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More About Component Forming With Qualitetch

Metal is a fickle friend, immovable when you need flexibility, malleable when you need anything but, however, with our years of experience in the metalwork sector; handling all manner of projects and processes, we have come to understand and manage metals at an expert level.

That is why here at  Qualitetch  we are known for our superior chemical etching services and our commitment to providing metal component solutions of every kind. But in addition to our  photo chemical etching, we offer a variety of other specialist services to meet your needs, whatever they are.

One particularly popular service we provide is component forming; that is, the post-production stage of a project, where we use our bespoke tools and hand-operated toggle presses to turn flat blanks into 3D components to drawing.

Now, there are several different methods by which we form components, all of them requiring different tools and capabilities. So let us tell you a little more about some of the processes we undertake as part of our component forming service.

Heat Treatment

Heat treatment (or more accurately, temperature treatment) is the use of extreme heat or extreme chilling to change the physical and, sometimes, chemical properties of a metal. Depending on the treatment and the metal, the effect is either to soften or harden the metal, making it easier to form or more stable to work with. Within the umbrella term of heat treatment, you have the following processes:

  • Annealing – to make the cutting and shaping of metal easier, it is heated to a particular temperature or colour (red, orange), before cooling slowly to soften up
  • Case Hardening – the surface layers are hardened while the layers beneath are left soft; the thin harder layer is known as a “case”
  • Precipitation Strengthening – in order to make softer, ductile metals stronger, this heat treatment targets its structural properties; in superalloys, this treatment results in superb yield strength at high temperatures
  • Tempering – specifically used for iron-based alloys, this heat treatment increases the overall robustness of the metal
  • Normalising – a less expensive and less uniform process than annealing, normalising follows the same process as the former, but the softer material also boasts a refined grain size and enhanced microstructure
  • Quenching – a mechanical process that strengthens and hardens iron alloys so that low-temperature processes do not occur unintentionally


A longstanding practice in metalworking, plating is the process of coating components with a conductive metallic layer. This enhances the component by reducing corrosion and improving its durability, solderability and hardness, amongst other improvements. This is essential for components that are to be used in electronics.

Plating is also used for decorative purposes, proving more cost-effective and long-lasting than using certain pure metals.


This is the addition of a protective coat to a metal sheet or component. Though light, this protective layer, usually a metal oxide, inhibits corrosion. The process itself needs to be carried out in a very precise manner if passivation is to occur.


This process is similar to passivation in that it creates an oxidised protective layer on metal surfaces, but it differs slightly because it is an electrolytic process, occurring through the use of an anode electrode.


A self-explanatory process, the clue is in the name; the metal is painted as part of a finishing process. The paint type and purpose can vary, though, ranging from a simple primer and topcoat combination to fluorescent and weather-resistant paints, as well as those used for decoration alone.

So now you know a little more about the kinds of component forming processes we offer, as well as our various other metal cutting, stamping and photo etching services, why not  browse our site  or  get in touch  to see what else we can do for you.