Another term for metal pressing is metal stamping. It involves forming a flat sheet of metal into either a coil or blank form by placing it in a stamping press. The metal is then formed into a net shape using a die surface and tool. Several manufacturing processes are involved in stamping; some of them are coining, flanging, bending, embossing, blanking and so on. The operation may include series of stages or a single stage process. The process is usually done on sheet metal. It can also be done using polystyrene and other materials. The process is generally carried out on a cold metal sheet.
The process had been around for a very long time. It was first used as far back as the 1880s when used in the mass production of motorcycles. Its use led to a cost reduction since it replaced the more expensive die machining and forging process. The quality of the end product is excellent but not as good as what obtains in die forged parts. At a later date, several other companies adopted the use of stamped parts, including Ford Motors Company owned by Henry Ford. The adoption of the American version of the process further contributed to the development of technology in the country.
The various processes involved are highlighted below
- Hemming: This is the process involved in the fabrication of automobile parts like the edges of automobile doors. It involves folding of an edge over itself to increase its thickness.
- Curling: It is the process involved in the fabrication of door hinges in which the materials are formed into tubular profiles.
- Reducing/Necking: It is useful in reducing the diameter of a vessel’s or tube’s open end.
- Ironing: It is used in fabricating ammunition cartridge and beverage cans. In this process, the material is squeezed to reduce its thickness along a vertical wall.
- Stretching: it involves increasing the surface area of a blank by tension without any inward movement of the blank edge. This method is used in making smooth body parts of automobiles.
- Drawing: It involves stretching of the surface area of a blank into an alternate shape using controlled material flow.
- Blanking: It involves cutting a piece of metal out of a larger sheet for making a blank, which can be used for future processing.
- Embossing: It involves stretching a material into a shallow depression. It is mainly used for making decorative patterns
- Flanging: it involves bending the material along a curved line
- Bending: It involves bending or deforming a material along a straight line.
The process can also be used for cutting and piercing processes. All the above methods are involved in progressive stamping. Regent Engineers perform this using a set of dies in a row via which a strip of the metal material is passed a step at a time.
The information revealed above has shown how vital the metal pressing process is in manufacturing and other aspects of engineering. The processes ease the engineering process and hasten the methods of production.