Metal stamping transforms metal sheets into usable tools and parts for numerous industries. Hence, recognising and understanding the complexities behind such a process method is critical in helping you make a sound decision in the selection of its service.
What is metal stamping?
Metal stamping involves taking a cold piece of metal and placing it between dies. However, there is some metal stamping process that involves using heated metal pieces. Pressing the die together determines the shape and design of the metal piece. Some industries refer to metal stamping as press stamping.
Metal press stamping dies either forms or cuts the metal to the desired shape. Depending on the project, each die has a specific design. The process of designing the die may take some time, but once done, the press stamping process takes place quickly.
The stamping process creates many identical products at a single time. It may be one of the many steps in creating a product or the only step required. Coining, bending, flanging, embossing, blanking, and punching are some of the processes the metal piece may go through as part of the press stamping process.
Types of the stamping process
There are 3 fundamental and common types of metal press stamping, depending on the targeted end product.
1. Progressive metal stamping
Progressive metal stamping, sometimes coined as progressive die stamping, involves the metal pieces going through multiple stations that perform different actions. The last machine basically cuts the finished piece.
It is the ideal method for long-run processes requiring high volume as the stamping die last longer, and the method produces minimal by-product waste.
2. Precision metal stamping
Precision metal stamping is able to create 3D or raised pieces, resulting in end products with high tolerances. Compared to the other two stamping processes, precision metal stamping involves lesser movements of the metal pieces between machines, resulting in a quicker stamping process.
The high precision level makes it the ideal stamping method for intricate designs.
3. Hot metal stamping
Hot metal stamping uses extreme heat of over 926 degrees Celsius to shape the metal piece, resulting in a lightweight yet strong metal. They are generally used for steel stamping processes. Unfortunately, cutting the end product is nearly impossible with ordinary cutting tools due to their strength. Hence, post-stamping cutting and trimming is a challenge and will require the use of powerful lasers to do so.
What types of metal press stamping materials are used?
Thin metal sheets are used as they offer high strength for the end products while maintaining sufficient flexibility for the stamping process. The type of metal employed in the stamping process will determine the force necessary for shaping and cutting it. Some of the more common types of metals used are:
- Precious metals, such as platinum, silver, and gold. They may be more expensive but necessary for specific applications.
- Non-standard metals, such as metal alloys. The combination depends on the end product’s targeted properties.
- Non-ferrous metals, such as brass, bronze, and nickel, as well as other non-iron metals.
- Ferrous metals, such as stainless steel and other metals with iron. They lower production costs as they are the cheapest.
What happens during forming?
The forming stage occurs when the press bends and shapes the metal. Depending on the thickness and how the end product is supposed to look, several forming methods may be used to shape the metal piece:
- Hemming: By folding the metal piece up on itself, it creates a significantly stronger edge.
- Flanging: It involves folding the metal along a curved axis.
- Embossing: When the metal piece requires a design on it, the machine stretches it onto a depression. Embossing is required to create images, designs, and lettering on the surface, such as for designing nameplates.
- Drawing: It involves pulling the metal piece over a form and stretching it according to the designed form.
- Coining: It involves pressing the metal piece into a finished part with defined edges.
- Bending: Similar to flanging, but instead of a curved axis, the metal piece is folded along a single, straight axis.
What is the cutting process about?
The cutting process, depending on the stamping process type, may occur after or before the forming stage. For example, progressive metal stamping usually cuts and trims the end product after the forming stage.
Here are some common cutting methods employed in the metal press stamping process:
Metal press stamping requires significant knowledge about metals, how they work, and how to work with them. The desired goal and metal type used both affect how a metal press stamping company approaches a project. And in order to achieve the desired outcome, having the right tools and experience is vital.
At Hiller Industries, we provide quality service, competitive pricing, and high-quality work to our clients. Besides metal press stamping services, we offer a wide range of printing services, such as silkscreen printing, offset printing, and label and sticker printing. Visit https://www.hillier.com.sg/ to find out how we can help you today!