What Is Sheet Metal Stamping Process?

Table of Contents

Let’s familiarize you with the metal stamping process to help you know it better. It has revolutionized modern-day metal product manufacturing. The process is simple yet very effective and benefits many industries. We’ll take you through the entire process, and you’ll visualize how it works.

What is the scope globally?

From 2014-2019 the metal stamping industry emerged in the US with a shift from $38.9 billion to $42.5 billion. These values explain the scope well enough, right?

What is Sheet Metal Stamping? 

sheet metal stamping

A crucial process used in the manufacturing of high-quality and effective metal products. The process involves shaping and cutting metal sheets in required designs by pressing them with excessive force under the stamping tool of the required geometry. The stamping tool is synonymously called a die.

The process involves no use of heat (except for some specialized processes), as it’s a cold-forming procedure. Yet the force used is weighed in tons, causing frictional heat.

If we draw an analogy, the process is similar to cookie making. As the dough is shaped into a neat round cookie using a cookie shaper the metal sheet is shaped using a die. However, you can’t skip the intricate considerations to ensure precision and accuracy in the sheet metal stamping process.

If you’re mistaking cookie making with sheet metal stamping, you’re wrong!

Sheet Metal Stamping Advantages

The key advantage of sheet metal stamping is the convenience of automating the process. It has helped industries to mass-produce metal products. The process is also relatively cost-effective than other similar methods of metal shaping.

Plus, the precision and level of accuracy in this process are matchless. The end product obtained from the process doesn’t require any further alterations. Lastly, the extensive usage of the process and continuous development has made it more advantageous.

Sheet Metal Stamping Process

The process involves different steps and techniques to shape and cut the sheets and add up various design options depending on what your client needs. We will visit each of the processes involved in sheet metal stamping.

✓ Blanking

sheet metal blanking

Blanks are simple geometric shapes punched out from the metal sheets. The shapes can be of various geometries from circles to squares. The key considerations in this process include punch-die clearance ratio and blanking force (the pressure exerted on the die), as they affect the finishing of the sheet.

How to ensure quality in the blanking process?

  •   Time-to-time inspection of the die to indicate damages.
  •  Metal sheet thickness should be under recommended values.
  •   Close examination of surface details.

✓ Forming

In this process, the metal sheet is molded into the shape of a die. The sheet is pressed onto the die or vice-versa using a hydraulic or mechanical press. The sheet can be hot or cold as it varies according to the requirements. The compressive and shearing forces from the press mold the sheet into a preferred shape and size. This process is used in both simple and complex operations.

From an application point of view, the forming process can be used to manufacture a simple safety pin or complex vehicle parts. Although molding metals isn’t easy, it’s much more convenient with this process.

✓ Drawing

deep drawing

As the name suggests, this process basically draws out (pulls) a metal sheet through a die to shape it as a tube, rod, or wire. The action is caused by tensile forces exerted on the metal when drawn/pulled. Moreover, this process is only suitable for materials having high ductility that can sustain the tensile forces. And it can be either a cold or a hot working process.

What are the advantages of the drawing process?

·         High Efficiency: Tools used in the process are long-lasting and efficient.

·         Cost Effective: The process can be automated to reduce overall manufacturing expenses.

·         Applicability: The products obtained from the drawing process have a variety of applications.

✓ Piercing

Piercing is the process used to add design features like slots, holes, etc, in the metal sheets. The process involves shearing forces driven to punch said features using a die. The die is punched by a hydraulic or manual stamping press. If you’re having trouble making a difference in piercing and blanking, both processes are identical, except that we get scrap metal in the blanking process.

Moreover, the piercing process can be done using techniques such as lancing, perforating, notching, nibbling, shaving, cutoff, and dinking. The selection of the technique usually depends on the product design and application.

✓ Bending

sheet metal bending

Metal profiling into different shapes (L, U, V) without exerting too much pressure above yield strength yet keeping it below the tensile strength. The process is complex because it can affect the overall tensile strength of the metal, which can have adverse effects on the quality of the final product.

Key considerations for the bending process?

  • The radius of the bending corner should not be more than the ⅕ thickness of the material.
  • If any holes or slots are required in the metal during cutting, it’s important to adjust their thickness to almost 1.5 times.
  •  Do not bend corners and cutouts.

