Sheet metal fabrication in the UK

Sheet metal fabrication is used in the UK in many industries. When it comes to creating something for your business from sheet metal, the world is your oyster

At Customised Sheet Metal, we use a variety of techniques and tools available to create your exact vision. In the beginning of the use of sheet metal, there weren’t so many options.

Origins of sheet metal fabrication

Sheet metal fabrication can be dated all the way back to Ancient Egypt when jewellery was made from precious metals that had been hammered into thin sheets to work with. The first instance of it in UK history is a cold rolling mill in Newcastle, England from 1682. The idea of a cold rolling mill dates back to the late 1400s when Leonardo Da Vinci made sketches of the machine. 

Big change in sheet metal fabrication

One of the most key time periods for development of the sheet metal fabrication process in the UK was the industrial revolution. The adoption of the assembly line and the creation of press brakes allowed workers to produce a higher quantity of items than ever before. The first hydraulic press was created by Englishman Joseph Bramah in 1770. This machine used Pascal’s principle to generate a compressive force and takes up far less space than its prior mechanical counterparts. Hydraulic presses are a vital part of sheet metal fabrication and are still used in our processes today.

Another key development in the history of sheet metal fabrication was the invention of the Bessemer process by another Englishman, Sir Henry Bessemer, in the mid 1800s. The Bessemer process was the original inexpensive process for mass producing steel. It involved oxidising iron to remove impurities and keep the temperature of the iron hot enough for it to remain molten. Similar processes had been used outside Europe for a very long time but nothing on such a vast scale.

New modern techniques

As modern technology has advanced over time so have the tools and processes used in sheet metal fabrication. Many advances were made in the 1960s and 70s such as the Basic Oxygen Furnace which, in the 1960s began to replace the original Bessemer process. Later, in 1967, laser-assisted oxygen jet cutting was developed by the British to allow more precise cutting of metal. Into the 70s air bending was adopted as a popular technique. This process required less force to press the metal, allowing smaller tooling to be used and increasing efficiency.

You can find out more about our sheet metal fabrication services and techniques on our website. 

Sheet metal fabrication today

Sheet metal fabrication has now grown massively to become the second largest industry in the world. From being used to create large scale products like bar tops and warehouse storage solutions, to smaller, more detailed items like intricate metal brackets, sheet metal can be turned into almost anything you can imagine.

At CSM, we create bespoke sheet metal products to meet your exact specifications. We have refined our processes over the last 27 years to offer you the highest quality products possible. To find out more about our work, have a look at our case studies. If you would like to discuss a project with us – no matter how big or small – feel free to get in touch here.


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