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By ACORN METALS 21 Sep, 2017

Here at Acorn Metals, we’re experts at CNC bending. We produce high-quality fabricated metal components that are equipped for the production of numerous metal manufacturing products, and CNC bending is one of our biggest services. It’s used for cabinets, control boxes, enclosures, vending machines, tool drawers, lockers, door panels, doors, shelves, furniture, floor, ceiling systems and much more, but what exactly is it?

 

Computer numerically controlled (CNC) bending is a process during manufacturing that uses CNC press brakes. A computer program is customized for an object and machines are programmed with CNC machining language that has the ability to control features including the feed rate, coordination, location and speeds. These machines have the ability to bend sheet metal from smaller works of a few millimetres to metal work of large sizes. 


The CNC machines are incredibly precise and can bend metal of all kinds of lengths and widths. The machinery can control the exact positioning and velocity to shape metal. The press brakes have a fixed bottom bed with a block tool clamp in place and a top beam that is forced down with a V blade. This is known as down forming. The other process of CNC is an up forming machine where the bottom bend moves and the top beam is fixed. These processes produce the sheet metal components.

 

The CNC process is suitable for processing malleable metals and great for sheet metal designs that consist of one or more bends. It is often used for brackets, enclosures, cams, chassis and more. The CNC bending affectively shapes sheet metal using a bending tool during a linear or rotating movement. Our machines are developed for high flexibility and low setup times, making the process economical and convenient. Bending tools on CNC machines can be constructed to adjust the bending ankle by stroke measurement or angle measurement. They produce a high accuracy result from the first piece.

 

Our CNC machines allow precise and fast angle measuring throughout the bending process, producing accuracy in your product. The design of our machines ensures the highest level of accuracy. CNC panel bending maintains tight forming tolerances and achieves strength.

Turret punching via CNC is a used for metal forming and punching. Manufacturing with a turret punch allows you to form your sheet metal by punching, nibbling, embossing, piercing, slotting, recessing, louvring, extruding or coining. A variety of sheet metal components can be processed using turret punching with a thickness ranging from .5mm up to 5mm. It allows a variation of metals to be punched in 2D shapes.

 

The precision of the CNC machine makes it an incredibly valuable tool and an important one for metal workers. The CNC process provides a short and inexpensive way of forming products that require a change in their shape with precise accuracy. Contact Acorn Metals today for accurately bent metal!

By ACORN METALS 07 Aug, 2017

Sheet metal fabrication is the act of forming, shaping, and joining metal together to build and/or repair a tangible part. It’s a process that has been performed for thousands of years, sometimes with just the simplest tools.

Shaping the metal can be done in four ways: bending, cutting, shrinking, or stretching. Sheet metal forming is the process by which sheet metal is welded, burned, cut, or worked into a product that can be used. There are many ways the metal can be formed into a usable object; the most popular include spinning, bending and roll forming. Aside from making the metal usable, the aim of sheet metal forming is also to maintain the quality of the metal throughout the process. Whichever method is chosen, the process (which is also sometimes referred to metal fabrication), as is an essential part of our modern world.

Spinning, or spin forming, forms cylindrical pieces of metal by rotating a piece of sheet metal while forces are applied to one side. The process usually relies on the use of a manual lathe, where the metal is rotated at high speeds while rollers press the sheet against a tool. This forms the desired shape with great precision, and most importantly doesn’t harm the quality of the metal. Spinning is also popular due to its low-cost to operate. The rollers come in a variety of diameters and thicknesses and are usually made from steel or brass. They are very inexpensive and take a long time to wear down, so most manufacturers would have a low turn over the parts.

Similar to spinning, sheet metal bending requires the application of force to the sheet metal in order to bend it at a certain angle and form a specific shape. Rather than a rotation though, the bending is done over a single axis. Alternatively, for more complex parts the bender may choose to perform multiple bends on one piece. This versatile process can be used for smaller elements, for example the brackets in your car or doors in your house, as well as bigger pieces up to twenty feet.

