What Is Metal Stamping?

metal stamping parts

This article introduces the metal stamping process and steps, explains the different types of stamping operations and materials using, you can find the metal stamping information as following:

The Introduction of Metal Stamping

Metal stamping is a manufacturing process in which a metal stamping die or a series of metal stamping dies are used to transform sheet metal into workpieces of different shapes and forms. The metal stamping dies are mounted on a press that forms one workpiece per stroke. The production facility providing the stamping and the metal manufacturer place the material to be stamped between the die sections, applying pressure between the die sections to shape and shear the material into the final shape required for the product or component. This method of processing is a cold deformation process and is a very widely used process today.

Metal stamping products are used in various industries, such as: automobiles and household appliances. Automotive stamping parts are an important part of the metal stamping industry.  Examples are: chassis and radiator piece of the car, the parts in the watch, the shell of the container, the radiator and some accessories of the TV, the iron core silicon steel piece of the electric appliance, the stainless steel tableware, some hardware in the computer, etc. It can be seen that almost many things in our life are processed by the stamping process.

Types of Metal Stamping

Progressive die stamping

Progressive die stamping, widely used in automation, is used for the production and processing of high volume stamped parts. Progress die stamping involves feeding a flat roll of thin metal raw material into the press. During piercing, the contours are cut out and bent while the part is advanced through sequential stations by means of a narrow material carrying belt. At the end of the line, one or more parts are cut out, resulting in one or more custom metal stampings in each cycle of the machine. High repeatability and reduced labor costs is economical, easy to use, and combines multiple metalworking steps in a single tool, saving significant time for designs requiring more than one stamping operation.


Composite stamping

Composite stamping refers to the stamping process in which the press is able to complete two or more different processes at the same time, such as drop punching, drop bending, drop stretching, etc., by positioning the sheet in the punching die in one stroke.

Composite stamping is an advanced stamping process developed on the basis of single process. It is characterized by high production efficiency and high processing accuracy, but the structure of the punching die used is complicated. The composite stamping process is mainly suitable for the batch production of small and medium-sized parts more simple geometry of flat metal parts, such as washers.

Transfer Die Stamping

In transfer die stamping, the workpiece is first separated from the sheet metal and transferred from one stamping station to another. The separated material can be transferred to a different press, which allows the manufacturer to produce a variety of parts in parallel.
Transfer die stamping is similar to progressive die stamping, but the part is separated from the metal stroke early in the process and transferred from one stamping station to the next by another mechanical transport system, such as a conveyor belt. Because the part is not attached to the base material, the punch can be as deep as possible without interfering with other operations, making it suitable for parts that require deep punching, and transfer die stamping is used to form large parts. Ultimately, transfer die stamping reduces the need for secondary finishing in most applications.

Metal Stamping Processes

Metal stamping process is divided into two categories according to the way of material deformation: forming process and separation process.

(1) Separation process is to separate the sheet according to a certain contour line to obtain a certain shape, size and cutting surface of the stamped parts. The separation process is divided into: drop, punching, cutting, trimming, etc.

(2) Forming process is to obtain a certain shape and size of the stamped part by plastic deformation of the blank without breaking. The forming process is divided into: stretching, edge turning, shaping, hole turning, bending, etc.

secondary operation

Types of Stamping Dies

A die is a set of tools used to cut or form material to create a specific custom part. Dies used for metal stamping operations can be classified as simple dies, or compound dies, combination dies, and progressive dies.

  • A simple die is a die that performs only one task per stroke. It is usually used for manufacturing processes with few steps and for processing small quantities of workpieces. Efficiency is lower, but these specialized dies can perform cutting or bending operations more precisely.
  • Compound dies perform multiple cutting operations in a single press, and they are used to produce parts with multiple cuts and complex designs to perform the task faster. However, they are not suitable for forming operations, as these processes require more force. A typical application for combination dies is the multiple cuts required to produce flat washers.
  • A combination die is a precision die that combines cutting and non-cutting operations into a single press stroke. Simultaneous cutting and forming (e.g., trimming and flanging) in a workpiece can speed production time. Example of a die in which metal blanks produce notches and flanges.
  • A progressive die in which slotting, punching and cutting operations are performed sequentially from the same die and the sheet metal is continuously fed in the metal press die. When the die is opened, it moves horizontally on the conveyor system of the press die and then stops after the next station. The characteristics of the material to be cut, such as its thickness and hardness, help determine the thickness of the steel ruler used to cut the blade. The final step is usually to eject the pressed part from its substrate.

Materials in Metal Stamping Process

The selection of the metal stamping material used depends on the desired properties of the final product. In general, metals tend to retain their ductility and malleability after stamping. Those used in precision stamping typically range from soft to medium hardness and have a low coefficient of flow. Some common metals and metal types manufactured by stamping include:

(1) Copper, excellent electrical and thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance. Copper alloys are minimally difficult to stamp and form because of their low hardness, ductility and malleability. Stamped copper alloys are durable and decorative, and are often used as components of electrical equipment.
Copper alloys that are usually processed using metal stamping are brass, bronze, beryllium copper and nickel silver.

(2) Aluminum and its alloys have high decorative value because of their good ductility and excellent electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance. Ductility, flexibility, ductility, flexibility and high strength to weight ratio, suitable for cold stamping process.


brass metal stamping
aluminum alloys precision metal stamping

(3) Carbon steel and stainless steel often, mechanical properties depend mainly on the concentration of their alloying elements. Higher carbon content makes the steel harder, more brittle and less ductile. At the same time, higher nickel and chromium content makes steel more resistant to corrosion. In general, steel alloys have high strength and toughness and can withstand extreme temperatures and are used for equipment housings, components, cases, etc. However, because of their stiffness, stamping is difficult and stamping oil is often used to improve the process.

(4)Titanium alloy stamping is mainly used for large equipment, aircraft, ships, satellites, etc. The process is difficult.

custom stainless steel

Advantages of the stamping process


(1) High repeatability and precision

The cold stamping process can be used to obtain workpieces with complex shapes that are difficult to be processed by other processing methods, such as thin shell parts. The dimensional accuracy of cold stamped parts is ensured by the die, therefore, the dimensions are stable and interchangeable. Metal press dies can also produce dimensionally accurate cutouts and shapes with automated control and precise tooling, and consistency of products.

(2) Low labor cost

High material utilization rate, light weight of workpiece, good stiffness, high strength and low energy consumption in stamping process. Therefore the cost of workpiece is low.


(3) High productivity

Multiple parts can be processed, and more than one cutting and forming operation can be performed in one stroke, which is easy to operate, low labor intensity, easy to mechanize and automate, and high productivity.


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