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3.4 Forming processes

Forming processes are used to convert cast ingots into basic product forms such as sheets, rods and plates, as was noted in the previous section. However, here we will concentrate on forming processes that produce end products or components. There are some basic shapes that lend themselves to manufacture by forming. Forming processes are particularly good at manufacturing 'linear' objects, that is, long thin ones, where the product has a constant cross section. Forming processes involve moving the material through an opening with the desired shape. These processes are used for making components such as fibres, wires, tubes and products such as curtain rails. The plastic ink tube in your ballpoint pen was almost certainly produced by this method.