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Tag Archive: custom metal stamping

  1. Is Precision Metal Stamping Right for Your Application?

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    Precision metal stamping is a manufacturing process that utilizes a custom tool and die set installed in a stamping press to turn sheet metal into the desired components. It is used in a wide range of industries to create large quantities of parts and products with high precision, accuracy, and speed. While this process offers manufacturing advantages, it is not appropriate for every production project.

    The following article discusses some of the considerations to keep in mind when determining whether precision metal stamping is right for your project. It provides an overview of the process, the benefits it offers, and the typical industries that use it.

    An Overview of Precision Metal Stamping

    Metal stamping—also sometimes referred to as pressing—relies on specialized tooling (i.e., a tool and die set) and equipment (i.e., a press) to form metal sheets and coils into the required shape and size. The pressure exerted on the workpiece by the press forces the material to conform to the shape formed by the tool and die. This process can occur in a single stage or across several stages, depending on the simplicity or complexity of the end product. Precision metal stamping operations largely rely on the use of automated equipment, which ensures the finished components are both precise and accurate.

    In addition to higher precision and accuracy, some of the other advantages the precision metal stamping process demonstrates over other manufacturing processes include:

    • Greater product and process quality. Accuracy offered by the precision metal stamping process translates to a lower error rate during production. This means there is a smaller chance of producing faulty or flawed parts making it into the hands of customers.
    • Lower production costs. A generally automated process, precision metal stamping mitigates the need for manual labor. This quality also results in a lower error rate, which translates to less material utilization and waste during a production run.

    Industries Served

    As indicated above, the precision metal stamping process finds application in a wide range of industries. Some of the industries that regularly employ the process for the production of their parts and products include:

    Automotive

    Metal Stamping for AutomotiveIn the automotive industry, stamping is used to create a variety of structural and functional parts used in vehicle bodies and frames, electrical systems, steering systems, and more. Some examples of typical automobile parts made in metal stamping operations include:

    • Brackets and hangers
    • Electrical terminals and connectors
    • Wire forms (e.g., tire and under chassis components)

    Aerospace

    In the aerospace industry, parts and products are subject to strict manufacturing requirements and restrictions. These guidelines are in place to ensure the safety of the aircraft’s personnel and passengers and the public. For this reason, aerospace components manufacturers (e.g., Keats Manufacturing Co.) maintain certification and compliance with various industry standards such as Mil-spec and RoHS. Some of the metal stamped parts and products commonly produced for aerospace applications include:

    • Assemblies
    • Brackets
    • Bushings
    • Clips
    • Lead frames
    • Shields
    • Terminals
    • Wire forms

    Medical Devices

    Metal Stamping for Medical DevicesSimilar to the aerospace industry, the medical device industry has many standards dictating how a component should be made. These exceptionally high standards ensure the safety of medical practitioners and patients. Standard and custom metal stampings are found in a variety of medical devices, including:

    • Connectors, couplings, and fittings
    • Equipment housing and sleeves
    • Implants and prosthetics
    • Pump and motor components
    • Surgical instruments and equipment
    • Temperature probes

    Electrical Distribution

    Professionals in the electrical distribution industry make use of many different metal stamped parts and products in circuit breakers, distribution boxes, switches, transformers, and other critical equipment. Some examples include:

    • Brackets
    • Clips
    • Contacts
    • Inserts
    • Shields
    • Terminals

    Appliances

    Metal Stamping for Appliances - Washing MachinePrecision metal stampings are found in a wide range of commercial and residential appliances, such as:

    • Automatic garage doors
    • Dishwashers
    • Dryers
    • Garbage disposals
    • Grills
    • HVAC units
    • Irrigation systems
    • Ovens
    • Pool filtration and pump systems
    • Refrigerators
    • Security systems
    • Stoves
    • Thermostats
    • Washers
    • Water heaters

    Renewable Energy

    The renewable energy industry encompasses solar, wind, geothermal, and other clean energy operations. As the industry grows in response to the push for greater sustainability, so too does the need for reliable parts for power generation and distribution equipment and systems. Some of the metal stamped components regularly produced for such applications are:

    • Antennas
    • Brackets and clips
    • Cases, inserts, and retainers
    • Fan blades
    • Grounding straps and busbars
    • Heat sinks
    • Plates
    • Shields
    • Terminals and contacts

    Contact the Precision Metal Stamping Experts at Keats Manufacturing Today

    The precision metal stamping process plays a critical role in the production of components for many industries. For customers looking for an experienced and knowledgeable metal stamping partner, the Keats Manufacturing team is here to help.

