Stamping parts? Do you have the correct goods? The Importance of Material Selection in the Metal Stamping Process.
Metal stamping predates over 2000 years ago, where metal was formed into coins with the use of a hammer and a simple die. This simple process has evolved over time and started to take hold in a manufacturing setting in late 19th century by a German Bike Manufacturer, who used metal stamping to manufacture all their bike components. Today, it is a widely accepted manufacturing process which aids in efficiently transforming steel into many parts used in our everyday lives.
While the concept of stamping metal has remained relatively consistent over generations, the metals used during the stamping process are a completely different matter. The steels used for stamping range from simple low carbon steels, which are used in everyday products, to complex advanced high strength steels which are used in the automotive industry to aid in weight reduction efforts to improve fuel economy while maintaining safety. There are literally thousands of types of steel alloys available on the open market for stamping products, however proper selection of material is crucial for a successful launch of any manufactured product as no two metals are alike. One must take several factors into consideration when determining which steel to use for stamping a given product. One factor is the cost and availability of the metal. Not all metals are widely available and spending additional funds on materials that aren’t needed to successfully stamp a part nor contribute to improved functionally of the product are not recommended. Second factor to consider is the physical geometry of the parts being stamped. As mentioned earlier, not all metals are alike. What works in one application may or may not work for another. Part configuration and geometry play a significant role in material selection. Whether the steel required is a simple commercial grade or a more robust deep draw material, selection is crucial for optimizing the manufacturability of the part. Third consideration when determining which material to use would be to identify end use of the product. Is the product exposed to the elements outside? Is it used for an indoor application? Does the product need to meet certain physical and mechanical properties which would be required to adhere to given building codes? These are some examples of questions which would need to be addressed during the material selection process.
If you have any questions regarding material selection for your stamped product, we would be happy to assist you in determining which material would be ideal for your application.