Understanding Progressive Metal Stamping

Dee Yonker
What is Metal Stamping? A Guide to Processes, Steps and Types of Presses

Metal stamping is a process that makes use of stamping presses and dies to transform pieces of metal sheets into various shapes. Metal sheets, usually called blanks, are fed into a press that uses die surface and tool to form metals into new shapes. 

Production facilities, as well as fabricators, offer this kind of service. They place materials to be stamped between sections where pressure is used to shear and shape materials into desired shapes for components or products. In this article, we will describe the process and steps involved, as well as presenting the kinds of presses usually used.

To know more about fabrication, click here for details.

What is metal stamping?

This process is also known as pressing. It is a low-cost and high-speed manufacturing process that produce high-volume, identical parts. These operations are suitable for long and short production runs and are used in other forming operations. It may also consist of more than one series of particular techniques or processes like:

Flanging

Bending

Coining

Embossing

Blanking

Punching

Flanging

It is a process of introducing a flange or flare onto metal work pieces with the use of presses, a specialized flanging machine, or dies. 

Bending

It refers to the general method of forming metals into desired shapes like V-, U-, or L-shaped profiles. Bending processes for metal will result in plastic deformations that stress above yield points, but way below the tensile strength. Bending usually happens around one axis.

Coining

This method is a bending technique where work pieces are stamped while placed between the punch or press and die. It causes punch tips to penetrate metals and result in repeatable and accurate bends. Deep penetrations also relieve work piece internal stresses, resulting in little to no spring-back effects.

Embossing

It is a process to create either recessed or raised designs in metal sheets by pressing blanks against a die with the desired shape or bypassing blanks through roller dies.

Check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stamping_(metalworking) for more info about stamping.

Progressive Die Stamping Vs. Transfer Die Stamping

Blanking and punching

These processes refer to the use of dies to cut materials into certain forms. In the punching operation, scrap materials are removed as punches enter the die, effectively leaving holes in sheets. On the other hand, blanking removes work pieces from primary materials, making the removed components the desired blanks or work pieces.

Stamping machines may do more things other than just stamping. These things can punch, cast, shape, and cut sheets. It can be computer numerically controlled or programmed to offer repeatability and high precision for every stamped piece. 

Computer-aided designs and electrical discharged machining programs make sure it cuts with precision and accuracy. Different tooling devices for dies used in this process are readily available. Forming, carbide, compound, and progressive tooling perform certain stamping needs. Progressive dies are used to simultaneously create more than one piece on a single piece.

Kinds of stamping presses

The three common kinds of presses are mechanical servo, hydraulic, and mechanical technologies. Usually, these things are linked to automatic feeders that send sheet metals through presses either in blank or coil forms.

Mechanical

These presses use a motor that is connected to a flywheel to store and transfer energy. The punches of these presses can range from five to five hundred millimeters, depending on the specific press. The speed of these things also differs, usually falling between 20 and 1,500 strokes a minute, but they tend to be a lot faster compared to a hydraulic press. 

These devices can be found in different sizes that stretch from 20 to 6,000 tons. A mechanical press is well-suited for making simpler and shallower components from coils of metal sheets. They are usually used to transfer and progressive stamping with significant production runs.

Hydraulic

These devices use pressurized hydraulic fluids to apply the necessary force to the material. Pistons in the press displace fluid with force levels proportional to the piston head diameter. It allows an advanced level of control over the amount of pressure. A lot of metal stamping companies use hydraulics because it offers a more stable pressure compared to their mechanical counterpart. 

Aside from that, they feature adjustable speed and stroke capabilities, as well as deliver full power during strokes. These things usually differ in size, from 20 to 10,000 tons. It offers stroke sizes from 10 millimeters to 800 millimeters. These devices are used for small runs to create deeper and more complicated stamping than their mechanical counterparts. Hydraulics allow more flexibility since it has adjustable stroke lengths, as well as controlled pressure.

Mech Servo

These presses use a high-capacity motor instead of a flywheel. This thing is used to create more complex stampings at faster speeds compared to their hydraulic counterpart. The slide position, motion, and stroke, as well as the speed, are programmable and controlled. This device is powered by either a direct drive system or a linked-assisted system. These things are considered the most expensive out of the three.

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