Sheet metal fabrication can be an expensive venture, with projects ranging from under $800 to several thousand per piece. If you don’t know what the processes are for shaping and forming metal from a sheet to the products you love, you should get informed. Sheet metal stamping is a powerful process with lots of applications for creating products and objects that can aid our everyday life.
Here are seven of the most popular metal stamping processes that you should know about before your next big fabrication venture.
While blanking isn’t always required for metal stamping, when it is, it’s the first step of the metal stamping process.
Before the blanking process begins, you’re usually faced with a large and difficult to manage sheet or coil of metal. After the blanking process concludes, you’ll be able to start stamping your sheet the way you need it to be stamped.
Blanking requires you to cut your sheet down into smaller pieces that will be easier to manipulate when you need it.
Blanking is most often performed when the metal piece that is about to be stamped will be drawn or formed later in the process.
If you’re building something that needs to be fastened to something else, you’re going to need to pierce it. If it’s going to connect to another piece or if you’ll need to make a window in it, you’ll need to have it pierced.
Piercing allows for lots of cutouts to be placed in a sheet of metal, allowing it to be joined to another piece or metal or to let air in.
Whatever your reasoning for piercing, it requires specialized tools that will punch out the shapes you need cut from your metal sheet. In some cases, the tools that do your blanking can pierce your sheet simultaneously.
This is what’s considered the real stamping in the process of metal stamping. Drawing is the part of the process that pushes the metal through a die. If metal needs to be shaped, it’s drawn as part of the creation of the basic shape of the part you’re creating.
If the depth of the part that you’re drawing is less than the primary opening, it’s called a shallow drawing. When the drawing is deeper than the opening that you’ve got, it’s considered a deep drawn part.
When drawing is completed, the part is then prepared for a more complicated shaping process later on.
Bending is a fairly clear concept as it’s when the part itself has to be manipulated severely to get what you want out of it.
The part that is being formed will be put on top of a die that’s specially designed. Then a powerful ram with a lot of torque will be pushed against the metal. This is how you get the proper bend that you’re looking for.
Bending is always done after drawing because it’s impossible to punch the metal once it’s been bent. If you do that, you’ll end up causing your entire piece of metal to deform and undo all of the work you’ve put into the metal at this point.
5. Air Bending
An alternative version of bending is “air bending”. The flat surface of a part will be bent by a punch. It gets forced into a die that’s usually V-shaped.
The space that exists between where the die and the punch are is usually thicker than the metal itself. This means that the bend will be slightly relaxed after the part is released from the air bender.
Air bending uses low pressure and creates smooth bends with less power. Other methods require a lot of energy and can cost companies a lot of resources.
6. Bottoming and Coining
If you’re using a bending process that needs to be much more permanent, you need to use an alternate method. Bending processes similar to air bending, like bottoming or coining, will force material fully into a tight die.
When a die is tighter fitting and more intensely formed, it will last much longer. However, if you don’t have a strong enough machine, you will have to expend a lot of resources.
Tight-fitting dies are also subject to getting material stuck in them, so you need to be careful that your draught angles are able to release materials easily.
7. Pinch Trimming
If you’re looking for a method of cutting a piece for its finished treatment, you need to do some pinch trimming. This is an unconventional process, but it will cut a piece from a metal sheet and allow scrap metal to be cut off the edge. What you’ll be left with is a clean and finished piece of metal.
To perform a pinch trim, the metal will be pinched against a flat surface. This kind of a trim can help to cut round shapes from your metal sheet. If you need deep drawn round shapes, like cups, this is the method to get the job done.
Pinch trimming can be done one piece at a time or in batches that will create a large quantity of one uniform shape.
Sheet Metal Stamping is a Powerful Process
Sheet metal stamping is a process that makes it quick and easy to create sturdy objects that can last for years in a streamlined fabrication environment. If you’re about to venture into a new area or are working on a new project, you should get to know the ways that sheet metal stamping can serve you.
If you want to know what some of the most important applications are for metal stamping machines, check out our guide for more tips.