Metal stamping is the process in which sheet metal is manipulated into a particular shape through a series of pressure or pounding with equipment in our shop. It is a flexible metalworking technique that creates a number of end products and parts. With its ability to be adjusted to application, metal stamping in Phoenix, AZ often proves vital to many industries. Here is the history of metal stamping and an explanation of how it works.
History of Metal Stamping
The oldest known form of manipulating metal is forging. This heat process can often be labor and equipment intensive even today. Metal stamping arose from the need to create a cold process for metal.
While there is no definitive date of when stamping started, bicycles in the 1890s were made with stamped parts. With no heat required for forging, the parts were less expensive, which lowered production costs, helping to make bicycles more affordable for all.
Stamping continued to be used in the automobile industry and soon, other applications were also discovered. While the parts were not nearly as strong as those that were forged, they were strong enough for their purpose, and manufacturers and consumers both benefited from the cost savings.
Stamping starts with a press with a tool and die surface. The machine pounds or presses the sheet metal into those surfaces to achieve an intended shape. Operations to obtain the desired shapes and structures can include:
- Bending: Where the sheet metal is bent along a straight line.
- Flanging: Like bending, but along a curved line instead.
- Embossing: Used mainly for decorative patterns, the stamping press places a shallow depression on the sheet metal.
- Blanking: The process of cutting a piece out of sheet metal so it can be manipulated further.
- Coining: The original method of creating coins, a pattern is squeezed into the material. Unlike embossing, the pattern is not raised.
- Drawing: Taking place after blanking, drawing stretches the surface area to create another shape.
- Stretching: This is just like it sounds: it is the technique of stretching a piece of sheet metal.
- Ironing: A flattening technique that makes the sheet metal thinner. It is commonly employed when making beverage cans or ammunition cartridges.
- Hemming: If the sheet metal needs to be thicker, hemming offers the solution. It folds the edge over and creates a reinforced hem. This is common with car doors.
- Curling: The process of turning sheet metal into a tubular profile. One item this creates is door hinges.
- Reducing/necking: The process of reducing the diameter of a tube once it has been curled.
If an item requires additional stamping, that is called progressive stamping. Basically, one set of dies sets the sheet metal in its original shape, and once that is completed, another set continues to manipulate it. There may also be stages where the stamping involves piercing and cutting.
Metal Pro, Inc. offers quality metal stamping in Phoenix, AZ. We are a full-service steel fabrication firm and our experienced professionals are prepared for any metal project. To enjoy a level of service currently unmatched by other shops, call us today to learn of our capabilities.