Precision metal stamping offers an ideal method for the high-volume production of complex parts. By using advanced computer modeling capabilities, precision metal stamping optimizes the design prior to physical manufacturing to ensure the tightest possible tolerances and most precise cuts and forming operations available.
Benefits of Precision Metal Stamping
The benefits offered by precision metal stamping make it an ideal process for a variety of industries. The main advantages of metal stamping are:
- Ease of operation
Precision metal stamping is typically a fully automated process, enabling manufacturers to conduct operations quickly without incurring additional labor costs. In the instances where human operators are required, the human machine interfaces are user friendly, so that they can be programmed and operated without extensive training or skill.
The precision metal stamping process is ideal for projects which require high volumes of complex parts, as the majority of the costs and labor are incurred upfront during the design process. After this, manufacturers can rapidly and accurately create large quantities of high-quality parts. Larger production runs gain economies of scale, which help to offset any upfront costs associated with equipment setup or tool and die design and fabrication.
Metal Stamping Process
Custom precision metal stamping utilizes specialized machinery to form shapes from flat metal coils or sheets. Precision stamping machinery facilitates many forming and fabrication processes, including:
The most labor-intensive portion of the metal stamping process is the design phase. Designers utilize computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and computer-aided design (CAD) software to create the final tooling designs. Once the piece is finalized, it can be rapidly produced in high quantities. As such, it is vital that these designs be precise to avoid costly errors during production.
During the production process, manufacturers will load stock metal into the stamping press. Depending on the product’s design, the metal stamping machinery may utilize a variety of techniques to create the desired effect.
Industries that Rely on Precision Metal Stamping
The precision, cost-effectiveness, and quality provided by metal stamping make it an ideal process for a wide range of different industries. Below are some examples of industries that commonly use this process.
Automotive manufacturers are one of the most common users of precision metal stamping. As the lead market for metal stamping, the automotive industry accounted for 34.7% of metal stamping revenue in 2016, according to a study performed by Grand View Research.
Original equipment manufacturers often require high-volume production capabilities. These businesses must produce high quantities of goods in a timely manner without sacrificing quality or complexity. Precision metal stamping enables manufacturers to reduce the overall cost-per-unit. Additionally, the advanced virtual modeling technology offered used early in the precision metal stamping process speeds up production times and allows companies to get their products to market more rapidly.
Precision metal stamping sees frequent use for producing components used in industrial and consumer electronics. Nearly all consumer electronics contain some sort of component produced by metal stamping.
The consumer appliance sector relies on precision metal stamping and microstamping to produce a variety of small precision components used in household appliances.
Precision metal stamping serves the needs of the construction industry by enabling the rapid manufacture of a variety of different products, such as:
- Panel fastening systems
- Complex custom assemblies
- Industrial switches
- Industrial connectors
- Power tools
Products created through precision metal stamping are common in both commercial and residential settings. There are a wide variety of hardware products created through metal stamping, including:
- Lighting fixtures
- Customized switches
Metal stamped components can be designed to provide durability even in harsh or hazardous environments. The HVAC industry often utilizes precision metal stamping for the production of:
- Sealing components
The strength and durability of precision metal stamped products makes it an ideal solution for producers of fire protection equipment. Sprinkler systems and other fire suppression systems often incorporate a variety of precision metal stamped components. In addition to their ability to withstand moisture, pressure, and other harsh conditions, metal stamped products can be designed with high quality aesthetics in mind. This is especially important for certain visible components of fire suppression systems.
Precision Metal Stamping Services from Peterson Manufacturing
At Peterson Manufacturing, we provide both deep-drawn stamping and precision stamping conversions. Our team of ISO 9001:2015-certified experts are able to work with parts that range in diameter from 0.08-2.0 inches (2-50 mm) with a maximum length of 3.0 inches (76mm.) With each and every press, our top priority is to ensure consistent, high quality results for our customers.
Every metal responds differently to metal stamping processes and each maintains different degrees of strength and other positive properties. It’s important to choose the metal that will not only leave your stamped pieces with the qualities you need, but the least amount of weaknesses as well. In this guide, we’ll discuss common metal properties to evaluate and which metals perform best in different applications.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Metal for Your Product
Here are some of the most common properties that will impact the performance of your product:
- Corrosion resistance. Many metals have an inherent resistance to corrosion, while others need to be specifically plated or chemically treated to achieve the same protection. If you need a finished metal product that can resist damage from atmospheric oxidation, the presence of water, or chemical reactions, consider looking for metals with inherent corrosion resistance that can be cut, bent, or shaped without reducing the resistance.
