How to Choose Metal Stamping Material

Table of Contents

Metal stamping is an indispensable process in many industries, shaping the world around us in seen and unseen ways. From the microchips in our computers to the body panels on our cars, the art of stamping metal materials is a blend of precision, technology, and craftsmanship.

Choosing the right metal stamping material is a complex task, involving the consideration of multiple factors. Understanding the properties of various materials is crucial to the final quality of the product. This article aims to provide an informative guide on how to choose the right metal stamping material for your specific needs. Let’s delve in.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Materials for Metal Stamping

Selecting the appropriate material for a metal stamping project is a critical step in the manufacturing process. Several factors must be considered to ensure the final product meets the desired specifications and performs as expected in its application. Below, we delve into some of these key considerations.

Material Properties

The first factor to consider is the intrinsic properties of the material. This includes its tensile strength, hardness, and ductility. It’s crucial to understand how these properties can impact the final product’s functionality and lifespan.

For instance, materials with high tensile strength and hardness, such as stainless steel, can resist deformation and wear, making them suitable for applications that require durability. On the other hand, ductile materials like copper alloys can be shaped easily, making them a good choice for intricate stamping designs.

Application Requirements

The specific requirements of the application in which the stamped part will be used is another crucial consideration. This may include the operating environment, stress levels, and potential exposure to elements such as heat, moisture, or corrosive substances.

If the stamped parts will be used in harsh environments, for instance, corrosion-resistant materials such as stainless steel or specialty metals may be required. Conversely, for high-stress applications, materials with high tensile strength like steel alloys would be more appropriate.

Material Availability and Cost

Availability and cost of materials are pragmatic factors to consider. Some materials may be more readily available than others, which can impact lead times and project timelines. Moreover, the cost of raw materials can significantly impact the overall cost of your project.

You need to strike a balance between the performance requirements of your application and the cost-effectiveness of the material. For instance, titanium has excellent strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance, but it is more costly than most other metals, making it less suitable for cost-sensitive projects.

Manufacturing Considerations

Certain materials are more suitable for specific stamping processes than others. Factors such as a material’s formability, machinability, and how well it responds to heat treatment can impact the choice of stamping process, the wear on the tooling, and ultimately, the project’s cost and timeline.

For example, materials with high formability, such as copper, are more suitable for intricate stamping processes like deep draw stamping, while harder materials might be more suited to simple stamping operations.

Regulatory Compliance

Depending on the end-use of the product, it might need to comply with specific industry standards or regulations. This is particularly relevant for parts intended for industries like medical, automotive, and aerospace. For example, if you’re producing a medical device, it must comply with FDA standards, which may dictate the type of material you can use. Therefore, understanding the regulatory environment of your industry is vital in choosing the right stamping material.

Material Thickness

Material thickness is another aspect to consider as it impacts the stamping process. The thickness of a material can affect the tooling and machinery required for stamping, and also the degree of detail that can be achieved in the stamped parts.

Coating and Finishing Requirements

Post-processing steps such as coating or finishing can also affect your choice of material. Some materials take well to certain finishes or coatings, which can enhance the appearance, durability, and corrosion resistance of the final product.


With growing awareness about environmental issues, many companies are looking to incorporate more sustainable practices into their operations. Some materials have a lesser environmental impact than others, either because they are more abundant, have lower energy requirements for extraction and processing, or are more easily recyclable.

Balancing these factors may seem like a daunting task, but it’s what we do every day at Chengli Hardware. We work closely with our clients to understand their specific requirements and constraints, and to help them select the best materials and processes for their metal stamping projects.

What Raw Material is Best for Metal Stamping?

Aluminum and steel alloys are the best raw materials for metal stamping.

While a variety of raw materials can be used for metal stamping, the choice largely depends on the product’s application and design. The four primary types of metal stamping include progressive die stamping, deep draw stamping, fourslide stamping, and sheet metal stamping, each of which requires different properties in the material. Whether you’re creating automotive parts, music instruments, or construction tools, the material you choose will greatly impact the final product’s quality and performance.

