Metal stamping is a metal forming process in which flat stock sheet metal or metal coils are precisely shaped into metal parts in a stamping press. Materials most commonly used in the metal stamping process include steel, aluminum, zinc, nickel, titanium, brass, copper and a number of alloys.
Metal stamping processes produce large volumes of products and parts with uniform precision at high speeds and low cost. Metal stamping presses and fourslide presses are capable of producing two-dimensional and three-dimensional parts, with simultaneous or continuous stamping, pressing, cutting and forming. Copper and brass stampings are commonly fabricated into household fixtures, plumbing accessories or jewelry. Sheet metal stampings and steel stampings are fabricated into a number of larger, three-dimensional parts such as automotive stampings and deep drawn metal stampings, which are deeply three dimensional parts such as pots and pans. Progressive stampings and fourslide stampings are continuous processes which fabricate small, precision parts, such as electronic stampings, medical stampings, metal clips, spring clips and metal brackets; because these are made as part of one continuous process, these are typically shortrun stampings, produced at a high volume over a short time span.
During press operation, the slide, or ram, maintains movement to and from a motionless table called a press bed. The die, a press tool consisting of a specially designed cavity, shapes metal parts from the inserted sheet metal. The upper component of the die connects to the press slide, and the lower component connects to the press bed. A die component called the punch performs the necessary shaping operation by pushing the sheet metal through the die. Some metal stamping process utilize multiple dies and/or punches. After the metal stampings are formed, they are typically subjected to one or more secondary processes. Plating increases the corrosion resistance, solderability and wearability of the part. The most common plating materials include gold, palladium, nickel and tin; metal can be pre-plated to avoid this secondary process. Cleaning removes oils and films from the metal stampings. Heat treating processes increase the strength of the product. The part is stamped in the soft state before it is hardened by heat treating in order to circumvent its tendency to crack when formed or coined. Sharp corners are removed by the deburring process, which can be done by either abrasives or chemicals.
Stamping presses activate metal forming with force, speed and precision. Metal stampers use mechanical and hydraulic presses, both of which are available in a wide variety of sizes, tonnage capacities, stroke lengths and operating speeds. Mechanical presses produce energy in the flywheel, which is then transferred to the crankshaft, electric shaft or eccentric gear. Gap frames are a type of mechanical press often utilized in applications where the stock is fed by hand; straight frames are ideal for progressive die and transfer die applications. In hydraulic presses, a controlled force is actuated by hydraulic pressure, which is used to move one or more rams in a preset sequence. Hydraulic presses-which have a variety of types of frames, including C-frames, straight sides, H-frames and four-column, have the ability to deliver full power at any point in the stroke. These presses are ideal for deep drawing, short runs, precision metal stampings, lower-speed high-tonnage blanking with long feed lengths and work requiring repeatable pressure rather than repeatable depth of stroke. Progressive presses have multiple stations which stamp different attributes into parts as a metal coil moves through the press; parts are cut and separated on the final step. Similarly, transfer presses have multiple stations for the completion of a part, but parts are separate sheet metal pieces rather than parts along a continuous coil. Fourslide presses have four moving slides which allow the automated press to manipulate parts along both axis, completing multiple aspects of stamping, cutting and shaping on parts at one processing stage.
Metal stamping services are cost-effective because the process is able to produce material-intensive parts at production rates that are much greater than what is possible using other traditional methods. Metal stamped parts are precise, highly repeatable and capable of precision tolerances. Many parts made through other metal forming processes, such as casting, die casting, forging, machining or fabricating, could just as easily be designed for stamping. Metal stamping dies cost less than other tooling, like molds, forging and casting dies and expendable cutting tools, among others. The quality, accuracy, function, wear life and appearance of parts can be greatly improved by designing them to be stamped. Metal stamping allows parts to be made of tougher and harder material than other processes allow, including such materials as stainless steel, nickel, cold rolled steel, aluminum, brass, bronze and galvanized steel. Often the secondary processes can be reduced in number or eliminated altogether to reduce cost even further.
Metal Stampings - Talan Products Inc.
Metal Stampings - Micro Forms, Inc.
Metal Stampings - Kenmode Precision Metal Stamping
Metal Stampings - Boker's
Metal Stampings - Micro Forms, Inc.