- Ductility. Ductility measures the pliability of the metal by determining how much it can bend and still return to its original form without cracks, ruptures, or deformation. This quality also measures if a metal can be drawn into a wire or formed through metal stamping. While aluminum has low ductility, stainless steel offers very high ductility.
- Machinability. Metals that are easily machinable are easily cut, which makes them a better choice for fast production runs. Very soft metals typically have a high degree of machinability, while hard metals are more challenging. For example, standard steel has a moderate amount of machinability and stainless steel has a low machinability.
- Tensile strength. This quality measures how strong the structural integrity of the metal is. Stainless steel is very hard to snap or crack, so it has a high tensile strength. Aluminum has a low tensile strength and is easy to crack.
- Weldability. Welding and soldering metal is a common technique for joining separate pieces. Some metals, like steel, are easy to weld with standard tools and techniques. Stainless steel is more difficult to weld, which increases welding project costs for stainless steel projects.
Types of Metal for Precisions Metal Stamping
Not every metal has the correct properties for stamping operations. Different metals also have varying price points, end-use application qualities, and appearances. When choosing a metal for your next metal stamping project, it’s important to strike a balance between the needs of the manufacturing stages (workability and price) and the use stage (strength and corrosion resistance).
Aluminum is a commonly selected metal for stamping and other manufacturing projects because it can create lightweight products that maintain a high level of strength. Other positive characteristics of aluminum include:
- Ability to combine with other metals
- Corrosion resistance
- Low density
Brass is a popular choice for decorative and consumer goods. It’s also used for electrical applications that don’t need pure copper. The most valuable attributes of brass include:
- Resistance to corrosion from water, neutral and alkaline saline solutions, organic compounds, and chemicals
- Appealing color and finish
Copper is well-known for its excellent corrosion resistance and its superior conductivity. Only silver and gold offer better conductivity. copper can resist corrosion damage from multiple sources, including acids, water, alkaline and neutral solutions, and atmospheric oxidation.
Cold Roll Steel
Steel starts as an iron ore that has some of its carbon removed and replaced with other elements that imbue it with other characteristics. Different types of steel have different levels of these characteristics, which include conductivity, corrosion resistance, and strength. Cold rolled steel can also benefit from heat treatments like annealing, quenching, and tempering.
Inconel steel is a super alloy made with nickel and chrome. The properties of Inconel steel include:
- Corrosion and oxidation resistance
- Creep resistance
- Strength at high temperatures
Stainless steel is a steel alloy that has high levels of chromium. To be considered stainless steel, a steel alloy has to be over 10.5% chromium by weight. This element gives the metal resistance to corrosion, good formability, durability, strength, and a wide conductive range. Stainless steel also has a low cost.
Precision Metal Stamping Services from Peterson Manufacturing
Peterson Manufacturing specialize in deep drawn stamping and precision stamping techniques for high-quality metal part production. Our company is ISO 9001:2015-certified for quality management practices. We can create products with dimensions ranging from 0.08–3.0 inches in diameter. Contact our team today to learn about our metal stamping services or request a quote to get your manufacturing project started.
The Deep Drawn Aluminum Forming Process
Aluminum typically does not feature the highest quality of elasticity, elongation, and strain distribution properties. As such, when forming aluminum parts, industry professionals must employ part designs and manufacturing methods that evenly stretch the workpiece or feed the material into a draw cavity, such as deep drawing.
Deep drawing—also known as deep draw or deep drawn stamping—is a forming process used to create metal parts and products with heights equal to or greater than their widths. Typical end products include hollow cylindrical or rectangular components with straight, curved, or tapered sides.
Deep drawing operations employ the use of a series of dies or punches to compress or stretch the material until all of the workpiece dimensions meet those outlined in the part design. The formation of the part occurs gradually, with each successive die reducing the width and increasing the length slightly without changing the wall thickness.
Some of the key considerations to keep in mind during the deep drawing process include:
- The draw ratio must be sufficient to exceed the compressed material’s resistance to flow.
