We’ve seen manufacturers go to great lengths to avoid high production costs — from settling for lower quality materials to avoiding much-needed secondary processes.
The problem is that these methods generally lead to a completed part of lower quality, prone to breakage and malfunctioning.
To achieve the highest quality stamped metal parts at acceptable costs, the best thing to do is develop a thorough knowledge of metal stamping design. That way, you can include cost-saving considerations directly into the design of your stamped metal part.
Here are three metal stamping design tips to get you started.
Tip #1: Understand how fracture angles create burrs and impact dimensional measurements.
When metal is cut, only part of it is actually cut — once the downward stress equals a metal’s shear strength, the remaining material fractures off. This fracturing creates a small burr, known as a fracture angle, on the bottom edge of the stamped part.
Generally speaking, fracture angles are inconsequential; however, for parts that must maintain very tight tolerances, they can cause issues with dimensional measurements. To avoid costly scrapped runs and redesigns, be sure to account for fracture angles while designing a stamped metal part.
Tip #2: Design notches, tabs, slots, and holes with widths 1.5x material thickness.
Notches, tabs, slots, and holes are common elements in the design of many stamped metal parts. Despite their commonality, they can sometimes be difficult for a metal stamper to create, requiring advanced techniques or secondary machining. They are also prone to being distorted, both by other forming process and in live use cases.
To protect the integrity of the notches and tabs in your part, take the time to double check their specifications. It is recommended that any perforation in your part be designed at least 1.5 times wider than the material is thick. These are small design changes that will go a long way toward easing the production of your parts and reducing their costs.
Tip #3: Consider coining before deburring or edge grinding.
Smoothing the stamped edge does not always require expensive secondary services like vibratory deburring or edge grinding. Coining is a cost-effective solution to flatten or break off burrs. During the coining process, edges of the stamped metal part are struck to create a smoother edge in the coined area of the part geometry. This process also adds additional strength to localized areas of the part.
Want more design tips?
Stamping can be an involved process, with many steps and different considerations to take. By staying well-informed of metal stamped part design basics, you can integrate time- and cost-saving measures directly into the design of your stamped metal parts.
For more illustrations and design tips, download our free Metal Stamping Design Guide today.