What Are The Four Types of Metal Stamping?

What Are The Four Types of Metal Stamping?

Metal stamping is a method of manufacturing complex parts and components from flat metal sheets. Industries that rely on precision engineering need to understand all the different types of metal stamping and how they are used. A metal stamping press is a processing machine that uses special tools and dies to shape and cut sheet metal.

There are four main types of metal stamping: progressive die stamping, compound stamping, transfer die stamping, and four-slide stamping. the different processes all have different benefits and are suited to the production of metal-fabricated parts for different needs.

Table of Contents

Four Types of Metal Stamping

1. Progressive Die Stamping

Progressive die stamping is a high-volume manufacturing method. A strip of metal taken from a coil is automatically passed through multiple forming dies. Each die processes the blank to bring the part closer to its final shape.

When the material reaches its final stop, the finished product is separated from the metal strip. At the same time, a new sheet of metal enters the starting end of the progressive die for the first pass. By pushing guide pins into locating holes at each die station, the progressive die makes the same part every time.

2. Compound Stamping

Compound stamping is a method of making simple flat metal parts such as washers. It can also make complex parts with smaller tolerances, such as seals, fixtures, shields, baffles, frames, etc.

It can do more cutting, punching, and bending in one pass than other stamping methods. This makes it cost-effective for medium to high-volume production. Speed varies depending on part size.

It is well suited for the rapid manufacture of simple parts with high repeatability, but may not work well for complex patterns, in which case progressive stamping will work better.

3. Transfer Die Stamping

Transfer Die Stamping is a type of metal stamping where each part is treated as a separate unit. The machine first separates the part from the metal strip. The part is then moved to a different location and processed in a different way.

This is the best way to make parts with lots of small details like knurling, ribs, and threads. It’s perfect for making tubular applications and deep-drawn parts in metals such as copper, brass, aluminum, and stainless steel.

In addition to these features, transfer die stamping has some other important advantages. It is very effective and cost-effective for small production runs as it is the best method for making large parts.

Different surface finishes can be obtained using this method, and since different dies are used, there is no need for plate guides or lifters. In addition, the use of one or more dies usually reduces tooling costs, making it ideal for many metal stamping projects.

4. Four-slide Stamping

In contrast to metal stamping presses that use vertical stamping, four-slide stamping uses four horizontally moving sliders that move by means of gears and shafts that are connected together.

These sliders strike the workpiece at right angles, thus ensuring the correct and consistent shape of the metal. Many different fields use this method to create complex and precise parts, such as the aerospace, electronics, and automotive industries.

How Does Metal Stamping Work?

In metal stamping, the top and bottom halves of a die set are used to cut a flat sheet of metal into the desired shape. This work is done in a heavy-duty stamping machine.

The dies in the machine cut, bend, stamp, trim, drill, stretch, or draw the raw material to make a finished product of the right size. Stamping can be used to make a variety of items, from simple brackets and equipment housings to automobile frames.

Four Types of Metal Stamping

Why Is Metal Stamping Important?

Metal stamping is an efficiency-focused technology that is a key part of high-volume, low-cost production in many fields. It increases yields and reduces costs by reducing the need for tools, workers and time, resulting in significant cost savings in mass production.

In high-volume production, stamping is usually faster and uses less material than machining, which requires material to make the part. While forging may be more expensive for certain complex and precise part geometries, stamping can be faster and more consistent, making it a better choice.

What Are The Most Common Materials Used For Metal Stamping?

There are many metal materials that can be used for metal stamping in everyday life. Some of the common metal materials are these.

Copper Alloy

Copper alloys are ideal for electrical and HVAC applications because they are electrically conductive, easy to mold, and won’t rust. Copper alloys are very easy to mold, making them great for metal cutting and making intricate shapes. However, they cannot be used for high-strength tasks because they are soft.

Steel Alloys

Steel and its alloys are strong, low-cost, and versatile, making them the backbone of the mechanical industry and ideal for general metal stamping. Soft malleable steel alloys can be heated to harden them after stamping.

Aluminum Alloy

Aluminum alloys are used extensively in the aerospace and automotive industries due to their lightweight, lack of rust, and good thermal conductivity. The metal casting process makes it easy to shape aluminum and its alloys into complex geometries. Aluminum and its alloys are known for their flexibility and ease of molding.

Specialty Metals

Titanium and nickel alloys, for example, can operate in harsh environments. To be precise, depending on the alloy and application, they are characterized by high strength and resistance to corrosion, high temperatures, and harsh environments.

Specialty metals are strong in harsh environments such as chemical, aircraft, nuclear, energy, marine, and nuclear industries. However, their strong and tough properties can make casting metals more difficult and usually costly.

Choosing the right metal stamping method for a particular job should take into account factors such as the type of material needed, the complexity of the design, the number of parts to be made, and the budget.

For example, copper may be the best metal to use for electrical applications. Steel is the best metal to use for long-lasting designs. Aluminum is the best metal for lightweight designs. Unique metals are suitable for harsh corrosion or temperature conditions.

What Are The Different Methods of Metal Stamping?