What makes metal bending particularly unique is what is referred to as the “spring back” factor. When any piece of metal is bent, the stresses will cause the inside of the material to shorten and the outside to slightly lengthen once the tension is released. Therefore, in order to get the most accurate shape, the operator will over bend the sheet, so that when the metal contracts, it does so to the perfect size. The ratio of the initial bend to the final bend makes up the “spring back factor” and is an essential calculation in the metal bending process.

There are many ways to fabricate metal, passed down from a long history of refining the process. With metals such a sustainable and tried and true fabric, it makes sense that most businesses will need metal forming services at some point. No matter which process is perfect for your projects, Acorn Metals are the experts in them all!

By ACORN METALS 07 Aug, 2017

The modern world is filled with perforated sheet metal. From noise reduction to climate control, it has seemingly endless uses. However, there’s more to this versatile metal than meets the eye. Perforated sheet metal is a material which has been punched or stamped with a machine to create a pattern of holes. Most commonly made from stainless steel, cold rolled steel, aluminium and a variety of other metals – it is a popular material around the world.

Perforated sheet metal was first developed around 150 years ago for the mining industry as a means of filtering coal. In its most primitive form the process was very inefficient, requiring labourers to manually punch the holes into the metal sheet. Understandably, this time consuming and labour intensive methodology meant that perforated metal was not being used to its full potential – there was simply not enough to go around.

Today, the most common method of perforating metal uses a rotary roller. This is essentially a large cylinder with sharp pointed needles to punch the holes. The needles come in a variety of sizes in order to customise the perforated metal, and sometimes the needles are heated in order to melt the metal during the process. This then forms a reinforced ring around the perforation.

Alternatively, some manufacturers choose the so called “punch and die” method. Although it may sound archaic, the punch and die method is in fact very efficient. After being thinned and flattened, the sheet metal is repeatedly passed under a sheet of needles, which punches holes into the sheet. Any remaining pieces are then sheared off and the surface is smoothed. The speed with which the metal is perforated makes it the method of choice for many manufacturers.

Now that perforated sheet metal can be created with such efficiency, most people and many organisations come in contact with it every day. Buildings designed with environmental sustainability in mind often utilise perforated metal for climate control. The small holes allow the free movement of air, giving a natural ventilation and negating the need for air conditioning. Perforated sheet metal can also be found on the inside of walls and roofs to bring the volume down in noisy environments, making them a common choice for large offices.

The food and beverage industry is perhaps one of the biggest users of perforated metal, using it in drain dryers, sorting machines and fruit and vegetable presses to name a few. Given that perforated metal is so versatile and easy to sterilise, kitchens around the world have made it a staple in their food preparation processes. Perhaps a more obvious industry to benefit from perforated sheet metal is automotive manufacturers. Not only is it used to support the huge amount of other metal elements in a car, but also as an oil filter and a silencer on motorbikes.

From aesthetics to usability, perforated sheet metal offers many benefits. This versatile metal has a valuable place in homes, businesses and manufacturing. For more information about perforated metal, contact the experts as Acorn Metal.

By ACORN METALS 08 May, 2017

Metal working is a very old art form. It’s an interesting process that has changed a lot over time, and this blog goes into some details about the biggest changes thus far, as well as what is still to come.

Since ancient civilisations roamed the earth, metal working has played a key role in society with metals being used for both industrial applications and luxury goods such as jewellery. Custom metal fabrication began to take shape in what we now know as the “Bonze Age”, the period beginning in 3,300 BC in India where metals were first combined with the aim of gaining new and advanced properties. Metals were melted down in a furnace and bronze became the first hard metal. This enabled the production of swords, armour and many weapons of war. It therefore follows that those civilisations with the most metals and the best crafting abilities rose to supremacy – bronze was a source of true power and as war raged on across the continents it cemented its naming rights to the age.

Custom metal fabrication continued to revolve around the malleable yet tough nature of bronze until 1485 when Leonardo da Vinci drew a preliminary sketch of a rolling mill. This simple idea slowly but surely revolutionised the way we use metals today. In 1501, the mill was used to roll gold to a uniform thickness to create coins as well as to cut already formed sheets into strips.

