When you run a sheet of metal through a bead roller and create sort of a rounded crease or gutter in a metal plate, what is this gutter called? I have seen the word seam, but I'm not sure if it's the correct term I'm looking for.

See the first half of this youtube clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptJfcswihpY

See also the right side of this picture https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Can_solderless_seam_cutaway.jpg

  • 8
    It’s called a bead that’s why it’s called a bead roller. soliddna.com/SEHelp/ST6/EN/create_sheet_metal_part/shtpls1a.htm (search down for the section called constructing beads)
    – Jim
    Feb 17, 2017 at 23:05
  • 1
    FWIW, a seam is always a join between two pieces.
    – Beejamin
    Mar 8, 2017 at 11:39
  • Husband who worked rolling aluminum said it is called a 'trough'.
    – Mavis
    Mar 24, 2017 at 2:56

2 Answers 2


I would not call that a swage. Swaging is the act of setting saw teeth by extruding the sides outwardly with a crushing blow. Trough works for me but the name may also come from the use. If a piece of metal is sent through the roller simply for the fun of it the resulting shape can take any nonsense or poetic name. If however the shape is used to create a standoff then it might be called a standoff trough, if the purpose is to stiffen the metal then stffining bead may be a sensible term. But these musings are just that musings of a journeyman with 30 yr experience. I will consult the machinist hand book and see what they say. Nothing in machinists handbook but in "Designing for Sheet Metal" by Nate Cougill BEADS are embossed lines that run across the surface of the sheet. These are made using a bead roller. BEADS is the answer to the question.


From my engineering apprenticeship days I think we would have called that a swage.


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