Metal stamping is an all-encompassing term that can have multiple meanings. It can refer from something as simple as company name engraving on metal to something as complex as precision metal stampings that produce intricate metal parts in bulk.
In its true essence, metal stamping is the process that transforms a metal sheet into a different shape. The designer engineers design and create the geometry and size of the metal parts for specific industry use-cases. The metal stamping machines are capable of creating custom metal stampings and 3D structures. It is a fast and cost-effective means to manufacture metal parts with high accuracy and high volumes.
Depending on the shape and size of custom metal stamps, the machine can even stamp at a rate as high as 1,200 strokes per minute and weigh up to 600 tons.
Metal stamping process
The metal stamping process involves different metal forming and metal cutting techniques. Some of the most common metal stamping processes are:
Here the metal sheet is cut into desired forms, and the worksheet is detached and placed onto the custom metal die for further processing.
Here the metal scrap is removed before the worksheet is introduced to the die press.
It involves bending the metal into the desired profile similar to U, V, or L letters. Here pressure just below the tensile strength of the metal is used to create such shapes.
It is a metal forming technique that introduces a layer of the flange to the metal workpiece.
It is a metal forming technique. It uses repeated pressure to create the desired bends without any spring-back effects.
It involves trimming or cutting off the scraps from the metal worksheet.
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Types Of Custom Stamping Die Operations
Metal stamping operations create custom metal shapes that vary according to the requirements of the projects. Let us look into some of the common types of metal stamping die operations.
Progressive die stamping
This technique uses a set of sequential metal stamping stations. First, the metal sheet or coil enters the stamping press. Then, it undergoes a series of stamping operations simultaneously. During this period, the metal worksheet follows a guided path and is subject to metal stamping operations like bending, coining, punching, etc. as per the designer’s instructions.
Here the sequence of work operations depends on the result and the design specifications.
Transfer Die Stamping
This technique looks similar to progressive die stamping. It is because, even in this technique, the metal sheet undergoes a series of metal operations. The main difference is that in the transfer die stamping technique, the metal strip is separated from the press every time it transitions from one station to another.
It takes more time than progressive metal stamping and is usually preferred where part size is large and needs to be transferred to different presses.
When there’s a production requirement for complex metal parts with high numbers of bends and twists. Here a four-sided metal stamping tool helps in creating multiple bends and twists to achieve the desired shape.
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Types of metal presses
There are mainly two types of metal presses used to create custom metal stampings.
Mechanical metal press
Mechanical presses leverage the mechanical power generated by a motor set. Here a motor is connected to a mechanical flywheel that stores and transfers energy. The pressing speed depends on the motor’s capability and is usually in the range of twenty and 1,500 strokes per minute,
This metal press is apt to create simple parts and is usually used in progressive and transfer stamping die operations.
Hydraulic metal press
Hydraulic press harnesses the power of pressurized hydraulic fluid. The setup here allows control over various metrics such as pressure required for each stroke. They also provide adjustable stroke and variable speed capabilities.
This press finds applications to create metal parts with small production but complex designs.
The metal stamping process is one of the metal manufacturing processes and is not the same as metal fabrication. The most desirable metals for this application have high tolerances and good metallurgical properties. Metals such as copper, aluminum are popular among metal stamping manufacturers.
The process involves a lot of equipment and design expertise to create highly accurate, custom metal stamping parts.