What is Stamping?
Stamping is a process of forming industrial materials (sheet metal, resin, plastic, composite) into specific shapes by forcing a tool or die through the material using a stamping press. Stamping can be a one strike process where each stroke of the press produces the finished part. It can also be a multi-step process where the tool or die strike the part multiple times from different directions to create a complete shape. The stamping process is usually used for very high speed and high quantity production runs. The cost-effective way certain stamping presses can produce large quantities of parts makes stamping an ideal manufacturing process for many automotive and consumer product applications. Some of the most commonly used stamping technologies include:
- 4/Multi Slide Stamping: The multi slide stamping press allow multiple strikes of the work piece from a variety of different directions and angles allowing complex shapes. Four-slide and multi-slide machines usually make small and intricate parts which require multiple bends and twists. Clips, clamps, hooks and brackets are ideal applications for the multi slide technology.
- Blanking: The blanking process is usually used for cutting large sheets of metal or plastic into smaller shapes that are used for another operation of the stamping process. The sheets of material are sheared, punched or die cut. Many times, a turret press is used for the blanking process. (Not to be confused with Fine Blanking)
- Fine Blanking: The fine blanking process is used for producing very high accuracy parts that hold extremely close tolerance and have clean edges. Fine Blanked components can be as thick as 20mm but are often much thinner. Components produced this way are extremely flat. The tooling for the fine blanking press is generally compound. This means the work piece will hold very still and there will be very little variance, if any, from one part to the next. Very small holes can be pierced through the material with little to no need for finishing processes like reaming.
- Coining: The coining process is an extremely high pressure squeezing of metal within a closed die. The process is most frequently used to produce metal formed currency. The coining die contains a movable punch which works the metal into intricate shapes. Very fine features can be pressed into metal using this process.
- Drawing/Deep Drawing: The deep drawing process stretches a sheet metal blank around a solid plug and then moving the work piece into a die for a finish cut. Metal caps and cups can be made using this process as well as military applications like rifle cartridges or artillery rounds. Shapes produced by the drawing process do not necessarily need to be round, but no sharp corners can be produced using this process.
- Progressive Die: Progressive die stamping is one of the most common forms of stamping utilizing a series of stations performing simultaneous operations on a strip of sheet metal that progressively moves through the press. While tooling (die sets) for a progressive press are usually very expensive the ability to produce very high volumes of high-quality close tolerance parts make Progressive Die Stamping a very cost-effective process for smaller stamped components.
Some other types of stamping include die cutting, drop hammer, transfer die, and embossing.