It can be used to embellish the edges of office desks, or to protect workbenches on factory or shop floors. Other common uses include doorways in schools, offices, hospitals and many other commercial or institutional settings. Windows often feature some kind of metal trim.
Metal trim is designed in varying shapes, thicknesses, compositions, colors and to varying standards of functionality and aesthetic appeal; the range of possibilities is very wide. In industrial settings, metal trim is rarely designed to heighten visual appeal, but it is expected to protect edges from multiple impacts without becoming damaged itself.
Outside of industrial settings, for products like portable USB memory drives, many of which can feature decorative metal trim, functionality is less important than visual appeal. Because there exists such a range of metal trim varieties, an equally wide range of fabrication processes exists that allow for their creation.
The simplest method of metal trim production is roll forming. Complicated or irregular pieces of trim can be produced in many other ways, but for the creation of uniform, simple metal trim, roll forming is likely the most efficient and cost-effective method. The roll forming process requires a roll former, which is a machine that contains a long series of rollers and a cutting system.
The roll forming process begins with a stock of metal strip, which can be aluminum, steel or any other metal product suitable for a trim application. The stock may be coiled or it can be in any other shape that allows for easy access to a steady stream of the product. That product is fed into the first rollers, which fit tightly around the contours of the strip.
Those rollers direct the strip to the second rollers in the series whose configuration is slightly different than the first rollers. This continues until the end of the series, at which point the rollers are configured in a shape that resembles the intended shape of the metal trim. The metal strip takes that shape and emerges from the roll former as uniform metal trim. It can then be cut and prepared for shipment.