Metal Stamping: The Ultimate Guide

In this guide, you will find all information about metal stamping. Whether you want to learn about benefits, applications, techniques or types of materials you can stamp – all information is right here. Keep reading to be an expert in metal stamping.

What Is Metal Stamping?

Metal stamping refers to the process in which there is a conversion of metal sheets into different shapes using a stamping press and dies. There are various metal forming methods that you can use for a successful metal stamping process.

Advantages Of Metal Stamping

The main benefits of metal stamping are:

High Production Rate: Metal stamping allows for faster production of different parts. This can increase the production output, which is essential when you have a high demand.

Low Labour Cost: You significantly reduce the labour cost when you use metal stamping compared to human labour. This is due to the high productivity of the process.

High-Quality Metal Parts: Due to the available controls, metal stamping produces metal parts with high accuracy levels.  This allows for the production of parts that meet the set quality standards.

Advantages Of Metal Stamping
Metal Stamping History

Metal Stamping History

The history of metal stamping dates back to the seventh century when there was an attempt at metal stamping coins by the Lydian. The process involved the creation of a die and using a heavy hammer to carve the metal coin.

Additionally, the primary material for the coins was silver and gold. The use of the screw press came into effect in German in 1955. Also, the screw press turning was manual until after the industrial revolution when steam was used to power the screw press. Improvement on this increased the speed and accelerated the stamping process. This process has become a vital aspect in the production of various metal parts

Type Of Material For Metal Stamping

Common types of metals that you can use for metal stamping are:

Copper Alloys: The advantage of using copper alloys for your metal stamping is their unique properties. For instance, they have a high thermal and electrical conductivity and are highly resistant to corrosion.

Aluminium:The use of aluminium is due to its low cost, non-ferrous, and lightweight material. Aluminium allows for easy stamping into various metal parts due to its flexibility.

Steel Alloys: The machining capability of steel alloys depends on the concentration of the individual metals, that is, carbon and iron. Steel alloys offer substantial metal parts that can withstand high temperatures.

Type Of Material For Metal Stamping
Punching Metal

Punching Metal

Punching is using a punch press to create holes of different shapes on your metal. The process requires force to shear through your metal. This process is a cost-effective way of making holes in your metal since it requires fewer resources.

It is also possible to create complex designs on your metals compared to other methods. Using this method allows you to get accurate dimensions of your shapes and designs on your metal. The type of hole or shape you want to punch on your metal depends on your die type.

Blanking Metal

Blanking is a metal stamping process that creates a geometrical flat-shaped block from sheet metal. This is by forcing a sheet metal through a die and press, the formation of the blanked part is usually from a large part of your sheet metal.

An ideal thickness for blanking metal ranges between one and 72 inches. Among the other machining processes compatible with blanking are surface finishing and blurring. You can combine different metal sheets to get an ideal blanking for your desired application. The automotive industry is one of the areas that utilize blanking metal in their production process.

Blanking Metal
Embossing Metal

Embossing Metal

Embossing is metal stamping involving male and female dies to raise or sink a pattern on your metal. This is possible by placing the metal sheet in between the male and female die and pressing them.

For accurate embossing, you have to control critical aspects of the process. These aspects are heat, pressure, and die depth. The main advantage of this process is it is possible to have different designs on your metal sheet. However, this process is suitable for thin sheet metals due to the pressure you need when pressing.

Coining Metal

This process involves stamping your sheet metal to obtain a coin shape. Coining does not necessarily remove parts of your metal, meaning it retains its features. For instance, your metal coin retains its volume weight. It is possible to get a thick metal coin depending on the type and thickness of metal you are using.

The size of the coining process depends on the die you are using for the procedure. Coining results in the permanent formation of metal parts with a high tolerance. Among the processes you can use alongside coining are painting, cutting, and embossing.

Coining Metal
Bending Metal

Bending Metal

Bending metals gives you the shapes you want during the fabrication process of your product. This process involves applying force to deform your metal along its axes. Force application has the effect of changing the geometric shape of your metal without altering its volume.

Your metal also retains its thickness and physical properties. The force to use when bending your metal depends on the type and thickness of a given metal. Remember, bending is a standard process in the production of various metal products. The advantage of this process is it is compatible with other metal forming techniques like painting and drawing.

Flanging Metal

Flanging metal is similar to bending metal, only that it involves bending your metal to obtain a right-angle part. The advantage of this process is it allows for the joining of different parts of your metal product.

This is done using screws and bolts to join the flanged parts to the other parts. You can flange different metals to obtain the part you want. However, the suitable metal you use for flanging should have low friction and high mechanical load tolerance. There are various metal stamping methods that you can use alongside flanging, like painting, laser cutting, and ironing.

Flanging Metal
Hemming Metal

Hemming Metal

Hemming is a metal stamping process that entails rolling a metal sheet onto itself, forming a joint. The two main types of hemming are roll hemming and conventional die hemming. Conventional die hemming is ideal for mass production of your metal parts. The process entails folding your metal lengthwise using a hemming tool.