✓ Punching

You guessed it right; punching is punching holes through metal sheets. It won’t be wrong to say punching has been historically used; in fact, it is one of the oldest metal works processes. The demand for accuracy and precision has also somewhat made this process complex. Today, punching is often executed through automated CNC machines, the basics are still the same, but volume has increased.

A die block is pressed on the metal sheet by a hydraulic or manual press to punch the hole. The size and radius of the hole depend on the die.

✓ Cutting

sheet metal cutting

The cutting process involves cutting the metal sheets into desired shape and length. Metal cutting is required in various industries, yet a very difficult process. However, sheet metal stamping makes the cutting easier. The metal sheets can easily be cut by stamping press using the right die. The sheet is placed under pressure, where the die acts as a knife to cut and produce the required shaped metal pieces.

Is cutting a preferred process?

Yes, the cutting process offers speed and accuracy without requiring skilled labor.

 Sheet Metal Stamping Die

Sheet Metal Stamping Die

Metal stamping procedure is impossible without appropriate die equipment.

These are used to cut and shape metal sheets with precision and accuracy. The dies are intricately designed using CAD and other design applications per the shape and profile requirements.

What is computer-aided design (CAD) software?

The software uses predesigned tools for designing and modeling the dies with precision and perfection.

Once the software designs are finalized, the dies are crafted from ‘tool steel’, a specific steel type used to manufacture stamping dies. The material is anti-abrasive, having a high breaking point. Thereafter, the dies are installed onto the press, which stamps the metal sheets into the required shape, design, or cut.

There are various kinds of stamping dies used for two common operations:

1: Cutting

2: Formation.

In the broader categories, stamping dies are classified as compound dies, progressive dies, and transfer dies. This classification is based on their respective applications and mounting process, which may be automated or manual.

During the sheet metal stamping process, the die is pressed upon the sheet metal with a high force that stresses the metal to its breaking point; ultimately, a fine cut forms in line with the shape of the die.

Sheet Metal Stamping Materials

Usually, sheet metal stamping materials include ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals, and superalloys. There’s a variety of materials available for sheet metal stamping; it is always better to choose the material which is best suited to your requirements. You should consider your budget, application, and long-term benefits while choosing any material.

Ferrous metals, which contain iron as their primary component, are widely used in sheet metal stamping due to their strength, durability, and magnetic properties. Sush as steel, stainless steel and carbon steel.

steel stamping bracket

And non-ferrous metals are used because of their high malleability and ductility properties. These metals do not contain iron and have low magnetic permeability, making them ideal for applications that require electrical conductivity or corrosion resistance. The most common brands used for sheet metal stamping is aluminum, brass, copper, bronze and nickel.

Whereas superalloys,also known as high-performance alloys, are a group of materials specifically engineered to exhibit exceptional mechanical strength, heat resistance, and corrosion resistance at elevated temperatures. While not as commonly used as ferrous or non-ferrous metals, superalloys find applications in specialized sheet metal stamping processes that require superior performance under extreme conditions. Such as Inconel,Hastelloy and Titanium Alloys.

Sheet Metal Stamping Applications

precision aluminum stamping

This process is extensively used for many applications in various industries giving out the best possible results. This process empowered the manufacturing industry to do the unimaginable. The credit for mass production in industries goes to the sheet metal stamping process.

For instance, it has become the foremost process implemented to produce metal alloys for high-strength applications in the automotive and defense industries. Similarly, the applicability and success rate of this process in Consumer Electronics, Aerospace, Electrical Technology, and Telecommunication is at the next level.

You can even notice the involvement of sheet metal stamping sitting at your home, the light fixtures you see, or the ceiling panels that may be produced using this process.


Now you may be well acquainted with the process without which many industries can’t process their products. Although the process is not very sophisticated, it has a wide range of applications and offerings. You can view it as a key process involved in the manufacturing of most of the things around you. Conclusively, the sheet metal stamping process is efficient, cost-effective, and beneficial.

Chengli Hardware has rich experience in sheet metal stapmping with diversity materials and surface finish. Our engineers have extensive experience in creatinghigh-quality stamped parts for a variety of industries. Contact us for more details.

That’s all, folks!

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