What Is Metal Stamping?
Metal stamping is a cold-forming manufacturing process that transforms sheet metal into different shapes. Dies, including single dies, progressive dies, and transfer dies, cut and bend the metal into a desired form. This mechanism allows manufacturers to create complex designs quickly, consistently, and accurately. Metal stamping is also cost-effective, especially for manufacturers that produce high-volume parts that are produced over multiple years. Stamping dies can create 1000’s of parts per hour all while maintaining applicable tolerances and criteria to ensure uniform quality and high volumes to meet all customer demands.
Metal Stamping Production Terms
Several different production features can be implemented depending on part geometry and requirements. The below terms describe some of the more common features found in stamping applications as well as their purpose.
Coining is a precision stamping process that uses pressure to force a plastic flow into the material. It’s easily reproduced and a reliable method for projects with strict tolerances. This can create features such as burr removal, part number and date stamps, drawing and forming of material into a shape.
- Compound Die
A compound die executes multiple steps simultaneously to cut and shape the metal in a single stroke. This manufacturing method is faster than multi-step stamping and forming systems that require multiple manual operations or movements.
In blanking, a sharp metal punch cuts a shape into a metal sheet. From there, the initial blank progress to the next stage, which usually involves additional shaping and finishing. Generally, manufacturers use blanking to quickly create parts that are modified later in additional piercing and bending operations.
- Progressive Die
Progressive stamping dies use multiple stations in the same tooling to make gradual changes to a workpiece over a series of stages. With a progressive die, manufacturers can transform sheet metal or blanks into highly complex three-dimensional products without stressing or damaging the metal. This is accomplished by a continuous strip of material being fed through the tools different stations until a finished part is ejected from the final station. Using controls this can allow for high speed automation of the line allowing continuous stamping operations producing 1000’s of parts/hour.
- Transfer Die
Transfer dies are similar to a progressive stamping die in that there are multiple stations within the same tool. However, due to geometry or other requirements of the part, instead of being fed continuously through a tool with feeding equipment, the part must be transferred manually or robotically from station to station in the tool.
Using shear in a punching operation can help reduce tonnage and increase tooling life. Shearing uses shaped cutting blades to cut steel like a scissor cuts paper.
- High Speed
During high-speed stamping, a technician uses automated machinery and efficient slug control methods to accelerate the manufacturing process. This allows a continuous stamping operation which is only limited by the speed of the press and feeding equipment.
- Perforated Metal
Instead of completely removing pieces of sheet metal, manufacturers can lightly perforate the sheet with a pattern of dotted impressions. This process is usually used to create screens, cladding, panels, and filters.
Any of these features can be incorporated into a die design. If you discuss your priorities with Premier Products of Racine, Inc., we will help you identify the best metal stamping technique to use on your project
Materials for Custom Metal Stamping
In addition to having a variety of techniques at their disposal, metal stamping technicians can also work with a broad range alloys. Some of the most popular materials we see at Premier Products of Racine, Inc. include the following:
- Aluminum: Aluminum is lightweight, flexible, and easy to cut and shape.
- Aluminized Metal: Aluminized steel is made with a sheet of carbon steel hot-dipped in an aluminum-silicon alloy. The silicon makes the metal resistant to corrosion, and the aluminum makes the material relatively easy to fold, cut, and stamp.
- Carbon Steel: Carbon steel is durable, cost-effective, and safe to use for food processing and cookware.
- Cold Rolled Steel: When steel is rolled at low temperatures, the finished product is unyielding and strong. It creates a smooth surface that requires little finishing.
- Copper: Copper is easy to work with, aesthetically appealing, and recyclable. Engineers favor the metal for many projects because it conducts electricity and thermal energy.
- Galvanized Steel: Galvanized steel has a zinc coating that helps to control corrosion and rust. The hot-dip galvanization process is faster to complete and lasts longer than comparable processes, like galvaluming.
- Galvalume: Galvalume contains a mixture of aluminum, zinc, and silicon. The material is usually used to cover metal pieces and protect them from rust. Once it’s applied, it’s durable and difficult to scrape off.
- High Strength Steel: Engineers use this heavy load-bearing metal to build exceptionally sturdy structures and industrial machinery. Because of its strength, designers might be able to reduce the total amount of building material they need for an assignment.
- Hot Rolled Steel: Hot rolling steel eliminates imperfections like cracks and bubbles.
- Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is an alloy that combines standard steel with chromium, which is corrosion-resistant.
