In the context of metal forming, the time of action of metal stamping comprises of several different press forming operations such as punching, bending, flanging, coining, blanking etc. For a sheet or tube of metal to be made useful, it needs to be formed. These processes have been in use for several decades and have evolved with the emergence of newer techniques over the years. Despite this, there are certain drawbacks associated with stamping that tend to delay or adversely affect commercial or industrial projects.
for example, the biggest challenge is investment in tooling systems. The complete set-up requires a meaningful capital investment, the cost of which is passed on directly to customers. Another aspect to consider would be production quantity. Most companies that cater to industrial players often find it difficult to cater to small production volumes. already if they do agree to deliver a limited batch, the cost per part is considerably high. In such a case, the rule times tend to be longer too.
With these drawbacks of stamping become more apparent to industries, there is a growing inclination towards different methods such as sheet hydroforming and metal spinning. Interestingly, the tooling costs of these different methods could be up to 85% less than traditional stamping tooling costs. While there are several companies that offer such sets, there are only a handful of companies that offer world-class metal forming and fabricating sets.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of these different metal forming methods:
- Metal spinning: Also referred to as spin forming, this method allows a fabricator to use a metal disc or tube to turn it into an axially symmetric part. This is achieved by spinning the metal on a high-speed lathe. In some situations, the spinning course of action is carried out manually too. Different types of ductile metals can be formed using this particular method. The metal spinning technique is very cost-effective and is also appropriate for high quantity part production.
- Hydroforming: This technique involves the use of highly pressurized fluid for shaping and contouring a metal sheet. Whether it is a smooth contour or complicate angles, you can unprotected to a well-finished part using this method. This is one of the most cost-effective methods of shaping ductile metals like stainless steel, aluminum, and brass among others. The parts consequently formed tend to be structurally strong, which explains why automobile industries are increasingly using this method.
Parts formed using these techniques are compliant with the prevailing industry specifications. The aerospace and defense sector, automobile industries, nuclear industry, furniture manufacturers, and the HVAC sector are increasingly opting for forming methods other than metal stamping. These methods are capable of producing just about any part or part that one might expect to unprotected to by metal stamping.