A vital advantage of this type of hemming is its low cycle times. It is, however, an expensive process to have in your plant. Roll hemming is a progressive process using a hemming roller. Flexibility is the main benefit of using roll hemming in your production.

Ironing Metal

This metal stamping process gives your metal a uniform thickness. Ironing metal is ideal for fabricating cans and other products where uniformity is essential. Aluminium is the standard type of metal that you can use in this process due to its lightweight feature.

It is possible to complement ironing with other metal stamping processes like drawing. Ironing works by forcing the metal sheet through a die and a punch. The force of the die and punch gives your aluminium a uniform thickness. The advantage of this process is that it does not reduce your metal’s volume but only thins it for easy use.

Ironing Metal
Lancing Metal

Lancing Metal

Lancing metal is different from the other metal stamping processes since it does not entail the removal of metal pieces.  This process works by using a die and a punch to form a slit on your metal.

The die and punch force themselves through the metal by applying force. You can use this process in applications requiring tabs, vents, or openings. It is vital to consider the type of metal and its thickness before subjecting it to the lancing process. This is to prevent the deformation of your metal during the fabrication process of your product.

Progressive Die Stamping Metal

Progressive Die Stamping Metal_
Progressive Die Stamping Metal_

This process involves unwinding a sheet metal and feeding it through a press. The sheet metal then passes through the different sections where different fabrication processes occur. Such fabrication processes include bending, cutting, and punching your metal sheet. The conveyor system holds the sheet metal during this process.

The die moves up and down, transforming the metal through the pressing process in the different sections. Typically, the process ends when the machine ejects the finished product at the end of the production line.

Progressive stamping is suitable due to its quick production rate and adherence to the quality standards available.  It is also ideal for producing parts with complex geometries and high tolerance. Therefore, you get a metal part with the required dimensions and shape. Operating the machine is also less labour cost since it is automatic.

Automation allows for high mass production of your metal parts which is ideal when you have high demand. The main limitation of this process is it only works well for parts that require deep drawing. You also have to consider the type of metal before using it in terms of thickness and tolerance.

Multi-Slide Stamping Metal

Multi-Slide Stamping Metal
Multi-Slide Stamping Metal

This process entails aligning multiple slides horizontally, creating a work piece for your sheet metal. Multiple slide stamping allows for complex sheet metal bending to form complex parts. The essential advantage of using this process is that it allows for versatility in forming intricate metal parts.

It also allows for flexibility in altering the design of your metal part.

Metals parts that you can manufacture using multi-slide stamping are connectors, terminals, connectors, and collars. Using this method, you can fabricate friction plates, retainers, collars, shunts, and limiters.

Deep Draw Stamping Metal

Deep Draw Stamping Metal
Deep Draw Stamping Metal

Deep draw stamping metal involves forming a cavity onto your sheet metal under pressure and tensile conditions.  The resulting cavity can either be round, closed bottom, or have an irregular shape.

Applying pressure on your sheet metal makes it have a plastic state allowing further processing. Pressure application takes place under a controlled environment to allow for the accurate formation of the cavity. The advantage of this process is that it allows for forming cavities of varying sizes. You, therefore, can fabricate shallow or deep cavities on your sheet metal.

You can use deep-drawn products in various electrical, automotive, and plumbing industries.  You can also use this method in refrigeration, pressure vessels, and industrial tanks. The main benefit of this method is it allows for the production of water and air-tight enclosures since there is a lack of seams.

The products are also structurally strong and can withstand the significant weight. Deep drawn stamping is compatible with most stamping methods, allowing you to machine your product further.

It is easy to bend, cut, and surface finishes your product after deep drawing it. Also, it is possible to use different metals of varying thickness to produce your metal part.

Short Run Metal Stamping

Short Run Metal Stamping
Short Run Metal Stamping

Short-run metal stamping refers to the production of punched parts in small quantities. Small quantities here imply not more than 5000 metal parts. Different industries use short-run metal stamping for the production of various components.

These industries are Automotive, aerospace, electronics, commercial lighting, construction, home appliances, and medical. Ideal applications are those that require low-volume products.

Short-run metal stamping entails the fabrication of uniform metal parts using a variety of metals. These metals include aluminium, steel, copper, and brass. The main advantage of this process is its low cost due to the use of fewer metal materials. Parts you form using this process have good density and less waste material.

Reduced lead times are another benefit of using short-run metal stamping. This is because you have production runs that are low volume and short.

Transfer Die Stamping Metal

Transfer Die Stamping Metal
Transfer Die Stamping Metal

This type of stamping involves the separation of the work piece from the sheet metal. You then have to transfer the work piece through the different stamping sections. Separation allows for transferring the sheet metal to the different pressing sections to fabricate the various parts.

This is an ideal method for the production of large metal parts. The process allows for deep drawing since there is no connection between the base metal sheet and the metal part. As a result, making transfer die stamping ideal option for deep drawing metal fabrication.

Transfer die stamping metal is suitable for short production runs. Parts that you form using this process have flexible surface finishing. Production speed using this method is slower than progressive die stamping. This is due to multiple dies, which slows the operational rate.