In metal stamping, a metal processing method, a flat sheet of metal is pressed into a various shapes based on the die used. The process can be a single stage or multistage, depending on the requirement. In single stage operation, every stroke of the press results into a desired metallic form. In multi stage, using progressive stampings the metal sheet is pressed at various angles to give the final shape.
The shape of the end product is based on a die, a metal mold, which is made with utmost precision and can be used for long time. With single dies, large quantities of components can be created, which makes stamping a fast and cost effective process suitable for mass production.
Types of Metal Stamping
In this processing method, a metal plate is molded into the desired shape by applying pressure or squeezing metal in a die. It eliminates other secondary machining operations. Traditional stamping results in high wear and tear of a die, whereas modern squeezing technique is cost effective, producing vertical, smooth, accurate sides with no tear.
In a stamping operation, pinch trimming is used to cut the vertical walls of stretched or drawn vessel. To cut the metal, it is pinched between two hardened tool die sections. The product has no shearing or fracturing; deep-drawn cans are normally pinch trimmed.
Bending is the metal processing operation in which the metal is reformed or deformed along a straight axis. There are several types of bending methods, including V bending and wipe bending. Wipe bending is one of the most common methods to make metal clips; however, it is not suited for high-strength metals or parts that requiring precision bending. V bending is used for obtaining a given v angle and requires less force to bend in comparison to conventional wipe bending.
It is also known as crushing, in this metal process to shape the metal compressive forces of powered hammer or a die is used. It is classified based on the temperature the metal is processed, it either can be cold, warm, or hot. It is one of the oldest ways of shaping metal, used for millenniums. A product constructed with forging is stronger than one made with casting or machining.
Key industries that rely on precision metal stamping:
Fourslide stamping plays a major role in manufacturing of automobiles. It is used for external panels, including bonnet, fenders, deck lid, doors, side panels, and roof. Internal parts, like bonnet inner, mating panels, door inner or deck lid inner, are also made using different stamping methods. It also has application in making dimensionally critical panels.
The products made by stamping are highly reliable; therefore, they are used in the manufacturing of airplanes. High precision stamping produces intricate engine parts, navigational systems, and landing gears. Moreover, many instruments, from eyelets to gauges, in airplane can only be made with precision brass stampings.
Almost everything used in the modern military warfare depends on precision metal stamping technology, including helicopters, assault weapons, radio systems, and many other defense equipment is made with stamping.
Devices and surgical instruments used in the healthcare industry are made with metal stamping from simple spring clips to intricate lasers.
The ever-growing demand of stamped metal parts in various manufacturing fields has made metal stamping one of the largest industries in the USA. You can find metal stamping companies in all 50 states. Be it metal etching or deep drawn stampings, almost every industry-from automobiles to architecture to appliances-needs stamped components such as spring clips, metal clips, brass stampings, and eyelets.
This has happened because stamped metal processes offer many benefits:
It is quite difficult to compete with all these benefits with other fabrication technique. Therefore, it is a good idea to choose metal stampings when faced with other fabrication options.
The metal stamping process has been in existence for many years. Many types of production methods have been developed over time for different purposes, from making eyelets to spring clips to metal clips. However, they are classified, primarily, into three methods based on the dies: line dies, transfer dies, and progressive dies.
Method that uses Line Dies
This method is used to manufacture large parts that typically cannot be manufactured efficiently in one press. In this method, tools are typically loaded by hand or robotics. Hand-loaded line dies are commonly used for low-production parts and for those parts, which are too bulky to handle with automated system.
Method that Uses Transfer Dies
In this method, uniquely designed line dies are assembled together in a predetermined structure in a single press. Unlike with conventional line dies, the traveling rails assist the movements of metal parts. The rails are mounted in the press boundaries. During a press cycle, each rail moves inward to grab the metal part with specialized finger-like structure, which transfers metal parts to the next die.
Method that Uses Progressive Dies
Also known as progressive stampings, this is the fastest method to produce metal parts. In this method, progressive dies tie the metal parts together by a strip carrier, which is actually a portion of the original strip. Unlike transfer or line dies method, a single common die set mounts necessary stations, which are sequenced and timed to feed the metal part.
These are the most common production methods used for metal processes. Choose one carefully by considering factors like labor rates, the required volume of parts, and existing equipment.