- The deep drawing operation must avoid stretching the material by using the right draw ratio, lubricant, and blank holder force.
- The blank edge must not be too far from the edge of the punch; otherwise, the metal will not flow and will stretch too much.
Advantages of Aluminum in Deep Drawing
When used in deep drawing operations, aluminum offers several manufacturing advantages, such as:
Lighter Material Weight
Aluminum is valued for its high strength-to-weight ratio. At one-third the weight of steel, it is often used in the aerospace and automotive industries to produce lightweight but strong and durable components that can withstand high pressures, temperature fluctuations, and heavy vibrations.
Greater Strength and Durability
Aluminum displays exceptional dent resistance and retains its shape better than other metals exposed to the same force. These characteristics make it particularly useful for exterior automotive and airplane panels, which regularly experience impacts.
Smaller Environmental Impact
Aluminum is highly recyclable. This quality enables industrial companies to reuse scrap waste in future operations and recycle materials when they reach the end of their service lives.
Higher Corrosion Resistance
Aluminum is naturally resistant to a wide range of corrosive compounds. Unlike other metals, it can be used in environments exposed to moisture and other corrosive substances without requiring extensive treatment.
Aluminum is a highly effective electrical and thermal conductor. Combine with its lighter material weight, this characteristic makes it excellent for use in foils, electrical wires, and conductor cables.
Superior Cost-Effectiveness and Scalability
Deep drawn aluminum components are relatively inexpensive to fabricate. Additionally, the process accommodates both high and low volume production needs.
Deep Drawn Aluminum Parts from Peterson Manufacturing
Peterson Manufacturing is an ISO registered manufacturer dedicated to providing the highest quality deep drawn stampings in the most cost-effective and efficient manner. Equipped with over six decades of industry experience, we can meet virtually any deep drawn stamping need, including for deep drawn aluminum parts and products.
Our engineered metal stampings – including eyelets, ferrules, shells, caps, sleeves, and bezels – find application in a wide range of industrial devices, equipment, and systems, such as automobiles, consumer appliances, gauges, sensors and controls, valves, plumbing systems, hose assemblies, and hand tools. We also offer deep drawn conversion solutions for alternative metal forming operations, such as screw machining and cold heading.
Regardless of your stamping needs, we can assist you with quality parts, superior service, reliable delivery, and competitive prices. To learn more about our deep drawn aluminum product and service offerings, contact us or request a quote today.
What Is Deep Drawn Stamping?
Metal stamping – sometimes called metal pressing – is a cold-forming process used to produce a wide range of parts and products from coil strip metal. As a cold working process, it is usually performed at room temperature with room temperature materials. Stamped components range in both size and shape, from simple parts 0.08 to 2.0-inches in diameters with a maximum length of 3.0 inches for various industries.
Deep drawing – also referred to as deep drawn or deep draw stamping – is a form of metal stamping that generates seamless round enclosures (i.e., cases) that are at least as high (or taller) as they are wide. Examples of typical deep drawn components include cans, housings, and other containers. They are particularly well-suited for use in demanding environments where reliability and tight tolerances are critical, such as in the electrical and electronic technology industries.
Overview of the Deep Drawn Stamping Process
The deep drawn stamping process employs the use of radial tension-tangential pressure to form metal into the desired shape and size. A series of specialized dies and punches decreases the diameter and increases the length of the blank – i.e., the flat metal disc – according to the part design. The resulting piece is cylindrical or hollow-shaped with straight, tapered, or combination sides.
A standard deep drawn stamping operation includes the following steps:
- Designing the part. Every stamping operation begins with a design for the intended end product. Once the design is complete, the manufacturer can determine what dies and punches are required to achieve the shape and size of the component. Some factors to keep in mind include the dimensions of the part, the customer’s requirements, and which methods to employ.
- Determining the material. Based on the above, they then determine which material suits the part and production specifications. Typical materials used in deep drawn stamping operations include aluminum, brass, copper, stainless steel and low carbon steel.
- Performing the stamping operation. Once the part design and material are set, the manufacturer can move on to the stamping phase. Using the press and tooling (i.e., punches and dies) they identified during the design phase, they gradually form the blank into the part. Each station – i.e., draw or reduction – decreases the diameter and increases the height of the material, with a single part generally taking five or more stations to achieve the desired shape and size. The number of draws or reduction required depends on the part design and the type and thickness of the stamping material.