This pressing process continued to advance in the 1600s when the mill was produced on an industrial scale to create tin and lead plates and eventually the cold rolling of steel. The first steel fabrication services are attributed to a mill in Newcastle, England where water wheels drove the rolling process. The 1700s saw more complex steel fabrication in demand, with rounds, squares and rails needed to help the world continue to industrialise.

For sheet metal to be cut into this variety of shapes and sizes, the long-standing method was to use shears. Over the 1800s there was a shift from a manual method (shears being used in a similar way to scissors), to the “bench method” where one blade is fixed and the other is manually lowered. Today, there are many other cutting methods from lasers to waterjets. As each custom metal fabrication is different, they can suit different cutting methods.

The same can be said for punching and forming sheet metal. While these practices were relatively common in centuries past, today’s technology and more highly trained metal smiths, make the precision and accuracy in metal fabrication better than ever.

The advancements in metal fabrication show no sign of slowing down. Currently, the demand for steel is exceeding supply. This means more resources will need to be put towards recycling steel in the future. While currently steel is made up of between 50-60% recycled materials, this will need to reach 100% in order for supply and demand to come close to equilibrium. Future trends and tastes will also dictate much of the direction for custom metal fabrication. While today, steel is hugely fashionable for those seeking a modern, industrial look, with every new generation comes a new favoured look.

Finally, as with every industry, technology will play a huge role in dictating the future of custom metal fabrication. As metal demand increases it is likely mining of iron ore will follow suit in order to create more of the computerised technology which plays such a pivotal role in raising the efficiency of metal fabrication.

For more information about metal fabrication, contact Acorn Metal Products today!

By ACORN METALS 28 Apr, 2017

Metal fabrication is an in-depth and sometimes complicated process, and metals in general aren’t as straightforward as they seem. Here are some of the most interesting facts about metals and fabrication for you to sink your teeth into:

1.      The word metal comes from the Greek word “metallon”, which means quarry or to mine or excavate.

2.      The earliest metal fabrication practices are attributed to the Egyptians who bent and shaped gold into jewellery. This jewellery was such an integral part of society that everyone from poor farmers to royalty wore it. Some original pieces can still be seen in museums around the world.

3.      The Ancient Spartans used large iron sticks as currency. They were used in a similar way to how we use coins today, however their large and inconvenient nature discouraged the pursuit of wealth within society.  

4.      The most abundant metal in the universe is iron, making up 34% of Earth’s mass. Second to iron in the universe’s make-up is magnesium.

5.      The composition of the Earth is not entirely known, but the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust is aluminium. However, the earth’s core likely consists mainly of iron.

6.      The arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is made entirely of steel, meaning that on a hot day it can expand up to 18cm vertically.

7.      In the 1920s when the Sydney Harbour Bridge was being built, industrial welding had not yet been developed to a level where it could be used on such a large scale; so six million steel rivets hold the bridge together.

8.      The Eiffel Tower, built in 1889, contains 18,038 large pieces of iron, which had to be fabricated and are now held in place with over two million rivets.

9.      In 2013, the world manufactured enough crude steel to build 160,000 Eiffel Towers.

10.  The first attempt at welding in space was performed by Russia in 1969. Early experiments such as these paved the way for the technological advancements, which are now used in constructing space stations.

11.  Because there is no oxidised material in space, when two pieces of metal touch they will become fused together immediately.

12.  Steel is a very sustainable material. It can be recycled over and over without losing the strength and durability that make it such a valuable construction resource. For this reason, many of the sustainable developments you see being erected today are steel based.

13.  Up to 150 years after steel is originally used it will still have its original strength and be fit for recycling.  

14.  The amount of steel currently in use across the world today averages out to 270kg per person. It is most commonly used in construction. Most large modern buildings such as bridges, airports and stadiums are supported by a steel skeleton, even those with a concrete structure use steel for reinforcement.  

15.  Before a NASCAR vehicle takes to the road, over 950 hours of fabrication and welding are spent bringing the car up to scratch.