    At Keats Manufacturing, we’ve provided custom small metal stamping solutions for over 60 years. Armed with extensive manufacturing experience and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, we can fulfill nearly every metal stamping request with a high-quality product solution. To find out more about our metalworking capabilities or partner with us on your next project, contact us or request a quote today.

  2. Aluminum Alloys for Metal Stamping

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    An aluminum alloy is a chemical composition in which other elements are added to pure aluminum to enhance its properties—primarily to improve its strength. The elements often added to aluminum include:

    • Silicon
    • Iron
    • Magnesium
    • Copper
    • Zinc
    • Manganese

    They can sometimes make up at least 15% of the final alloy by weight.

    Aluminum Alloys

    Every aluminum alloy is assigned a four-digit number. The first digit identifies the general class, or series, that is characterized by its main alloying elements. The types of alloys include:

    • Commercially pure alloys
    • Heat-treatable alloys
    • Non-heat-treatable alloys

    Temper designations for non-heat-treatable alloys are indicated by a suffix added to the alloy number.

    Some key characteristics of aluminum alloys are:

    • High strength-to-weight ratio
    • Flexible and malleable
    • Corrosion-resistant
    • Shiny and smooth decorative finish that requires little maintenance
    • Thermal and electrical conductivity
    • Low temperature resistance

    Aluminum alloys provide a variety of benefits, particularly for applications that need strength without heavy weight. The alloys are one of the lightest metals used in commercial projects, and they often appear in applications for the transportation industry because reductions in weight help with fuel savings. Furthermore, aluminum alloys’ light weight and natural corrosion resistance result in the parts lasting longer as well as allowing them to be made from significantly less raw material. Since aluminum is flexible and malleable, metal stamping can form aluminum and aluminum alloys into complex geometric shapes.

    Aluminum alloy applications include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Aluminum cans
    • Aerospace
    • Building & construction
    • Automotive
    • Foil & packaging
    • Electronics & appliances

    Aluminum Alloys for Metal Stamping

    There are three main aluminum alloys used for metal stamping:

    • 1100: Commercially pure aluminum. It is ductile and soft, with good workability. It’s useful for applications that require intricate forming because it hardens slower than other alloys. Common applications include kitchenware, decorative trim, and giftware.
    • 3003: The most frequently used of all aluminum alloys. It is commercially pure aluminum with manganese added, which increases its strength by about 20% over 1100. It has great corrosion-resistance and workability, allowing it to be welded, deep drawn or spun, or brazed. Common applications include cooking utensils, kitchen equipment, and chemical equipment.
    • 5052: The highest strength alloy of the common non-heat-treatable grades. Its fatigue strength is better than other alloys, and it has excellent resistance to the marine atmosphere and saltwater corrosion. It has optimal workability and good finishing characteristics. Its common applications include aircraft components, home appliances, and heavy-duty cooking utensils.

    When choosing an aluminum grade, there are a few factors to consider:

    • Its level of formability or workability
    • Weldability
    • Machining
    • Its level of corrosion-resistance
    • Heat treating
    • Strength
    • Typical end-use applications

    Contact Us for the Top Selection of Aluminum Alloys

    For the best turnaround time and price, Keats Manufacturing recommends selecting common gauge and common alloys. Since 1958, we have been crafting stamped metal parts to each client’s needs. We have a strict adherence to our quality control system, ensuring that your customer satisfaction and confidence are our top priority.

    Over the decades, unique projects and parts have come through our facility. Decisions for design details and custom tooling influence the performance of the parts, but the material used is always the most critical decision made in the manufacturing process.

    To learn more about how we can help with your next project, contact our team. For more information about the materials we use, check out our downloadable eBook, Choosing the Best Raw Materials.

    Aluminum Alloys for Metal Stamping