Metal punching is a process in which metal materials are formed with a method called plastic deformation. This process is highly productive and it’s a preferred method for metal processing in different industry spheres. It’s a low-cost method and it has a high value when it comes to mass production of metal elements at a quick rate.
Despite the fact that this method appeared for the first time a long ago, it still continues to be a sustainable metal processing method with consideration of the production expenses and the time needed for the completion of the production process.
Metal punching offers us the opportunity to produce a product from a raw material in a very precise way and achieve a perfect form. It also allows us to immediately continue afterwards to the next production stage and launch the ready product.
One big advantage of this metal punching method is the lack of seam welding for the end product which is usually the weakest point in any construction. Besides, the material doesn’t lose its original qualities such as strength and resistance to corrosion during themetal punching process.
The specific thing about metal punching is that to produce a ready metal detail the billet metal needs to pass through several operations. These operations need to be done on specialized metal punching machines or on universal metal punching machines.
The production method is slow and difficult and for this reason it isn’t preferred by neither end-users, nor manufacturers. Universal metal punching machines and CNC machines are mostly preferred for mass production.
By metal punching we can produce different materials, but this production method finds the biggest application in the processing of metal sheets (sheet iron) with a considerably thin size.
Metal materials come most often in the form of bands and sheets. The bands are with a thickness of between3 to 8 mm, standard width of between 5 - 500 mm and a length of between 100 and 500 м. (they are delivered rolled into spools). The metal sheets are most often over 5 mm. thick and their standard size is 500 х 1000 mm. and 2000 х 6000 mm.
Metal sheets are used in the processing of single billet metal as well as in the production of heavy details while the bands are used for mass production as they relate to continuous casting billets.
The metal sheets need to have good mechanical qualities in order to be processed. They need to have the required plasticity and proper chemical composition, microstructure, surface quality, deformation and strengthening mechanisms and other characteristics. This is needed so that as an end result we have precisely made metal punching products.
Generally, the processing of sheet materials through plastic forming is done with compression power that is generated by mechanical and hydraulic metal punching machines. The metal forming process begins after thepreparation of a specific metal matrix according to which the element will be produced.After the preparationof the matrix, the metal sheet or metal bandis put onto the matrix and its material is compressed.
The compression power deforms the metal sheet material according to the form of a previously made matrix. Thanks to the perfect interaction between the metal punching machine and the metal matrix the list material is formed into an end product without any imperfections that need further processing.
Metal punching can be divided into two main operations: dividing operation (cutting, drilling and other) and forming operation (punching, drilling, twisting, yielding, and other).
The mechanical tools that are used in metal punching are many but the most commonly used are mechanical and disc scissors. Mechanical scissors with parallel and slanted teeth are used for cutting one part of the material that is processed. That’s because during the cutting process with these scissors the metal is twisted and it needs straightening.
Disc scissors for mechanical cutting are preferred because they can cut in both straight and in slanted lines.
Metal punching machine
One of the most often used metal punching machines is also called metal punching press. It consists of one or several removable matrices. Metal punching is done with different metal punching machines that have a complex construction and are divided into the following categories:
Before the processing of metal sheets or bands by a metal punching machine the sheet material undergoes initial cutting after which it’s placed on the metal punching machine to be turned into a ready product.
This metal punching machine usually has servo-electric control or CNC (computer numerical control). It is equipped with a control panel, built-in software and multi-positional heads with different tools. This allows precise processing of details without the need for previous or future processing steps. The machine is fully automated and it offers different automated processes such as detail feeding, slider mechanism for the ready details and other. The automatization of the whole production process reduces the time needed to produce metal parts and also cuts the total expenses.
As we have already mentioned, this is a process that has a wide application in different industry spheres. That’s thanks to the plastic deformation that allows the production of billet metal and metal details which cannot be produced by using other standard metal processing methods.
The products that can be made with metal punching are numerous. They can be metal details with a simple and complex shape, replaceable details made with high precision, tubular products, hollow products and other.
Metal punching allows the production of details in a very precise way which doesn’t need further processing. This metal processing method is highly valued in industry spheres like the automotive industry and aircraft construction. Products made with metal punching are used in medicine (for the production of medical tools), in building construction, in electronics, for the production of water-supply parts, electrical installations and in other spheres.
If you are still wondering what exactly metal punching is, just look around you. You can find elements made by metal punching in your car, in your music system, in your kitchen and bathroom appliances…
Metal punching is a process that truly offers fast and low-cost production of a variety of metal elements, billet metal and end products.