If you knew half of those then that’s impressive. Metal is something that we take for granted, but in fact, without it the world wouldn’t be what it is today. For more information about metal work, contact Acorn Metals today!

By ACORN METALS 14 Feb, 2017

In our last blog we talked about all the different ways custom fabricated metal can liven up your home. Metal pieces are a functional and aesthetic addition to indoor and outdoor spaces alike, providing a durable solution that perfectly matches the rest of your house. In this blog we will delve a bit deeper in to creating art with fabricated metal to give you a little inspiration for your own home.

Sculptures

Fabricated metal sculptures are very common around Perth. If you have ever taken a drive to the South West you would have seen the conical installations on the side of the freeway, or if you go for a walk through Kings Park you will find a whole bunch of examples in all shapes and sizes.

The beauty of metal sculptures is they can blend in to vibrant gardens, or stand out as a centrepiece in their own right. The mix of materials and finishes means you aren't restricted to the classic oxidised look, although the earthy tones taken on by the metal do work very well with Australia's native plants and other greenery.

There is also the option to use stainless, polished, or powder coated finishes for a sleeker modern look. This style is becoming very popular in office and retail spaces due to its weather resistant characteristics and the endless range of functional artistic designs.

Hanging art

Bring a bare wall back to life by mounting a piece of metal art. With Acorn Metal's precision techniques and an eye for quality you can achieve almost any look to tie a room together. Whether you are looking for an industrial style with mixed metals, or a delicate design in any size, we can make it happen.

Modern trends in metal wall art use coloured coatings and gold leaf as accents to bring out different elements in an image. Trees, feathers, and silhouette scenes are popular favourites with our customers because metal CNC cutting allows for surprisingly intricate design possibilities. Unlike wood or canvas which are generally rectangular with painted designs, metal can be manipulated and made very thin to make your design a reality.

Perforated sheet metal (Image2Punch)

One of the most exciting recent developments in metal wall art is Image2Punch technology. Using precise perforating machines, Acorn Metal can turn your favourite image in to a piece of metal art. The finished product is understated and incredibly impactful, so it has a huge range of applications such as:

·        Decorative pieces on walls, screens, and partitions

·        Metal cladding imagery on the outside of a building

·        Descriptive imagery on the walls of offices and businesses

·        Signage and advertising

A technique we love is using different sized perforations to create the effect of shading on detailed images. Acorn Metal are excited to share Image2Punch technology with our Perth customers so don't hesitate to contact us with your idea. Or if you are looking for any other type of decorative metal addition to your home, we encourage you to get in touch with any questions. Acorn Metal are Perth's leaders in perforated metal in all styles, sizes, and designs – the only limit is your creativity.

By ACORN METALS 24 Jan, 2017

The industrial design interior trend is alive and well in Perth and abroad. Room dividers are just one example of the ways fabricated metal is being used in modern homes for fantastic effect. The great thing about using fabricated metal in home design is that it works well indoors and outdoors, so if you want to move away from the industrial style you can shift pieces outside for the same impact. Not only that, the range of styles, designs, and finishes available means you are guaranteed to find something that suits your existing decor.

What room dividers do

As the name might suggest, room dividers break up large open plan rooms to create smaller spaces without the need for a full wall. Often they are used to section offices, break up living rooms, and create a permeable wall in homes where space is at a premium. Screens are an easy, creative way to create distinguished spaces without blocking them off completely so the home still feels open and airy while being more functional.

Custom metal perforation in screens

Custom perforated metal is used around the world in room dividers, whether as smaller elements of a screen or for whole screens made to match an existing space. There is an almost endless amount of ways to finish and prepare metal, from rugged styles to polished stainless steel and powder coated colourful finishes. Metal in screens has a few advantages over other materials like wood and fabric:

Durability

Metal is incredibly resilient so it can be used as a screen in the living room or garden. Custom perforated metal can withstand Perth's harsh climate in a way wood and fabric just can't, which is why so many people are designing creative outdoor spaces using metal screens

Custom design

Make your custom perforated metal screen a focal point of your home's interior design with elements that stand out. Outdoor metal screens tend to look industrial and compliment the natural elements of the garden by oxidising over time, or by incorporating creeping vines to look natural. Indoor screens have a lot of flexibility; they can be sleek and modern with bright colours, industrial and heavy gauge, or somewhere in between incorporating industrial elements to a modern design. Your imagination is the limit because at the Acorn metal workshop we have the design and fabrication skills to bring almost any creation to life.

