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.