Metal stamping is a metalworking process used to form various parts and products from sheet metal. It accommodates a wide range of materials, including aluminum.
Aluminum is highly suitable for stamping operations due to its strength and workability. Stamped aluminum components find application in nearly every industry, including automotive, electronics, marine, medical, and more. Below we provide an overview of the aluminum stamping process, including typical metal stamping materials employed and the properties they exhibit.
Commonly Used Aluminum Alloys in Metal Stamping Operations
For stamping operations, pure aluminum is often alloyed with other metals to add or enhance certain material properties to improve the performance of the end product. Typical alloying materials include copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, silicon, and zinc. Each alloy is assigned a unique four-digit number, the first digit of which is determined by the primary alloying element. For example:
- 1xxx is used for 99% pure aluminum with no alloying element
- 2xxx is used for aluminum alloyed with copper
- 3xxx is used for aluminum alloyed with manganese
- 4xxx is used for aluminum alloyed with silicon
- 5xxx is used for aluminum alloyed with magnesium
- 6xxx is used for aluminum alloyed with magnesium and silicon
- 7xxx is used for aluminum alloyed with zinc
- 8xxx is used for aluminum alloyed with other elements
The four-digit number may also include a letter tagged onto the end. This letter is indicative of the alloy’s temper designation. For example, fabricated is represented by F, annealed is represented by O, strain hardened is represented by H, solution heat-treated is represented by W, and heat treated (not applicable to F, O, or H designations) is represented by T.
Some of the most commonly used aluminum alloys in metal stamping operations are:
- 1100: This commercially pure aluminum exhibits high ductility, material softness, and workability. It is ideal for forming operations involving intricate part or product designs, such as for flatware or decorative components.
- 3003: This aluminum-manganese alloy has greater strength than aluminum 1100. It also demonstrates good corrosion resistance and workability. Some of its typical applications include cooking instruments, kitchen equipment, and chemical handling products.
- 5052: This aluminum-magnesium alloy has higher strength than any of the other common non-heat-treatable variations. It also offers better fatigue strength, high corrosion resistance, and good workability and finishing characteristics. Typical use cases include aircraft parts, home appliances, and heavy-duty cooking implements.
- 6061: This aluminum alloy is heat treatable. It is highly versatile due to its numerous advantageous mechanical and chemical properties, including corrosion resistance, formability, and weldability. It is widely used for making structural parts such as the bodies and frames of automobiles.
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Common Properties of Aluminum Alloys
As indicated above, aluminum alloys may demonstrate different properties depending on the exact composition. However, there are some shared properties among the material group, including:
- High strength-to-weight ratio
- Flexibility and malleability
- Electrical and thermal conductivity
- Corrosion resistance
- Low-temperature resistance
- Smooth and shiny finish that requires little to no maintenance
Aluminum Stamping Solutions From Aranda Tooling
Aranda Tooling is an ISO 9001:2015 certified and minority-owned company that provides a variety of metalworking services. One of our core service offerings is metal stamping. Equipped with 45 years of industry experience and a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, our team has what it takes to fulfill even the most complex stamping requests for domestic and international customers. In addition to aluminum, we accommodate a variety of other metals, including brass, bronze, copper, nickel, steel, stainless steel, and titanium. We offer metal stamping capabilities for workpieces up to 48 inches in width and between 0.005 to 0.5 inches in thickness.
For examples of past metal stamping projects, check out our metal stamping portfolio. To learn more about our metal stamping capabilities and how we can benefit your next project, contact us or request a quote today.
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