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Metal forming and welding glossary - M

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The relative ease of machining a metal.


This is the group of processes in which a shape is generated by removing unwanted material. Machining can be used to make a component from stock material but more often it is used as a secondary process to impart a shape or a level of precision to a manufactured component that cannot be achieved otherwise. Shape restrictions exist for some machining processes.

Mahogany stick

See spotting stick.


The property that determines the ease of deforming a metal when the metal is subjected to rolling or hammering. The more malleable metals can be hammered or rolled into thin sheet more easily than others.


Usually a fixed tool on a slide forming machine that metal formed against by the action of a glide mounted form tool.


The degree to which a product can be efficiently and accurately produced using modem manufacturing methods. See prototype.


A simplified detail print or sketch usually showing just the location and sizes of holes in a detail or steel.

Marforming process

A rubber-pad forming process developed to form wrinkle-free shrink flanges and deep-drawn shells. It differs from the Guerin process in that the sheet metal blank is clamped between the rubber pad and the blank holder before forming begins.

Marriage gap

Space between the trim edge of the inner panel and the inside of metal of the outer panel flange before hemming.

Martensitic stainless steel

Select group of 400 or 500 Series stainless steels that are magnetic and hardenable by heat treating.



Temporary shielding of a portion of a product to selectively prevent the application of a coating.


Lower section of a die on which the part nests. Also called a master plug, adapter, boss, die post, horn, locator, and stool. Section of die used to govern the form or contour of the mating die section. It is usually male shape or inside metal. Also, a wood model or die aid.

Master adapter

Lower section of a die on which the part nests.

Master die

Universal tool receptacle for holding changeable tool systems.

Master plug

Lower section of a die on which the part nests.


A condition in which a point in one die half is aligned properly with the corresponding point in the opposite die half within specified tolerance.

Material utilization

Extent to which optimal use of material is approached. The material utilization is the mass-fraction of primary material entering the process which remains in the final product. It is measured on a scale of 0-1. Machining from solid leads to low material utilization. Near net-shape processes allow a utilization approaching 1.

Mating flange area

Area of inner panel covered by flange of outer panel.

Mating surface

Area of inner panel that is in contact with outer panel.

Matte finish

A dull or grit surface appearance achieved by rolling on rolls which have been roughened by mechanical, chemical, or electrical means to various degrees of surface texture.

Matte surface

A dull surface appearance on a tin plate product; non-reflowed tinplate.

Maximum dimension

Units: mm (SI), inch (Imperial). The largest dimension of a component which can be created by the process. In batch processes it is limited by the capacity of the machine, but it can be increased by joining. In cases where there is no defined limit, a cut-off of 10,000 mm has been used. Continuous processes like rolling, extrusion or wire-drawing have no real upper limit on length so, instead, maximum width is stored.

Maximum elongation

It is the maximum engineering strain the material can take until fracture. Also called fracture strain. Shown as emax.

Master strength

The maximum stress (tensile, compressive, or shear) a material can sustain without fracture; determined by dividing maximum load by the original cross-sectional area of the specimen. Also known as nominal strength or ultimate strength.

Measuring and inspection gauges

Precision-made mass production tooling used by semi-skilled factory workers to test and/or check mass produced components for conformance to engineering requirements and specifications, often to very high levels of dimensional and/or form accuracy.

Mechanical assemblies

Part combinations attached by mechanical means through the use of hardware.

Mechanical fastener

Device clamping two or more components together by mechanical force, such as rivets, screws, ere.

Mechanical press

A forging press with an inertia flywheel, a crank and clutch, or other mechanical device to operate the ram.

Mechanical press brake

A press brake using a mechanical drive consisting of a motor, flywheel, crankshaft, clutch, and eccentric to generate vertical motion.

Mechanical properties

Properties of a material that reveal the elastic and inelastic reaction when force is applied, or that involve the relationship between stress and strain such as the modulus of elasticity, tensile strength, and fatigue limit. These properties are oftentimes referred to as "physical properties".

Mechanical working

Plastic deformation or other physical change to which metal is subjected, by rolling, hammering, drawing, etc. to change its shape, properties or structure.

Melting point

The temperature at which a metal begins to liquefy.

Melting rate

The weight or length of electrode melted in a unit of time.


The material subjected to an operation of a forming class type. An elemental metal or alloy of metal mixture in a self-shape-sustaining state (this excludes molten, gaseous, or powdered).

Metal arc weld

Metal melting and fusing process using a continuous metal consumable electrode with an inert gas around the electrode to shield against oxidation.

Metal arc welding

An arc welding process in which a metal electrode is held so that the heat of the arc

Metal clearance

The running clearance on bottom of press stroke between flange steels or male and female form steels.

Metal forming

Solid metal and molten metal process such as casting, forging, stamping and machining.

Metal thinning

Thickness reduction during any forming operation.


See forming.

Metameric match

See conditional match.

Micro ties

Thin bridges of metal which are left to hold parts in place during turret punch fabrication.

Midget mill

See carburr.

MIG or MIG weld

MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas welding and is often referred to as wire-feed welding. MIG welding is a commonly used high deposition rate welding process. During the welding process, wire is continuously fed from a spool. MIG welding is sometimes referred to as a semi-automatic welding process.

MIG welding process -illustration



A factory in which metals are hot worked, cold worked, or melted and cast into standard shapes suitable for secondary fabrication into commercial products. A production line, usually of four or more stands, for hot or cold rolling metal into standard shapes such as bar, rod, plate, sheet, or strip. A single machine for hot rolling, cold rolling, or extruding metal.

Mill edge

The edge of strip, sheet or plate in the as-rolled state. It is unsheared.

Mill finish

A surface finish produced without being subjected to a special surface treatment (other than a corrosion-preventive treatment) after the final working or heat-treating step on sheet and plate.

Mill product

Any commercial product of a mill.

Mill scale

The heavy oxide layer that forms during the hot fabrication or heat treatment of metals.

Minimum corner radius

Units: mm (SI), inch (Imperial). The minimum radius of curvature at a corner that can be created by the process. Casting, stamping and molding impose limits on minimum corner radius.

Minnow bucket

See hone bucket.

Mixing chamber

That part of a welding or cutting torch in which the gases are mixed for combustion.


Pre-production sample made with limited emphasis on tolerance to test a design concept. Also referred to as a prototype.

Modified flat hem

Modified flat hem is believed to create better reflection characteristics on the finished panel assembly.

Modulus of elasticity

The number that represents the relative springiness of a given type of metal. All steels have the same modulus of elasticity or springiness regardless of the tensile or yield strengths. That is, until the yield point is reached they all stretch the same amount for a given load.


A hollow form, matrix or cavity into which materials are placed to produce goods of desired shapes.

Mold lines

Lines in a drawing connecting the inner radius and outer radius of a bend and showing the extent of bend.


A "mult" is the term used to describe the slitting of a coil into multiple smaller strips. If a coil is slit into strips less than 9", each strip is referred to as a "mult" and does not receive an individual IPM number. Mults are not removed from the line individually, but as a whole coil unit.

Multiple die

A die used for producing two or more identical parts at one press stroke.

Multiple level forming

A sequence of slide forming operations at different elevations of the center tool.

Multiple-slide press

A press with individual slides, built into the main slide or connected to individual eccentrics on the main shaft, that can be adjusted to vary the length of stroke and the timing. See also slide.

Multi-tooth cutter

See roughing cutter.


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Advantage Fabricated Metals
A Division of Corrugated Metals, Inc.

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3575 Morreim Drive • Belvidere, Illinois 61008
Phone: 1-815-323-1310 • Fax: 1-815-323-1317