- Titanium: High-quality, medical-grade titanium is biocompatible and can be used for medical implants and other health devices. Like stainless steel, it’s also anti-corrosive.
Material Finishes & Coatings
Depending on the design of the finished product it may be possible to purchase pre-finished materials to give a cosmetic appearance or a corrosion protection to the finished part. This can include finishes such as:
- Bright Annealed: Heat treating steel in the right conditions creates a bright, reflective surface that can be buffed to make it more reflective.
- Cosmetic Brushed Finishes: A No. 4 brushed finish is bright but hides scuffs and fingerprints.
- Pre-Painted: Pre-painting adds a protective or decorative coating on a metal object.
- Pre-Plated: This alternative to plating coats the whole metal workpiece before the finishing cuts are made. This makes the treating process faster.
- Galvanized: Galvanized coatings deposit a protective finish on coil stock through a hot dipped process.
Material Post-Finishes & Coatings
Finished parts can also be secondary finished to add cosmetics, corrosion resistance or both. This can include finishes such as:
- Anodized: This finish electrochemically converts the surface layer into an anodic oxide finish that resists corrosion.
- Black Oxide Coating: In this process, a black oxide solution chemically converts a product’s surface to create a black iron oxide called magnetite.
- Chrome-Plated: Manufacturers can coat metal with chromium to make it resistant to corrosion.
- E-Coating: Electrocoating or e-coating uses electricity to bind paint to a metal product, making it less likely to chip, rust, or require touchups over time.
- Plating: A thin layer of metal plating can be applied to encase a workpiece and provide protection.
- Powder-Coated: This is a dry paint application process that binds a thin powder to metal. It makes the metal more visually appealing and resistant to corrosion.
- Zinc-Plated: Like electro-galvanization, zinc plating deposits a protective finish on small metal parts through an electrical process.
Custom Metal Stamping Services at Premier Products of Racine, Inc.
Since our establishment in 1999, Premier Products of Racine has refined our techniques to produce superior-quality custom metal stamping. We can accommodate the most discerning needs and offer competitive prices for customers in every industry.
Our 210,000-square-foot facility in southeastern Wisconsin uses 100- to 400-ton presses and cutting-edge technology and can run production speeds between 50 and 140 strokes per minute, assuming the parts are between 0.010 inches and 3/16 inches thick. Our quick-change tooling and advanced die protection systems ensure fast, error-free manufacturing for production streams at any volume. Even at full-capacity, we provide only a ±.002-inch tolerance or better. We also offer design-to-manufacture assistance as well as custom-engineered designs, which are available if you’d like guidance selecting and fabricating the best materials for your intended purpose.
By using modern statistical process control (SPC), we constantly monitor and regulate quality assurance to produce metal parts you can depend on. For more information about our metal stamping services and how we can meet your needs, Contact Premier Products of Racine today.
- Cosmetic Roll Forming of Stainless Steel Parts for the Appliance Industry
- Stainless Steel Fabrication of a Cosmetic Door Trim for the Consumer Appliance Industry
- Fabrication of Tube Burner for the Barbeque Industry
- Roll Formed Stainless Steel Tanker Truck Structural Beam
- Roll Formed Shelf Ladder for Appliance Industry
Custom Metal Stamping Specifications
400 Ton Coin Press (1)
|Tolerance (+/-)||± .002 in - Part Dependent|
Cold Rolled Steel
High Strength Steel
Hot Rolled Steel
Black Oxide Coating
Cosmetic Brushed finishes
|Production Volume||Short Run
|Benefits||Developed Quick Change Tooling Capabilities
Developed Die Protection Systems for All Tooling
Developed Processes for Highly Cosmetic Parts
Use of Rotary Bending Technology for High Accuracy
In-Line Edge Conditioning
|Additional Capabilities||Design for Manufacturing
Specialized Packaging Design
Quick Change Tooling capabilities
Statistical Process Control (SPC) Capable
|Industry Focus||Not Limited to:
Liquid Hauling Tankers
|Industry Standards||ANSI - American National Standards Institute
ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials
DOT - Department of Transportation
Mil-Spec - Military Specifications
|File Formats||AutoCAD (DWG)
BMP - Bit Mapped Graphics
DXF - Drawing Interchange Format, or Drawing Exchange Format
GIF - Graphics Interchange Format
IGES - Initial Graphics Exchange Specification, ANSI file format.
JPG or JEPG - Joint Photographic Experts Group
PDF - Portable Document Format
STEP - Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data
TIFF - Tagged Image File Format