Now, let’s delve into the characteristics and applications of some common materials used in metal stamping.

Copper alloys

copper stamping

Copper alloys are celebrated for their versatile properties that make them suitable for a wide range of applications. They are an amalgamation of copper and other elements that aim to enhance the metal’s strength, durability, and workability.

Advantages of cooper alloys

One of the standout properties of copper alloys is their excellent thermal and electrical conductivity. This makes them a go-to material for numerous electrical components, including wiring, terminals, connectors, and other electronic parts. The inherent ability of copper alloys to efficiently conduct electricity ensures optimal performance of these devices.

Furthermore, copper alloys showcase impressive corrosion resistance. This trait is beneficial in scenarios where the stamped parts will be exposed to the elements or specific harsh environments. The longevity of components made from copper alloys is markedly higher due to their ability to resist deterioration caused by rust.

Malleability is another significant advantage of copper alloys. This characteristic refers to the metal’s capability to be deformed under compressive stress without breaking or cracking. The high malleability of copper alloys enables the production of intricate designs and complex shapes, a feature heavily leveraged in precision metal stamping processes.

Disadvantages of copper alloys

Despite the numerous advantages, stamping copper alloys demand a high level of expertise. These materials are generally soft, requiring a careful and precise approach during the stamping process to prevent any material waste or part damage.

Application of copper alloys

One of the most common copper alloys used in metal stamping is brass. Brass combines the beneficial traits of copper and zinc, offering great strength, excellent corrosion resistance, and attractive aesthetic properties. Its golden hue makes it popular in decorative and jewelry applications, in addition to its use in manufacturing various industrial components.

Steel Alloys

steel stamping

When it comes to metal stamping, steel alloys are some of the most commonly used materials. Steel is an alloy in itself, primarily composed of iron and carbon. However, there are numerous types of steel alloys that add different elements into the mix, each offering unique properties that make them suitable for a variety of applications.

Steel alloys are known for their remarkable strength and durability, making them a preferred choice for many heavy-duty applications. These alloys can withstand a high level of stress and are resistant to wear and tear. This makes them suitable for applications that demand strength and longevity, such as automotive parts, construction equipment, and industrial machinery.

One of the key characteristics of steel alloys is their hardness. This makes them more resistant to deformation, ensuring the stamped parts retain their shape under stress. At the same time, certain steel alloys exhibit good ductility, meaning they can be bent or stretched without breaking.

Steel alloys are also versatile in their usage due to their ability to withstand various heat treatments. This allows for a significant degree of customization, as the properties of steel can be manipulated to suit specific application requirements.

The ability to withstand intense pressures and resist wear makes alloy steels an excellent option for progressive die stamping, a method used for creating complex parts with high precision. You can learn more about this process from our progressive die stamping page.

While steel alloys offer numerous advantages, they require specialized equipment and tools for stamping due to their hardness. At Chengli Hardware, we have the necessary tooling and expertise to work with a wide range of steel alloys and other raw metal materials.

Remember, the “best metal for stamping” isn’t universal—it largely depends on the specific needs and requirements of your project.


brass stamping

Brass is another popular material in the realm of metal stamping. It’s a metal alloy composed primarily of copper and zinc, which can be adjusted to alter its properties.

Brass is known for its attractive yellowish hue, which makes it an ideal material for decorative items and pieces that require a pleasing aesthetic. However, brass’s use isn’t confined to just decorative pieces. Its excellent machinability, corrosion resistance, and electrical conductivity make it suitable for a range of applications from electrical components to musical instruments.

The malleability of brass is one of its key characteristics that makes it a perfect candidate for metal stamping. It can be easily shaped and formed without the need for extreme pressure, allowing intricate designs to be stamped with ease. This is one reason why brass is often used for complex and detailed stampings.

Brass is also known for its exceptional thermal conductivity, making it useful in applications that require heat dissipation. However, while brass is quite durable, it’s not as hard or strong as steel or stainless steel, and may not be the best choice for heavy-duty applications that require high strength.

