stability in dimensions, facilitation of cold work, and more. See batch anneal.


The softest possible state of any material.


A process involving the heating and cooling of a metal, commonly used to induce softening. The term refers to treatments intended to alter mechanical or physical properties or to produce a definite microstructure.

Annealing, full

A heat treating process in which metal is heated to a temperature above its critical range, held at that temperature long enough to allow full recrystallization, then slowly cooled through the critical range. Annealing removes working strains, reduces hardness, and increases ductility.


Process of applying a controlled oxide layer to the surface of aluminum.

Anvil steel

The lower steels or adapter against which the hem steel finishes or flattens the hem.

Arbor press

A press originally developed for forcing arbors or mandrels into holes and similar assembling.

Arc welding

A group of welding processes in which fusion is obtained by heating with an electric arc or arcs, with or without the use of filler metal.


Partial circles used to describe rounded corners of material and show bends in material. Artificially aged-hardening process of material accelerated by temperature.

As welded

The condition of weld metal, welded joints, and weldments after welding and prior to any subsequent thermal, mechanical, or chemical treatments.

Aspect ratio: dimensionless

The maximum length-to-thickness ratio of which a process is capable. Batch processes like casting have limits imposed by the physics of the process. Continuous processes like rolling, extrusion or wire-drawing have no real upper limit. For these, a cut-off of 1000 has been used.



American Standard of Testing and Materials. A non-profit organization that provides a forum for producers, users, ultimate consumers, and those having a general interest (representatives of government and academia) to meet on common ground and write standards for materials, products, systems, and services.

ASTM Standards

A series of documents, approved and published by ASTM, that include specifications or requirements, practices, guides, test methods, etc., covering various materials, products, systems or services. In the steel industry, the steel related ASTM standards are used by both the producers and users to ensure that a steel product or service meets all intended requirements. See ASTM – American Society for Testing and Materials.

Austenitic stainless steel

Non-magnetic stainless steel. This material cannot be hardened through heat treatment.


A brand name of CAD software prevalent in the marketplace.

Automatic press stop

A machine-generated signal for stopping the action of a press, usually after a complete cycle, by disengaging the clutch mechanism and engaging the brake mechanism.

Automatic press

A press with built-in electrical and pneumatic control in which the work is fed mechanically through the press in synchronism with the press action.

Automatic spinning

The art of forming metal over a mold using an automatic (computer controlled or template) spinning lathe.

Auxiliary slide

A bed mounted, cam operated, slide typically used for forming on a slide-forming machine.

Axisymmetric drawing

The drawing of shapes having an axis of symmetry such as cones and round cups.