Metal stamping is a cold forming process used to fabricate parts from sheet metal or coil stock material. The term “metal stamping” is an umbrella term covering a broad range of techniques used to form, bend, and cut two-dimensional or three-dimensional parts from sheet metal. The Aranda Tooling team has compiled the following glossary to familiarize our customers with some of the terminology they may encounter on a metal stamping project.
Metal Stamping Terms
Annealing – A heat treatment process that involves heating a metal above its recrystallization temperature, then cooling it slowly. This process changes the physical properties of the metal, typically reducing material hardness and improving ductility.
Assembly – An object that consists of a variety of separate components—such as stamped pieces, machined components, and fasteners—that form a usable part when connected together. This term may also refer to the process of building the assembly.
Bending – A metal forming process that incorporates a die and a press machine to create angles in sheet metal or other metal stock.
Blanking – A metal stamping process that cuts an approximate outline of the finished piece from sheet metal, providing a smaller and more manageable workpiece for additional stamping operations or processing.
Burr – A barbed or jagged protrusion on the edge of a metal workpiece. Burrs typically result from mechanical cutting processes, such as shearing, blanking, or punching.
CNC machining – A blanket term for operations conducted by computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools, such as CNC milling, CNC turning, CNC drilling, CNC grinding, etc. Metal stampers frequently use various CNC machining techniques as secondary finishing processes for stamped goods.
Coining – A cold metal stamping process wherein metal gets forced into a closed die using a punch. Originally developed to create monetary coins, this process is often employed in modern metal stamping to flatten burrs or stamp detailed features into a workpiece.
Compound die – A die that separates blank stock from the metal strip at a relevant point in the stamping process.
Deburr – A finishing/secondary process that removes burrs and dulls sharp edges left by mechanical cutting processes.
Deep drawn stamping – Employs a repeated punching action against a metal sheet or blank over a forming die to create a deep recess in the workpiece until a specified depth is reached. Deep drawing creates hollow parts, such as soda cans or oil filter housings.
Ductility – A measurement of a material’s flexibility or workability. The higher the ductility of the material, the less likely it is to break or crack during metal fabrication operations.
Embossing – Uses a male and female die to press three-dimensional designs or letters into the surface of a metal workpiece.
Fabrication – An umbrella term for a variety of metalworking processes used to create finished goods from raw metal or stock metal materials. Metal stamping is considered a fabrication process.
Flanging – Creates a strong metal rim (a flange) on a part by bending small metal tabs at 90-degree angles.
Gauge – A measurement that specifies the thickness of metal sheets or stock. Gauging is an independent measurement system and is not metric or standard.
Metal finishing – A blanket term for a variety of final secondary processes used to deburr, polish, texturize, or clean a metal workpiece. Examples of metal finishing processes include grinding, polishing, and blasting.
Progressive die stamping – A metal strip gets fed through multiple metal stamping stations within a single stamping press, with each station possessing its own unique tooling to bend, cut, punch, or otherwise successively alter the part in accordance with the design. The final station cuts the completed part from the metal strip.
Prototype – A physical model of a part used for functionality and compliance testing in advance of high-volume production. The prototyping process helps manufacturers to avoid unexpected errors across the production run.
Punching – Using a punch press to create holes in sheet metal. The sheet metal is positioned over a die, and the punch hits the metal workpiece with extreme force to create a hole. The metal waste, known as a slug, falls harmlessly into the die underneath the metal sheet.
Roll feed – A pair of moving rolls used to feed sheet metal or stock metal strips into the stamping press.
Stripping – The act of disengaging the tooling from the workpiece within a stamping press.
Tolerance – The allowable deviation from the design on a specific part feature, such as bent angles, part lengths, or part straightness. Stamped features must be fabricated within their specific design tolerances to fit into assemblies or function appropriately in their end application.
Tooling – Any custom components that fit into the stamping press to facilitate creation of the specified design, such as the die and punch.
Transfer die stamping – A transfer press cuts the workpiece free from the metal strip as the first action in the stamping process, then transfers it through multiple stations for a series of stamping operations.
Welding – An umbrella term for a number of processes that use heat and pressure to combine two disparate metal components.
Metal Stamping From Aranda Tooling
Aranda Tooling is a premier global provider of metal stamping and fabrication. We have created precision metal parts for industries such as automotive, construction, medical, renewable energy, and many others. As an ISO 9001:2015-certified business, Aranda Tooling prioritizes quality and continuous improvement in everything that we do.
For questions about metal stamping terminology or help with your next project, please contact us or request a quote today.