There are many different methods of metal stamping, each designed to meet the needs of a specific manufacturing project. Listed below are the most common ways that metal stamping presses work.

Punching

This process uses a punch and die to cut holes or other spaces in a sheet of metal. For example, it is commonly used to punch, slot, and perforate holes in many items such as automotive parts and electronics.

Punching can produce holes that are very close to the correct size, but this depends on the type of material and its thickness, the size of the hole, and the quality and condition of the die.

Blanking

Blanking is similar to punching, but instead of punching holes in the final shape, the purpose is to cut the shape from a sheet of metal. Steel blanking is an inexpensive way to make metal parts because it uses a continuous material feed, making setup and part handling easier.

It reduces waste by efficiently stacking parts and lowers shipping costs by sending only the net weight. Initially, it was used only in the automotive and manufacturing industries. However, it is gaining popularity in more industries because the blanks can be molded to the shape of the final part.

Bending

Bending is the process of shaping metal by pushing it hard at certain points. In pressure brake forming, a piece is placed on a module. The module exerts tension and pressure on the sheet to shape it. Rebound occurs after bending, so excessive bending is required to achieve a certain angle.

Both the type of material and the forming method affect the spring back. Sheet metal gets longer when bent. This is measured by the bending buckling on the outside and the bending radius on the inside. Thickness, material properties, and mold selection all have an effect on this. In addition, bending is used to make tabs, slots, etc.

Casting

In the casting process, pressure is used to shape and harden the surface of the workpiece, resulting in precise shapes and smooth edges. This method saves time and money by eliminating additional steps such as grinding and deburring.

The casting process is used in many different areas, especially when small details and fine features are important, such as the manufacture of coins, badges, buttons, and precision parts.

Embossing

In embossing, a raised or depressed pattern is formed on the surface of a sheet of metal. It is often used for decoration on items such as ornate panels. When stamping, precision is the key to getting the desired look and feel.

Flanging

Creating a raised edge or lip on a sheet metal part is called “flanging”. This material is used in automotive panels and ductwork, among others. The accuracy of the flanging is necessary to ensure that the seals work properly and that the structure remains consistent.

What Are The Advantages of Metal Stamping?

For the metal parts processing industry, the metal stamping process offers the following advantages:

  • Precision. Batch manufacture of accurate and consistent parts
  • Cost-Effective. Reasonably priced for high-volume production
  • Speed. Rapid realization of high-volume production
  • Flexibility. Available in different metals and sizes.
  • Automation. Can be used with automated production lines

Problems You May Encounter With Metal Stamping

Just as there is no such thing as perfect, here are some of the problems you may encounter when metal stamping:

  • Bursting. When a punch wears out or there isn’t enough space between punches, the surface around the hole or contour can break, which means maintenance or tool replacement is required.
  • Part breakage. Negative tonnage (reverse tonnage) can cause parts to break. This is when the punch breaks through the metal as it cuts, pushing the punch and stamping unit downward.
  • Scrap Web. Excess metal scrap between parts from old or misaligned dies that need to be realigned, as well as tooling that needs to be maintained.
  • Burrs. Sharp raised edges that need to be removed from punches and molds that have shifted.

What Are Some Common Applications For Metal Stamping?

Metal stamping is used in a wide variety of applications because of its excellence in manufacturing precision metal parts. Some of the common applications are listed below:

  • Automotive. Making car mounts, engine parts, and body parts
  • Electronics. Making PCB (Printed Circuit Board) shields, connections and contacts
  • Aerospace. Make aircraft components such as frames and panels
  • Construction. Making structural parts such as brackets and joints

What types of metal stamping presses are available?

Here are a few different types of metal stamping presses.

Mechanical presses

These machines have a motor that is connected to a flywheel mechanism. They can make parts quickly, making them ideal for making simple, shallow-shaped parts.

They are typically used for progressive and transfer stamping to make parts for automobiles, appliances, and tools.

Hydraulic Presses

These presses are not as fast as mechanical presses but are more flexible. Because the die space, pressure, and stroke length can be changed. They can be used to make deep and complex things like tanks, cylinders, and bowls.

Mechanical servo presses

These presses are as fast as mechanical presses but can be bent in different ways like hydraulic presses. They can be fine-tuned for speed, stroke, position, and slide movement, so they can be used for a variety of molds, part types, and output speeds.

Pneumatic Presses

Popular in binderies, pneumatic presses use compressed air to perform mechanical tasks such as cutting and bending. Compared to hydraulic presses, pneumatic presses work faster and cleaner.

Fully pneumatic machines do not use any power source other than compressed air. The operator places the material, starts the pressing process, and then gets the final part.

What Safety Issues Should I Be Aware of When Using a Metal Stamping Press?

Metal fabrication methods that use moving parts, sharp metal edges, and squeezing forces can be dangerous to workers. These include electric shocks, pinch points, noise, and moving objects.

Those performing hazardous work should always wear the correct personal protective equipment (PPE), such as safety shoes, goggles, gloves, and ears.

When using metal stamping tools, safety must come first. An important factor in preventing personnel injuries is operator education.

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