There are not many metal processes that have changed the face of manufacturing the way metal stamping has. In the 20th Century metal stamping found its major application, however, it has roots in the time when we, as a human race, were exploring different ways to mold metal after figuring out how metal can be extracted from ores.
With innovation and inventions throughout history, we learned different metal fabrication techniques. We have come a long way, from crude stamping and forging of metal, to high tech casting of metal in sand. Modern day precision metal stamping lineage can be traced back to 1550, when a German silversmith, Marx Schwab, invented a press to mold metal into coin using a die.
The popularity of metal stamping came with the industrial revolution when manufacturers started making bicycle parts with this technique. It changed the landscape of manufacturing; the process was much faster and cost effective. Soon Henry Ford, inventor of assembly line, embraced the technology and the era of affordable cars started with the Model T. In present day manufacturing, metal stamping is applied in a wide range of products, from spring clips, metal clips, roll forming to metal etching.
Metal stamping industry
Even after the recent decline in manufacturing, the U.S. emerged as the largest market for metal stamping in 2015; the revenue exceeded $35 billion. A large share was attributed to the conventional automotive industry and newly emerging private aerospace industry.
According to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc., the global metal stamping market could exceed $180 billion by 2022, fueled by the metal stamping requirement in infrastructure and other emerging industries' needs. The growth will particularly be in emerging economies.
Insights into technological development
In the metal stamping industry, the major processes are embossing, blanking, bending, four slide stampings flanging and coining.
The industry at the global level is dominated by blanking, which is closely followed by embossing and bending.
The blanking process individually is valued around $30 billion. This process is anticipated to go through even more significant growth, mainly fueled by the demand growth in the aerospace and automotive industries.
The embossing process accounts for over 21 % of total metal stamping. The embossing growth is projected to be aided by the rapid industrialization in China, India, and Brazil.
The bending process is expected to follow the growth pattern due to the high demand in end-use industries. This metal process offers many operational advantages including, tolerance to metal thickness variations, easy adjustability, and tonnage requirement for bending.
Major application of metal stamping
The automotive industry is still the largest application for metal stamping. It is used to make doors, bonnets, tailgate trunk lids, and hoods, among others parts. In 2014, the automotive stamping industry was valued at over $31 billion. The forecast for the industry shows strong growth at a global level due to disposable income levels rising, which is anticipated to aid the market.
After automobile applications, consumer electronics is where metal stamping or brass stampings are used extensively. The segment is forecasted to go through significant growth; a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4% is expected by 2022. The demand for consumer electronics is strong throughout the world, which will aid the market growth over the forecast period.
Research and development
The industry is witnessing research and development investments that are improving metal stamping processes. High efficiency metal stamping machines, such as hybrid electromagnetically assisted stamping machines, are available and cut operational costs, as well as reducing failures, like wrinkling and tearing. These technological advancements are critical for industry development and growth.
Metal stamping can refer to a number of important processes that take place during the manufacturing of a wide variety of products across many industries. Some of these include punching, embossing, blanking, coining, flanging and bending; all of which are generally accomplished as a piece of material (usually sheet metal) passes through a stamping press or a machine press. In order to ensure the highest quality stamping as well as to predict potential problems (thus avoiding costly down time or possible reworking or flawed parts) many companies use stamping simulation as part of their preliminary processes.
Stamping simulation technology works by calculating the process of a specific sheet metal stamping project and predicts defects that may be likely to occur, such as wrinkles, splits, material thinning, and springback. The technology is also referred to as forming simulation and is an application of non-linear finite element analysis, which offers many advantages. The automotive industry, for instance, relies on it as lead time to market, lean manufacturing and cost are imperative to a company's success. Studies also show that companies that do more simulating upfront tend to be the most effective and see more positive results closer the end of projects.
The technology simulates the sheet metal part forming process in the virtual environment of a PC, and allows tool makers to see the likelihood of success for the turnout of a particular sheet metal part without the expense of making an actual tool. Tool makers use the results to quickly compare alternative designs and enhance their part, all of which contribute to overall lower manufacturing cost. Investing in this technology and taking the extra time before a run to use it, can save a company a lot of time and money in the long term as it ensures a smoother run and higher quality products the first time around.
Metal Stamping Terms