Understanding Metal Stamping
Metal stamping is a useful solution for the manufacturing problems that many manufacturers face. When manufacturers have a project and are looking to get their metal parts stamped, there are three things that are very important to them.
They would like high quality, long-lasting results in a way that is affordable and will bring a quick turnaround. There are three main techniques included with the process of stamping metal called progressive die stamping, fourslide stamping, and deep draw stamping.
Progressive Die Stamping
In progressive, strip metal goes through a progressive stamping press. The metal constantly unrolls itself from the coil and into the die press. Then, the metal is cut, punched, and bent in different ways. This technique is great because it has a low cost of labor, short production time, and a fast turnaround.
The fourslide technique involves four different sides having a horizontal alignment to work together to shape the metal sheet with complex cuts and bends. This technique has the advantage of much better flexibility with the four slides being used to make more than one bend at the exact same time.
Deep Draw Stamping
The last technique is called deep draw stamping, and this is when sheet metal is punched into a shape from inside the die. This technique is usually used when greater diameter space is needed. Therefore, it has a better cost than the other techniques which would use more materials.
It is tough to figure out the correct process to use when a manufacturer has a project in need of their metal to be stamped. To select the correct process, a manufacturer should take many things into consideration including the process design requirements, how affordable this process will be, how long the time for production will take, and how this process will affect the way the design functions.
There are nine processes a manufacturer must know about when it comes to stamping metal.
The first step is called blanking, which cuts large sheets of metal into smaller pieces that make the metal easier to deal with.
Piercing can happen after or at the same time as blanking as it is used to punch the metal sheet into specific shapes.
When a piece of metal goes through a die, this is the literal stamping of the metal. This is also known as drawing.
Bending is when a metal part is placed on a die as a ram pushes against this same part. This causes the part to bend. Air bending occurs when the flat part of the metal is bent because the die has been punched. This bending method uses less power and pressure than others.
Two other bending methods are coining and bottoming which are similar but use way more pressure to bend.
Forming is yet another bending method that manages to create parts with more than one bend at once.
After these bending methods comes pinch trimming which is when a piece is cut from this metal sheet that separates it from the scrap metal part. This often cause deep round circles to come from the metal sheet.
Lancing is the last process that cuts the metal into sections called tabs and vents. The cut is along three edges and makes an opening that gets rid of scrap metal.
So, when it comes to metal stampings, not every one of these many processes or techniques is best or needed for every part. Therefore, if a manufacturer has a good understanding of each process and technique, they will be able to design great metal parts at a low-cost with high quality and good production speed.