Metal stamping is a metal forming process that has endless industrial applications, like plumbing, household appliances, automotive parts and medical stampings. In this process, stamping presses economically, rapidly, precisely and in large volumes, shape flat stock sheet metal or metal coils into metal parts. Metal stamping presses can produce both two-dimensional and three-dimensional parts, while simultaneously or continuously stamping, pressing, cutting and forming more.
A variety of materials are compatible with metal stamping, such as zinc, nickel, steel, brass, aluminum, copper, titanium and many alloys. Jewelry, plumbing and household fixtures are commonly fabricated from copper and brass stampings. Copper sheet metal stampings and steel stampings are ideal for large automotive and deep drawn metal stampings, as well as large pots and pans. In addition to stamping, the term “metal stamping,” can refer to a broader set of metalworking processes that are conducted with a press machine, such as bending, blanking, coining, embossing, flanging and punching. Read More…
To function, a slide, or ram, maintains movement to and from a stationary table called a press bed. The die, which is a tool consisting of a custom-designed cavity, shapes metal parts from the inserted sheet metal. The upper part of the die connects to the press slide, while the lower connects to the press bed. Another die component, called the punch, completes the shaping operation by pushing the sheet metal through the die. .
Sometimes this process calls for multiple dies and/or punches. After their formation, the metal stampings are usually undergo one or more secondary processes. Plating, for example, boosts a part’s corrosion resistance, solderability and durability.
Common plating materials include tin, nickel, gold and palladium. However, if a manufacturer wishes to avoid this step, he or she may pre-plate the metal. Other secondary processes include heat treating, which increases hardness while decreasing the likelihood cracking, deburring, which removes sharp corners with abrasives or chemicals and cleaning for the removal of films and oils left behind from the stamping process.
There are several types of stamping processes available to manufacturers. Fourslide stampings and progressive stamping, for example, are continuous processes that make small, precision parts, such as medical and electronic stampings, metal clips and brackets and spring clips. Because they are produced from a continuous process, progressive and fourslide stampings are short run stampings that produce a large volume of stampings over a short period of time.
Other stamping presses include mechanical, transfer and hydraulic presses. Mechanical presses are run by producing energy in the flywheel, which is then transferred to the electric shaft, eccentric gear or crankshaft. An example of a mechanical press is the gear frame, a hand-fed, straight-framed press that is perfect for transfer die and progressive die applications.
Transfer presses have multiple stations for parts to pass through, but instead of starting as one piece or coil, transfer pressed parts start as separate sheet metal pieces. Hydraulic presses are available in a variety of frames, including straight sides, C-frames, four-column and H-frames, all which are able to deliver full power at any point in the stroke. This power is delivered by rams moving in a programmed sequence, actuated by hydraulic pressure. Hydraulic presses work for precision metal stampings, short runs, deep drawing, lower speed high-tonnage blanking with long feeds and work that calls for repeatable pressure. Available in a wide variety of tonnage capacities, sizes, operating speeds and stroke lengths, there are stamping presses and processes for every application.
Metal stamping is an excellent process in which to invest. Why? First, metal stamped parts are precise, highly repeatable and capable of precision tolerances. Second, metal stamping dies cost less than other tooling parts, like molds, forging and casting dies and expendable cutting tools. In addition, metal stamping produces tough parts made of harder materials than other processes allow. Find out more about the possibilities by contacting a service provider.