Precision metal stamping is one of the most popular metalworking techniques to convert sheet metal into customized components. It is also known as shaping and forming a sheet metal workpiece between a punch and a die. This process is utilized in various sectors and applications, such as fasteners, lighting, ventilation, telecommunications, electronics and appliances, automotive, agriculture, and heavy truck or trailer.
There are several factors affecting the service life of metal stamping dies. This article will walk you through the key considerations to look for in tooling type.
How Does Die Metal Stamping Work?
Die metal stamping is a cold-forming method that utilizes a single or set of dies to cut and shape a metal strip (also known as a tool or blank steel) into the required shape or profile. Then, the force is applied to the blank steel to modify and alter its geometry, resulting in stress that renders the piece ideal for sculpting or forming into complex shapes.
Depending on the application, the manufactured parts may be either small or incredibly large.
Key Considerations To Look For in Metal Stamping Dies
A successful die metal stamping project has several factors to consider, especially regarding the finished product’s quality, reliability, and durability. The following are some things to keep in mind:
Types of Metals
In precise metal stampings, a range of metals can be utilized by manufacturers. Nevertheless, some metals perform more effectively in the precision metal stamping process or are better suited to a particular application.
Here are some of the most commonly used metals for die stamping:
- Carbon tool steel
- Low-alloy tool steel
- High-speed steel
- Carbide and steel-cemented carbide
- Base steel
- High carbon, high chromium tool steel
- High carbon, medium chromium tool steel
- Cast iron
- Zinc-based alloy
- Aluminum bronze
Material Characteristics and Capabilities
The features and capabilities of the material can make or break a die metal stamping project. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the essential characteristics a material must contain to guarantee its quality and effectiveness. Among the most important factors are the following:
Forming takes place halfway between the material’s elastic limit and tensile strength. You can examine the material’s grain size, commonly used to determine its formability. Metals with uniform grain sizes are highly suitable for forming processes.
Machinability is the ease with which a material may be cut or molded. A metal conducive to machining can be cut with speed and precision, resulting in reduced costs.
Work Hardening Rate
The work hardening rate is the phase or level at which the material becomes tougher or more brittle as it is handled or stamped. Depending on the amount of effort applied to the metal and how much it must be deformed in a given process, it may require annealing to readjust its characteristics.
A material’s tensile strength is the force it can withstand before breaking. Some metals are stronger than others, and the strength of an alloy varies based on its subcomponents. Therefore, you must examine the metal’s mechanical properties to confirm whether it can resist the amount of force or not.
Types of Stamping Dies
For metal stamping, a wide variety of die types perform distinct processes. Here are some examples of stamping dies:
- Blanking dies: a cutting die that cuts flat pieces of material in conjunction with a blanking punch
- Compound dies: applicable in cases where several cutting operations must be completed in a single stroke and stage (one stroke creates a single component, resulting in a high production rate)
- Forming dies: typically attached to presses to facilitate producing plastic and sheet metal
- Progressive dies: can perform multiple cutting and forming tasks simultaneously and produce precise and consistent parts quickly
- Coining dies: a closed die forging method in which pressure is applied to the forging’s surface to achieve tighter tolerances and smoother surfaces
Ohio Valley Manufacturing for Precision Tool and Die Design and Fabrication
At Ohio Valley Manufacturing, we work to establish ourselves as a major provider of first-operation blanking, stampings, secondary blank-fed transfer, and value-added products to our diversified client base. We also specialize in the production of precise tool and die designs.
From CAD modeling and design to prototypes on new programs, testing, and verification, we manage all phases of the production process for tools and dies! We also design dies and tools suitable for brackets, cross members, pans, blanks, and channels that adhere to various standards and criteria.
Contact us today to learn more about our services!