Benefits of Deep Drawn Stamping
As a manufacturing method, deep drawn stamping offers several advantages to industry professionals. While it may not be ideal for every part or production need, such as the manufacture of complex components, it does provide the following benefits:
- High accuracy and tight tolerances. The deep drawn stamping process is highly precise and repeatable. Its use of custom-tailored tooling enables manufacturers to produce parts to near-exact dimensional tolerances and maintain consistent dimensions between parts and from one batch to the next. Together, these qualities ensure higher overall production quality, lower error rates, and better customer satisfaction within the delivered products.
- Few process steps. Deep drawn parts require fewer operations to produce as they do not require any cutting or assembly. Additionally, their high precision, combined with their accommodation of automation and other rapid production methods, necessitates less manual labor requirements.
- Fast process speeds. Compared to other manufacturing equipment, punch presses generally offer the fastest processing speeds. This quality is ideal for producing large quantities of a single part or product.
- Large production volumes. Deep drawn stamping is ideal for large volume production projects. Once the dies and punches are ready, the presses can perform operations near-continuously with fast speeds, little downtime, and minimal operator involvement.
- Low production costs. While the tooling for a deep drawn stamping may require a significant initial investment, once it is purchased or created, operations can proceed with little downtime or additional equipment costs. When used for high-volume production runs, the per-unit cost goes down even more, especially given the lower manual labor demands and faster processing speeds. Companies can further minimize the cost of production by converting to the deep drawn process versus alternative manufacturing methods (i.e. screw machining, cold heading).
- Seamless parts. Deep drawn parts are produced from a single blank that is neither cut nor fused. The resulting piece has no seams or joined edges, making for a watertight or airtight component.
- High hardness and strength. During deep drawn stamping operations, metals experience work hardening. This phenomenon results in a crystalline structure that offers little movement, translating to extremely hard and durable parts.
Additional Processes Employed During Deep Drawn Stamping Operations
Deep drawn stamping operations often incorporate other forming and finishing processes to achieve more complex and/or finished parts and products. Some of the typical processes employed include:
- Adding beads, ribs, and flanges: Industry professionals often add geometric features – such as beads, flanges, and ribs – to stamped parts to impart strength and rigidity to areas that may be too weak or flexible. When carefully incorporated into the part design, these features can allow for the reduction of a part’s thickness without sacrificing structural integrity.
- Bulging: The bulging process uses specialized expansion punches to expand the walls of a part. The expansion can target the entire piece or a section and create asymmetrical or symmetrical shapes.
- Coining: The coining process employs the use of closed dies that confine or restrain the entirety of the workpiece to produce intricate features to tight tolerances.
- Curling: The curling process forms a rolled edge at the open end of the workpiece.
- Dimpling: The dimpling process creates an indent in the workpiece for use in future flush riveting or bolting operations.
- Embossing: The embossing process creates raised or depressed designs on the metal.
- Extruding: Extrusion – also called hole flanging – is a process that draws a flange around a hole in the workpiece.
- Hole forming: Holes can be formed using traditional, extruding, and piercing punches.
- Ironing: The ironing process reduces the thickness and smoothens the surface of the part’s walls.
- Marking: The marking process is used to add identifying characters, such as designs, numbers, or words, to the workpiece.
- Necking: The necking process reduces the diameter of a particular section of a cylindrical workpiece.
- Notching: The notching process creates cuts – i.e., notches – along the edge of the workpiece for future mounting or clearance demands.
- Threading: Taps, dies, or a wheel and arbor set create threads along a portion of the part.
- Trimming: The trimming process cuts scrap material off a partially or fully finished part.
Precision Metal Stamping Services From Peterson Manufacturing
Peterson Manufacturing is an ISO 9001 certified manufacturer specializing in deep drawn metal stampings and precision stamping conversion solutions. Equipped with over six decades of stamping experience, we have the knowledge and skills to maintain the highest standards of precision, quality, and accuracy in every stamping we produce. We offer stamping capabilities for parts and products ranging from .08 to 2.0 inches (2 to 50mm) in diameter with a maximum length of 3.0 inches (76mm.)