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Metal Stamping

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What is Metal Stamping?

Stamping is a metalworking process in which flat sheet metal, in either blank or coil form, is placed into a press where a stamping tool forms the metal into a net shape. Typically performed on cold metal sheet, stamping encompasses a variety of forming processes — such as blanking, punching, bending, flanging, embossing, and coining.

Stampings can be produced in a single-stage operation, where every stroke of the press produces the desired sheet metal part, or through a series of stages. Progressive stamping dies are commonly fed from a coil of sheet metal into a press at a predetermined feed length. The number of stations in the die is determined by part complexity and desired shape.

How Does Metal Stamping Work?

Metal stamping can involve a number of operations, performed simultaneously or in varying sequence. Examples include:

  • Bending - The material is deformed or bent along a straight line.

  • Flanging - The material is bent along a curved line.

  • Embossing - The material is stretched into a shallow depression. Used primarily for adding decorative patterns. See also Repoussé and chasing.

  • Blanking - A piece is cut out of a sheet of the material, usually to make a blank for further processing.

  • Coining - A pattern is compressed or squeezed into the material. Traditionally used to make coins.

  • Drawing - The surface area of a blank is stretched into an alternate shape via controlled material flow. See also deep drawing.

  • Stretching - The surface area of a blank is increased by tension, with no inward movement of the blank edge. Often used to make smooth auto body parts.

  • Ironing - The material is squeezed and reduced in thickness along a vertical wall. Used for beverage cans and ammunition cartridge cases.

  • Reducing/Necking - Used to gradually reduce the diameter of the open end of a vessel or tube.

  • Curling - Deforming material into a tubular profile. Door hinges are a common example.

  • Hemming - Folding an edge over onto itself to add thickness. The edges of automobile doors are usually hemmed.

Piercing and cutting can also be performed in stamping presses. Progressive stamping is a combination of the above methods done with a set of dies in a row through which a strip of the material passes one step at a time.

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Advantages of Metal Stamping

Metal stamping offers many advantages, such as:

  • Part strength

  • Durability

  • Easily Transportable

  • Malleability

  • Repairability

  • Material options and robust supply chain

  • Low tooling costs

  • Fast time to market

  • Versatility of quantity and requirements

  • Variety of fabrication and finishing processes

Metal Stamping Materials

Many different materials can be used in metal stamping, including:

  • Aluminum grades 1100 / 3003 / 5052 / 6061

  • Stainless Steel grades 304 / 316 / 410 / 430

  • Carbon Steel

  • Copper

  • Brass

  • Bronze

  • Titanium

  • Nickel

  • Tin

Metal Stamping Applications

Metal stamping is used in a wide range of industries and products. Some examples include:

  • Aerospace: Components used in key functional areas of aerospace equipment including engine parts, exhaust, filtration and control systems

  • Industrial: Flow and moisture sensors, agricultural equipment, commercial door hardware, packaging equipment, heating plates

  • Medical: Blood analyzer brackets, cart storage trays, sterilization instruments, device chassis

  • Technology: Communications weldments, ATM chassis, lottery machine enclosures, audio housings, spring plates

  • Transportation: Brake discs, pedal guards, seat heater components, fitness controls, license plate brackets, mirror holders, polished heel guards

Metal Stamping Manufacturers

Harvey Vogel Manufacturing

Industry Association

Metal Stamping Resources