Flexibility

We can customise your new room divider to fit the dimensions you want. Open plan living means something different in every home so there is no one size fits all for metal screens. Acorn Metal create screens from almost any material, in a huge range of finishes, designed alongside the client. The finished product is a unique, affordable way to achieve privacy in open plan living spaces without compromising on lifestyle.

Creating a custom metal screen for your home or outdoor area is easy thanks to Acorn Metal's on-site design and fabrication team. Trust Perth's best custom metal perforation team to bring your vision to life with an affordable bespoke screen.

By ACORN METALS 21 Dec, 2016

Lighting is an all important finishing touch to indoor and outdoor spaces. Creating the right atmosphere is easy with well thought out lighting, by using a creative metallic housing and keeping an eye on current trends.

Modern eateries and retail spaces are using metal to complement warm lighting by bringing back the industrial style lamps with a sleek contemporary edge. Getting the same look at home is easy nowadays, with modern manufacturing methods and a huge range of materials making it simple for home design enthusiasts to source the perfect metal components.

The advantages of metal

Unlike plastic or fabric light shades, metal is incredibly durable in virtually any environment. When considering outdoor feature lighting, or installations in places like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundries it is important to think about the water resistance and sealing quality of the material. The strength of metal will stop it warping and cracking over time meaning it is much more watertight and long lasting than other materials.

Pendant lighting

An emerging trend in interior design uses metal in pendant lighting hung from the roof. The hanging pendant look adds personality and allows larger, vintage style light shades to be used without dominating the space. Using perforated metal with a custom finish will bring out the other furnishings in the room and create a relaxed atmosphere, which is why so many modern bedrooms feature hanging pendant lighting.

Cage style lamps

The metal cage trend is a popular lighting style in bars, restaurants, cafes, and modern offices. It is an easy way to give a bare bulb a completely different character. Cage style lamps are especially effective with vintage style light bulbs which give off a warmer light.

Perforated metal

Using perforated metal as a feature light shade creates a stunning pattern in the room while also spreading light out, instead of focusing it down. Acorn Metal create custom perforated metal light shades for homes and businesses, working with the client to design something that fits seamlessly in the space. Throwing patches of light around the room is a great way to soften the light and create a dynamic lighting effect on the walls.

A range to suit all spaces

One of the biggest advantages of using perforated metal in lighting design is the range of colours, designs, finishes, and styles available. At the Acorn Metal workshop we can design and fabricate almost any metal light shade imaginable – our specialty is perforated pendants and stainless steel sheet designs. We will bring any vision to life with any colour, coating, or size in our extensive range.

If your interior or exterior space is due for a revamp, consider using perforated metal in your lighting design for an easy and effective way to modernise any room. It is the durable, water resistant and adaptable solution that can be customised to fit in with the decor or stand out as a feature piece. When you have a perforated metal lighting design in mind, contact us to find out how we can make it happen for less than you might think, right here in Perth.

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By ACORN METALS 25 Nov, 2016

Adding decorative perforated metal can be a fantastic way to spruce up your garden or courtyard without spending a fortune. Not only is it cost effective, it is long lasting and easy to maintain. No watering, no waiting for it to grow and bloom – if you can dream of a design, then we can make it a reality in next to no time.

From small additions like wall decorations to add-ons to functional feature pieces like fire pits and pergolas, metal can be used in a range of ways. Modern methods allow you to create a bespoke design or choose from a large selection of existing styles guaranteed to suit your outdoor area.

Gates and fences

Why stick with dull fence panels when you can have customised a perforated metal sheet adorning your driveway? The front fence and gate are the first things that people see when they come to your home, so make first impressions count by choosing a design that suits the rest of your home. You can impress neighbours and passers-by while still achieving total privacy and security. With a wide range of tooling, we have the ability to turret punch your custom gate or fence!

