How Advanced Technology Impacts Metal Stamping

Metal stamping technologies are evolving and developing at a faster rate due to the advanced technologies.

FREMONT, CA: Metal stamping technologies keep evolving and developing, as they always did, but at a much faster rate now than before and with far more complex technologies.

Hot forming is an outstanding example of metal stamping advancement. Producing automotive elements from boron-steel sheet metal at extremely high temperatures (about 900 C) in a die also quenches the stamping. So, heat-treating the formed part in the die is now standard practice.

Hot forming is highly different from conventional deep drawing. Rather than using a blank holder, unique clamping components secure the part material in place and avoid wrinkles from forming. Additionally, the process frequently necessitates installing cooling lines near the die surface to ease the quenching procedure, requiring specialized die steels with high strength and heat transfer rates.

Significant Gains on the Materials End

Another example of complicated technology is material evolution. Steel manufacturing advancements have resulted in an unprecedented class of high-tensile-strength materials known as advanced high-strength steel (AHSS). Except for the boron-based hot forming grades, these materials are intended to be cold produced at room temperature in typical stamping dies and press lines. Such materials may have two to three times the tensile strength of standard high-strength low-alloy steels, putting new tooling and older press lines under tremendous stress.

Sheet aluminum alloys have seen a significant increase in automotive and transportation applications in the recent decade. It can be challenging to process aluminum stampings, mainly when dealing with new and unknown alloys. Novel alloys have been designed for ultra-high-strength hot forming applications, while older alloys have been effectively warm formed, and some of them have been super-plastically deformed.

Lube and Tool Advances Abound

With the emergence of third-generation AHSS materials and the possible eradication of certain kinds of chlorinated paraffin, improvements in forming lubricants, application procedures, and thickness-measurement technologies have become increasingly significant and widespread.

Modern stamping dies must handle a growing number of pressures, temperatures, chemical attacks, shock, and vibrations. In-process breakdowns of metal stamping dies can occur in a variety of ways. Tool steel composition, heat treatment procedures, and tailored surface coatings are all being improved to meet the growing demands put on stamping dies.

Digital Evolution Makes an Impact

The digital world also strives to keep up with evolving stamping technology by providing more precise sheet metal formability analysis, enhancing spring back prediction and reacting to variants in the stamping process, and simulating programmable servo-press slides in conjunction with programmable servo-transfer systems to optimize strokes per minute.

Optical scanning technologies to record and digitize dies and components produced from dies to evaluate and suitably alter tooling and morphing systems that allow quick and repeatable production of compensated die surfaces are also part of the digital evolution.