Despite this, the corrosion resistance of brass is excellent, especially against seawater corrosion. This makes it a good choice for marine applications or any environment where the stamped parts may be exposed to the elements.

At Chengli Hardware, we have extensive experience with brass stamping, from creating beautiful decorative pieces to intricate electrical components. If you’re looking for a material that combines ease of stamping with an attractive appearance and excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, brass could be the ideal choice.

Stainless Steel

stainless steel stamping

Stainless steel is highly valued for its remarkable corrosion resistance. This is primarily due to the presence of chromium, which reacts with oxygen to form a thin protective layer on the steel’s surface, shielding it from rust and degradation. This corrosion resistance is particularly effective against moisture, making stainless steel a popular choice for applications in harsh or wet environments, such as marine equipment, medical devices, and kitchen appliances.

In terms of strength, stainless steel matches up well with most steel alloys, offering high tensile strength and durability. Despite its hardness, it retains good formability, making it suitable for complex stamping processes. Stainless steel is also heat resistant, so it can withstand high temperatures without losing its structural integrity, a property valued in many industrial applications.

It’s also important to note that stainless steel is available in several grades, each with different properties. For example, austenitic stainless steel, which contains nickel and manganese, is known for its superior ductility and toughness. Ferritic stainless steel, on the other hand, contains more chromium and is magnetic.

However, stainless steel does present some challenges in stamping. Its high strength and hardness mean that it requires powerful machinery and robust dies for effective stamping. Moreover, due to the high chromium content, it can be harder to machine compared to other metals, potentially increasing production costs.

Despite these challenges, stamping stainless steel is a routine operation for us at Chengli Hardware. Our experienced team, backed by advanced machinery and tooling, can handle any stainless steel stamping job with utmost precision and efficiency.

Beryllium Copper

Beryllium coppe stamping

Beryllium copper is an exceptional copper alloy renowned for its unique combination of strength, conductivity, and resilience. Also known as beryllium bronze, it is composed primarily of copper, with beryllium constituting up to 3%.

Beryllium copper’s main feature is its extraordinary elasticity coupled with a high strength-to-weight ratio. This makes it particularly suitable for parts that require a significant degree of flexibility without sacrificing strength, such as springs and high-performance electronic connectors.

Moreover, it exhibits superior thermal and electrical conductivity, making it a popular choice for electronic and telecommunication applications where heat dissipation and electrical conduction are critical.

Another advantage of beryllium copper is its non-sparking nature, which makes it safe for use in hazardous environments where flammable gases or liquids may be present.

Despite its many advantages, beryllium copper needs careful handling during the stamping process due to the beryllium’s potential health risks. Special precautions must be taken to avoid inhalation of dust or fumes during the stamping process.

Read more about beryllium copper and its applications in our copper stamping section.

Phosphor Bronze

Phosphor Bronze is a copper alloy that includes tin and phosphorus, renowned for its resilience, toughness, and excellent corrosion resistance. These traits make phosphor bronze an excellent choice for a variety of precision products, from springs and washers to electrical connectors.

One of the primary features of phosphor bronze is its superb spring qualities. This attribute makes it an ideal material for manufacturing components that require a high fatigue resistance, such as electrical contacts and springs.

Moreover, phosphor bronze possesses excellent corrosion resistance, particularly against seawater. This quality makes it well suited to marine applications, providing a prolonged lifespan for components exposed to harsh sea conditions.

While phosphor bronze can be a bit more challenging to stamp due to its hardness, the results often justify the extra effort due to the material’s durability and resilience.

Read more about phosphor bronze and its uses in metal stamping on our bronze page.


Renowned for its impressive strength-to-weight ratio and outstanding corrosion resistance, Titanium is a top choice for many demanding metal stamping applications. Despite being as strong as some steel types, it is significantly lighter, making it an attractive option where weight is a critical factor.

Titanium’s exceptional strength and low density make it ideal for use in the aerospace industry. Components made from titanium can withstand the demanding conditions of flight while minimizing the overall weight of the aircraft.