Pergolas

An increasing trend in the cafe and bar scene uses perforated metal shade structures in outdoor areas to create year-round comfort and throw beautiful shadow patterns on the ground of the outdoor area. Finding a material to stand up to Perth's harsh elements can be tricky. Metal provides the ideal solution for homes or businesses as it is durable against the sun, rain, and wind, and requires very little maintenance year-round.

Outdoor screens

Achieving privacy with a screen that matches your garden used to be a challenge. People often resort to bamboo which can look cheap if not installed correctly, or building large wooden structures that completely block the outside world. With perforated metal screens, you can have privacy and the look you want.

You can even include an element of nature by growing a vine over an intricately designed screen. If you have a lush green garden this can be a great way to mix materials and achieve a modern look, no wooden monstrosities required! We’re not limited to what we can offer here at Acorn Metals! With the capability to create almost any pattern.

Fire pits

Bring vibrancy to outdoor entertaining with a fire pit. Imagine the marshmallows being toasted or simply sitting around the fire sharing stories. Fire pits can be free standing or dug into the ground and are easily covered when the kids are around. Metal fire pits achieve a level of safety that stone pits simply can't, because you never need to worry about collapsing walls or stray flames.

Custom cut metal can bring a new look to any outdoor area, in big and small ways. Acorn Metal are Perth's Perforated metal experts with a huge range of patterns and finishes available, view our gallery of metal perforating to get inspired today! Contact us if you have a project in mind to spruce up your garden or just want to see what's possible.

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By ACORN METALS 24 Oct, 2016

Using perforated sheet metal in wall and roof cladding is not a new idea, but modern home design is bringing metal to the foreground by using it as a decorative (and practical) facade. Adding perforated sheet metal to the finishing touches of a home has a huge range of benefits; especially because it protects your home and looks great for years.

What is wall cladding

Wall cladding is added to the outside of a building and designed to keep the elements out, and protect the building from damage. In old home styles brick and wood was used as wall cladding, however they age much faster than metal and require more maintenance as the years go by. A good wall cladding should also add to the comfort of your home by helping to regulate the temperature inside. But the best wall claddings are dual purpose; they not only protect your home from rain, sun, wind, and dust but also look great for the life of the building.

Perforated sheet metal is commonly used as wall cladding because it does both jobs very well by providing security and protection from the elements while costing very little to maintain. When building or renovating it is important to consider how long a home is going to last. To avoid expensive cladding replacements, it is definitely worth assessing all the options and considering the advantages of sheet metal.

Advantages of metal cladding

Using sleek and modern materials is an easy, cost effective way to give your home a modern look while keeping its occupants comfortable and protected. There are a number of advantages to using perforated sheet metal as a cladding material:

·        Wide range of metals and colours to suit any home style

·        Virtually no maintenance over the life of the home, lowering costs and giving peace of mind

·        Cost effective to install compared to other materials

·        Durable for an incredibly long life

·        Aesthetically appealing on just about any home

·        Easily customisable to different shapes and sizes

It's really no wonder so many designers, owners, and builders are choosing metal cladding to bring style and elegance to new homes around Australia.

Metal cladding trends

A few years ago designers started to mix cladding materials and found metal was durable, easy to customise, and looked great. Modern production methods make perforated sheet metal a much more cost effective solution than older materials like wood and brick, however some home builders looking for an old-style home with modern elements choose to mix materials.

There are two prevailing trends in commercial and residential construction; sleek and bright using colourful, smooth sheet metal, and modern with a traditional edge using raw sheet metal in the finishing detail. Both styles offer superior protection and comfort while giving the homes a completely different look from the outside.

Perforated sheet metal is a durable, versatile, and cost effective material for wall and roof cladding. There are so many different options to suit any home style, and now the trend is making its way in to commercial and industrial design. Acorn Metal have a solution for every home and we can tailor the material, finish, and shape to your specifications.

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