Brass Metal Stampings
Metal stamping is the process of cutting and shaping metal alloys into specific forms, especially to be used as components for machinery or assemblies. The most common alloys that are used in metal stamping are steel, zinc, nickel, aluminum, copper, brass and titanium. Metal stamping is a very cost-effective and productive way of producing many kinds of metal products on a large scale.
In metal stamping, the metal sheets are placed in a die or a press tool that has a specially designed cavity that gives the preferred shape to the metal sheet. The upper part of the die connects to the press slide while the lower component connects to the press bed. A specific component known as the punch pushes the metal sheet through the die, thus performing the actual shaping operation.
Metal stamping is slowly replacing other metal forming processes like die casting, forging, fabricating and machining. One reason for this is the very low costs involved in metal stamping. The dies used for metal stamping cost less than those used in forging and casting. Also, the metals used in metal stamping can be harder than those used in other processes, thus making the end product stronger. The cost of the secondary processes, like cleaning and plating are also considerably reduced.
Metal stamping involves forming a piece of metal with a dedicated piece of tooling and stamping the piece through a mechanical press. During the metal stamping operation, the upper die is attached to the ram and the lower die is attached to the stationary bolster. As the press is activated, the ram moves vertically towards the bolster to form the piece of metal over the lower die. Metal stamping presses can perform a diverse range of operations such as blanking, piercing, forming and drawing as well as combinations of these processes.
Metal stamping is an effective way of producing formed sheet metal parts at an extremely high rate. Powered presses apply force to sheetmetal through hard tooling, producing a variety of parts. Sheet or sheetmetal blanks can be fed manually or automatically into a press or series of presses to produce the parts. Often, automation such as robots or transfer mechanisms are used to transfer material from press to press or from die to die for various part-forming operations.
Stamping produces a multitude of parts and panels for industrial use, as well as for home appliances, home electronics, furniture, fixtures and residential construction. Automotive applications include body panels, structural members, fasteners and metal trim. Other parts typically produced via stamping include computer cases and interior parts, electrical boxes, switches, connectors, control panels, fasteners, machine panels and parts, and material-handling parts as well as a multitude of airplane and space parts and panels.
Some parts are produced in rapid fashion, as presses can move at speeds above 2000 strokes/min. At such speeds, high-volume runs are accomplished quickly, with various control and measurement checks built-in to ensure parts meet specifications. Presses run at much lower speeds for deep-drawn parts or parts requiring in-die work or longer forming time. Simple two-dimensional parts are created with ease in the stamping process, while the addition of in-press tooling allows for creation of complex curved and shaped parts. Generally, hard tooling used in stamping provides superior dimensional precision and uniformity throughout a production run, and in successive production runs.
Brass is a metal alloy of copper and zinc, with copper content ranging from 58% to 95%. Brass has excellent machinability and has been labeled the material by which all other materials are judged, however this can be improved even further by the addition of 3% lead to give free cutting high speed machining brasses.
Brasses are medium strength engineering materials, comparable to high strength structural steels and some stainless steels and aluminium alloys. In the softened or annealed condition brasses are ductile and strong but when hardened by cold working their strength increases markedly.
Brass has good strength and excellent corrosion resistance, with no plating or painting required. In the occasional instances when it is necessary to plate brass, because most plated coatings are porous to a certain extent, its inherently good corrosion resistance prevents the early onset of cracks, blisters, or eruptions of rust through the plating that can occur when the substrate is steel.
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