What is Sheet Metal Stamping and How Does It Work?

Modren hydraulic bending machine at metal manufactory.

When most people hear the word “stamping,” their first thought is either postage, or someone dipping a rubber stamp in ink to leave a mark on some kind of document. However, for manufacturers, stamping has a very different meaning, one that brings to mind heavy machinery that weighs thousands of pounds and can permanently reshape metal with sheer brute force.
In manufacturing, “stamping” usually refers to sheet metal stamping machinery and processes.

What is sheet metal stamping? How does it work? Here are the basics of the process as well as how it can be used.

What is Sheet Metal Stamping?
The technical definition of metal stamping is that it’s a type of cold forming process that uses extreme force and/or speed to permanently alter the shape of a piece of metal. For sheet metal stamping, the work piece is sheet metal. However, metal stamping machines can be used for metal wires and other metal forms as well.

In some circles, this process is known as “pressing.”

How Do Metal Stamping Machines Work?
The basic operating theory of a metal stamping machine is very simple: you take a large tool and die, put it into a machine that can exert several tons of force very quickly, and use them to press metal objects into the shape you want.

There are several different processes that a sheet metal stamping machine can typically perform:

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