Moreover, titanium is highly resistant to corrosion, including resistance to sea water, aqua regia, and chlorine, which makes it a great option for marine and chemical processing applications.

Despite these advantages, it’s worth noting that titanium is harder to work with than other materials. It requires more force to stamp and can wear out tools more quickly. Nonetheless, with the right equipment and expertise, titanium stamping can yield durable and lightweight components.

You can learn more about Titanium and its usage in metal stamping on our specialty metals page.

Specialty Metals

In addition to the more common materials like steel alloys and copper, there are numerous specialty metals used in metal stamping. These metals include inconel, hastelloy, monel, and many others. These specialty metals often possess unique properties that make them particularly well suited for certain applications.

For example, Inconel is an alloy that retains its strength over a wide temperature range, making it an excellent material for high-temperature applications, such as aerospace and gas turbine components.

Hastelloy, on the other hand, is known for its exceptional resistance to corrosion, especially from acids. This makes it a prime choice for applications in the chemical processing industry.

Specialty metals require specialized knowledge and equipment to work with, but when utilized effectively, they can provide solutions that other materials simply can’t match.

You can learn more about specialty metals and their usage in metal stamping on our specialty metals page.

Metal Stamping and Material Selection with Chengli Hardware

metal stamping service

Selecting the right metal for your stamping project can significantly influence the quality, performance, and cost of your final product. In the world of metal stamping, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The choice of the metal stamping material will depend on various factors like the application’s requirements, budget, and even the design’s complexity.

At Chengli Hardware, we pride ourselves on our experience and our ability to guide our clients through the selection process. From initial design to the final product, our team of experienced engineers works closely with clients to ensure the most suitable material is selected for each unique application.

We understand that each project has its own unique requirements and challenges. Whether you’re looking for the best metal for stamping, wondering if you can stamp stainless steel, or trying to understand the nuances of bronze stampings, our team is ready to assist.

With our extensive experience in handling various metals and materials, we can provide a comprehensive guide to ensure your design requirements align with the chosen material’s characteristics. We understand the pros and cons of stamping different materials, and we are adept at finding the best compromise between cost-effectiveness, quality, and performance.

Our in-house tooling and quality control systems ensure that we can provide consistent quality regardless of the chosen material, from raw metal materials like stainless steel, copper, bronze, and brass, to more specialized alloys and specialty metals.

Choosing Chengli Hardware means choosing a partner committed to delivering the highest quality products, tailored to meet your specific needs and requirements. If you’re ready to explore the world of metal stamping and find the perfect material for your next project, contact us today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Metal Stamping

Here, we address some common questions about metal stamping, materials selection, and how to embark on your own metal stamping projects:

What are the four types of metal stamping?

The four main types of metal stamping are blanking, embossing, bending, and coining. You can learn more about these processes on our What is Metal Stamping? page.

Do you need a steel block for metal stamping?

Yes, a steel block is typically used as a sturdy and flat surface to ensure accurate and clean stamping.

Is metal stamping expensive?

The cost of metal stamping varies greatly depending on the complexity of the design, the material used, and the volume of parts required. At Chengli Hardware, we strive to provide cost-effective solutions to all our clients.

What surface is best for stamping?

A flat, hard surface like a steel block is ideal for stamping. This ensures that the force of the stamp is accurately transferred to the material, resulting in a clean and precise impression.

Can I use a regular hammer for metal stamping?

While it’s possible to use a regular hammer for metal stamping, it’s generally recommended to use a brass or nylon mallet. These types of hammers provide a more even force distribution, which results in a cleaner impression.

How thick can metal be stamped?

The thickness of metal that can be stamped largely depends on the type of metal, the design of the stamp, and the power of the press being used. Typically, metal sheets between 0.001 and 0.250 inches can be stamped, but thicker metals can also be stamped with a powerful enough press.

For further questions or more detailed information, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our experienced team at Chengli Hardware is always ready to assist you.

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