Shrink & Stretch

Some types of sheet metal parts formed by hydroforming, rubber pad forming, or fluid cell forming require special treatment to adjust angles, produce the required contour tolerances, or to finely shape or smooth them. For this type of next step, Jones Metal Products applies a technology to formed parts that is available in-house with the power nibbler. This next step involves the use of shrinking and stretching tools, a fully hands on process that requires the use of a skilled operator.

Considered to be a highly technical service that Jones Metal Products is happy to provide, stretching sheet metal involves the use of a shrinking and stretching machine known as a nibbler. In the process of shrinking and stretching sheet metal, the nibbler works with a variety of separate parts to achieve the desired effects that the experienced operator wants to have while stretching sheet metal.

The nibbler works with a planishing hammer and 2 sets of tools, one for shrinking a metal part and the other for stretching metal. Templates serve as helpful guides to plus or minus the adjustment of angles. Made of hard polyurethane, this shrinking and stretching tool is made in-house for each distinct part-type that requires adjustment. At Jones Metal Products, our experienced team of professionals is capable of shrinking and stretching sheet metal for customers as needed, no matter the industry you may be in.

Parts that are long and shallow-shaped often benefit from a stretching and shrinking sheet metal process to adjust angles as needed. The fuselage on a jet engine is one part that is moved to the power nibbler for this treatment. The part is moved in sections 10 to 12 inches at a time until the precise bend measurement is achieved through use of shrinking and stretching tools. Removing wrinkles on the surface of a long and shallow part involves the shrinking and stretching sheet metal application, which also means working the part through the shrinking and stretching machine section by section.

Applying the Nibbler After Heat Treatment

Shallow-shaped and long parts often require annealing. During the anneal, some metals “grow.” Jones Metal Products engineers know this and make adjustments at the power nibbler as needed during the stretching sheet metal process. A six foot part could lengthen by up to ¼ inch with several anneals. The power nibbler, moving section by section along the part, shrinks it to the specified length. A final trim is often executed at one of Jones Metal Product’s CNC- controlled machining centers. This is the last step in the process of shrinking metal or stretching metal for our engineers.

Shrinking and Stretching Sheet Metal

As with many of our other technical services that we offer here at Jones Metal Products, our customers are guaranteed high quality work from a team of professionals that have vast experience working with shrinking and stretching tools. When looking for in-house shrinking and stretching sheet metal technical services, Jones Metal engineers are here to get the work completed. Since our start in 1923, when we had our start as a stamping and enameling company, we have made efforts to keep work in-house.

Contact Jones Metal Products

With shrinking and stretching tools in-house, we are able to keep production time shorter, costs are kept down, and all operations are supervised by our team. This ensures that all of our customers receive stretching sheet metal services that meet our extremely high standards. Call us at 888-868-6535 or contact us to get started.

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