Stamping (also known as pressing) is the process of placing flat sheet metal in either blank or coil form into a stamping presswhere a tool and die surface forms the metal into a net shape. Stamping includes a variety of sheet-metal forming manufacturing processes, such as punching using a machine press or stamping press, blanking, embossing, bending, flanging, and coining. This could be a single stage operation where every stroke of the press produces the desired form on the sheet metal part, or could occur through a series of stages. The process is usually carried out on sheet metal, but can also be used on other materials, such as polystyrene. Progressive dies are commonly feed from a coil of steel, coil reel for unwinding of coil to a straightener to level the coil and then into a feeder which advances the material into the press and die at a predetermined feed length. Depending on part complexity, the number of stations in the die can be determined.
Stamping is usually done on cold metal sheet. See Forging for hot metal forming operations.
Flanging - the material is bent along a curved line.
Stretching - the surface area of a blank is increased by tension, with no inward movement of the blank edge. Often used to make smooth auto body parts.
Reducing/Necking - used to gradually reduce the diameter of the open end of a vessel or tube.
Curling - deforming material into a tubular profile. Door hinges are a common example.
Sheet metal forming simulation is a technology that calculates the process of sheet metal stamping, predicting common defects such as splits, wrinkles, springback and material thinning. Also known as forming simulation, the technology is a specific application of non-linear finite element analysis. The technology has many benefits in the manufacturing industry, especially the automotive industry, where lead time to market, cost and lean manufacturing are critical to the success of a company.
Recent research by the Aberdeen research company (October 2006) found that the most effective manufacturers spend more time simulating upfront[clarification needed] and reap the rewards towards the end of their projects.
Stamping simulation is used when a sheet metal part designer or toolmaker desires to assess the likelihood of successfully manufacturing a sheet metal part, without the expense of making a physical tool. Stamping simulation allows any sheet metal part forming process to be simulated in the virtual environment of a PC for a fraction of the expense of a physical tryout.
Results from a stamping simulation allow sheet metal part designers to assess alternative designs very quickly to optimize their part for low cost manufacture.
Metal stamping can be applied to a variety of materials based on their unique metalworking qualities for a number of applications across a wide range of industries. Metal Stamping may require the forming and processing of base common metals to rare alloys for their application specific advantages. Some industries require the electrical or thermal conductivity of beryllium copper in areas such as aerospace, electrical, and the defense industry or the high strength application of steel and its many alloys for the automotive industry. Industries metal stamping is used for: