Sheet metal manufacture and the technique of deep drawing

Sheet metal manufacture and the technique of deep drawing

Well here is a fun fact, did you know that most kitchen appliances and utensils are manufactured with sheet metal, well now you know. Most of the pans and pots that you use every day are created used sheet metal manufacturing techniques, the cans and kitchen sinks are made using this material as well.

Sheet metal is also used in the production of automotive parts such as gas tanks, panels and so much more. To obtain these intricate shapes and structures, designers use a deep drawing process to attain the shapes.

Deep drawing is one of the most popular manufacturing techniques that’s used in metal fabrication all over the globe. A lot of industries and sectors use this technique to create curved pieces, recipients, and shapes; the process incorporates radial configurations.

The entire process is done using machines that punch dies and circular corners creating a wider radius. During deep drawing you need to ensure that the punch-die space is bigger than the metal sheet that you intend on using/working on. The technique is mostly used to make box-shaped structures and round shape recipients.

Materials used in deep drawing

Metals are the go-to material when it comes to deep drawing, the technique works well on sheet metals. The metals that are suitable for deep drawing tasks include stainless steel, cold-roll steel, brass, and aluminum. Softer metals like aluminum can be easily changed using this technique.

Punching metal sheets 

The deep drawing process begins with punching holes on the metal sheet for the first time, before that you need to strategically position the metal sheet on the machine. You need to pay special attention to ensure the hole is punched at the right place and position.

Proper patterns for fabrication must also be programmed, the machine handling the task should not vibrate when hit so as not to damage the product.

Bending sheet

Force must be applied on the sheets, at the initial hit it should be sufficient enough when bending the contour of the die cavity. During the bending phase, the strength used on the sheet should never exceed the pressure on metals being worked on. This is to avoid wrinkles on the sheets.

Straightening the work

The next process is slowly increasing the application of force when bending the sheets on the blank. By doing so, it will straighten the metal without breaking or tearing. During this stage, it also involves the sinking of annular punch-die clearance.

During straightening you’ll get short vertical walls; this stage also shows us how much the sheet metals can be extended.

Compression and friction

In this phase, the blank flows through the radius pattern as friction does what it does best. The frictional forces work on both the upper and lower sections of the die, as the sheet metal nears the surface of the die it slowly reduces.

After the passing of the friction, the compression will appear on the blank shrinking its size becoming smaller than the die.

Tension release 

This is the last process of sheet metal production, as there is a tension release of all the pressure. The blank will fill the die cavity leading to the creation of a vertical wall, the blank that remains takes a flange shape, the resultant piece is treated and ejected marking the end of the process.


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