However, multiple dies significantly reduce the overall cost of stamping. You have a combination of dies that work independently to produce your metal part. You can use this method to produce tubes for different applications, shells, frames, and structural components.

The choice of which metal to use depend on the properties of the individual metals, like ductility and thickness. You also have to consider where you are going to use the part.

Choosing Metal Stamping Dies

Choosing Metal Stamping Dies
Choosing Metal Stamping Dies

The type of metal you select determines which metal stamping dies to use. Different metal types use other metal stamping dies due to their varying properties. Cutting an aluminium sheet metal uses a different die than cutting an iron or aluminium metal sheet. You also must consider the type of metal stamping you use on your sheet metal.

Metal stamping methods have varying effects on your sheet metal. Cutting, for instance, offers a different effect than bending or hemming. The dies present in these metal stamping options vary, resulting in different results.

Cost is another element you must consider when selecting metal stamping dies for your use. Dies can be of different materials, which affects their pricing. However, the right stamping die produces the desired effect for your sheet metal.

Mechanical Metal Stamping Press
Mechanical Metal Stamping Press

This process involves using a mechanical flywheel connected to a motor for transferring and storing energy.  These flywheels have a punching range of between 5 and 500 mm, each having varying speeds. This process is suitable for punching shallow and simple parts.

Hydraulic Metal Stamping Press
Hydraulic Metal Stamping Press

A hydraulic metal stamping press involves the use of pressurized hydraulic fluid. This pressure forces your metal to form a given metal part. It is an ideal process for the fabrication of smaller parts and runs.  The hydraulic metal stamping press creates more complicated and deep stampings.

Mechanical Servo Metal Stamping Press
Mechanical Servo Metal Stamping Press

The use of high-capacity motors is what differentiates this press type from the others which use flywheels.  You can use this type for the mass production of complicated stamping. A mechanical servo metal stamping press gives you control of the production speed and design you want on your sheet metal

Disadvantages Of Metal Stamping

High Cost of The Tools And Equipment
High Cost of The Tools And Equipment

The cost of purchasing the dies to use during the stamping process is relatively high. This is due to the material for the die and their function in metal stamping.

Complicate Customization Design
Complicate Customization Design

There are instances where you need to have a complex design on your sheet metal. Getting that design on the die can be difficult and time-consuming. This limits the production quantity, which negatively impacts your output.

Applications Of Metal Stamping

Lighting Industries
Lighting Industries

Using metal stamping for the lighting industry, you can manufacture different parts, including lighting inserts, clips, and covers for wall fixtures. Manufacturing these parts considers the type of metal used and the application area.

Decorative Industry
Decorative Industry

Standard metal stamping techniques that you can use in the decorative industry include embossing, patterns, and edging. These techniques enhance the visual appeal of your product, thereby increasing its value. The critical consideration here is the metal type and thickness.

Metal Enclosures And Housing
Metal Enclosures And Housing

The metal enclosure helps in protecting the content of your products. This is common in various machines and equipment. For instance, you have enclosures for ventilation systems and electrical components housing.  You also can use these enclosures for packaging products like cans for drinks.

Bearing Components
Bearing Components

The manufacture of bearing components is another area where metal stamping is utilized. Metal stamping here facilitates manufacturing components like the bearing needles and roller bearing. Bearing components are vital in the automotive and aerospace industries.

People Also Ask:

Where Is Metal Stamping Used?

The use of metal stamping is common in electronic equipment, medical devices, computers, and specialized tools.  Industries that utilize this technology include medical, automotive, and electronic industries. Metal stamping is ideal due to its ability to fabricate complex shapes. The advantage of metal stamping is that it is ideal for different metals.

Is Stamped Sheet Metal Strong?

Yes. A stamped metal sheet is strong and durable. However, some factors can affect the strength of your stamped metal. Different metals have different strength properties. The type of condition that you subject your stamped metal to can affect its strength. Conditions that cause rusting reduce the strength of your stamped metal.

Which Steel Suitable for Stamping?

The common types of steel suitable for stamping are stainless steel, steel alloys, and carbon steel. These steel types are ideal due to their ease of machining and durability. Before selecting which steel type to use, you must consider factors like ductility, machinability, cost, and the part to form.

Do Stamped Sheet Metal Rust?

The rusting process on your stamped sheet depends on the metal you use. It also depends on the condition you are using your metal part. Stainless steel, for instance, is difficult to rust. However, when you subject it to extreme conditions, it rusts.

How Accurate Is Metal Stamping?

Metal stamping is highly accurate due to the process and tools in use. The tools you use in this process ensure minimal waste, and you get the right measurement for your metal part.

Why Do You Use Lubricants During Metal Stamping?

The primary purpose of using lubricants in metal stamping is to minimize friction during the process. Minimizing friction prevents wear and tear on your tools during the metal stamping process. Lubrication also reduces metal forming issues like scoring, galling, and welding.

More Resources:

Sheet Metal Stamping Process

Sheet Metal Punching

Progressive Stamping

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