Deep Draw Stamping Cosmetic Parts

Cosmetic Parts

Deep draw stamping is a critical process in manufacturing, especially for cosmetic parts that require high precision and flawless surface quality. This method involves pulling a metal sheet into a die to form a desired shape, posing several metallurgical and engineering challenges. Ensuring the production of high-quality cosmetic parts through deep draw stamping requires addressing these issues comprehensively.

Metallurgical Issues

Material Selection
The choice of material is paramount in deep draw stamping. Common materials include aluminum, stainless steel, and various alloys, each presenting unique challenges:
  1. Aluminum: Preferred for its lightweight and corrosion resistance, aluminum can be prone to tearing and wrinkling during the drawing process due to its lower ductility than other metals.
  2. Stainless Steel: Known for its strength and aesthetic appeal, stainless steel is more challenging to draw due to its higher yield strength, leading to increased tool wear and the need for more robust machinery.
  3. Steel: Different alloys are used to achieve specific properties, such as increased strength or improved formability. However, alloying elements can complicate the drawing process by affecting the metal’s flow characteristics and surface finish. Usually, D&H uses cold rolled steel to control gauge tolerances and surface finishes, but sometimes hot rolled is used as well.

Formability refers to the material’s ability to undergo plastic deformation without failure. Achieving high formability is crucial for cosmetic parts to prevent defects such as cracks, tears, or wrinkles. Factors influencing formability include:
  1. Grain Structure: Fine, uniform grain structures enhance formability, reducing the likelihood of defects. Controlling the cooling rate and subsequent heat treatments can help achieve the desired grain structure.
  2. Work Hardening: Metals that harden quickly during deformation can lead to early failure. Understanding the chosen material’s work hardening behavior helps adjust the process parameters to avoid excessive hardening. D&H used draw simulation software to understand material behaviors before die designs were complete.

Surface Finish
The surface finish of cosmetic parts is critical. Any defects, such as scratches, dents, or uneven surfaces, can render the part unusable. Factors affecting surface finish include:
  1. Surface Quality of Raw Material: The initial quality of the sheet metal plays a significant role. Imperfections on the surface can be magnified during the drawing process. Issues like Lueder lines, scratches, and dents will only magnify and propagate on formed parts.
  2. Lubrication: Proper lubrication reduces friction between the metal and die, preventing surface scratches and other defects. However, the type and amount of lubricant must be carefully controlled to avoid contamination or excessive buildup. D&H has extensive experience using various oils, chemistries, and viscosities of oil and oil application.
  3. Tooling Surface: The condition of the die surface directly impacts the finished part’s surface. Polished and well-maintained dies are essential to achieve a high-quality finish.

Mechanical Properties
The mechanical properties of the metal, such as tensile strength, yield strength, and elongation, dictate how the material will behave during the drawing process. Understanding these properties allows for better control over the process to minimize defects and ensure the integrity of the final product.

Engineering Issues

Die Design
Die design is a crucial aspect of deep draw stamping. It determines the metal’s flow and influences the final product’s overall quality. Key considerations in die design include:
  1. Clearances: Proper clearances between the punch and die are essential to accommodate the material’s thickness and avoid excessive thinning or tearing.
  2. Die Radii: The radii of the die and punch must be optimized to ensure smooth material flow and prevent cracking. Sharp radii can cause stress concentrations, leading to defects.
  3. Draw Beads: These are features added to the die to control the material flow, reducing the risk of wrinkling and ensuring uniform thickness distribution.
Here again, &H Personnel have hundreds of years of extensive experience with cosmetic parts and deep-drawn parts.

Tooling Wear and Maintenance
Tooling wear is a significant issue in deep draw stamping, especially when dealing with harder materials like stainless steel. Regular maintenance and timely replacement of worn tools are necessary to maintain the quality of the stamped parts. Techniques to reduce tool wear include:
  1. Surface Treatments: Applying coatings such as TiN (titanium nitride) or DLC (diamond-like carbon) can enhance the durability of the tools by reducing friction and wear.
  2. Material Selection for Tools: High-speed steels and carbides are commonly used for tooling due to their hardness and wear resistance.
Once again, D&H die designers have used many materials and coatings on dies for various applications.

Process Parameters
Controlling process parameters is essential for successful deep draw stamping. Key parameters include:
  1. Blank Holder Force: The force applied by the blank holder must be carefully controlled to prevent wrinkling while allowing smooth metal flow. Too much force can cause tearing, while too little can lead to wrinkles.
  2. Drawing Speed: The speed at which the punch moves into the die affects the material’s behavior. A slower speed can reduce the risk of defects but may increase cycle time.
  3. Temperature: Heating the blank can improve formability and reduce defects for certain materials. However, temperature control adds complexity to the process and requires additional equipment.

Springback refers to the elastic recovery of the material after the forming process, which can lead to dimensional inaccuracies. Factors influencing springback include:
  1. Material Properties: High-strength materials tend to exhibit more springback.
  2. Geometry of the Part: Complex shapes and tight radii are more prone to springback.
  3. Process Parameters: Adjusting the draw depth and blank holder force can help mitigate springback.

Quality Control
Ensuring the quality of cosmetic parts requires rigorous inspection and quality control measures. Techniques include:
  1. Visual Inspection: Identifying surface defects such as scratches, dents, or discoloration.
  2. Dimensional Inspection: Using tools like coordinate measuring machines (CMM) to verify that the part meets dimensional specifications.
  3. Non-Destructive Testing: Ultrasonic testing can detect internal defects without damaging the part.

Simulation and Modeling
Computer-aided engineering (CAE) advances have made it possible to simulate the deep draw stamping process, allowing engineers to predict potential issues and optimize the process parameters before actual production. Benefits of simulation include:
  1. Reduced Development Time: Identifying and addressing potential problems early in the design phase can significantly shorten the development cycle.
  2. Cost Savings: Reducing the number of physical prototypes needed through virtual testing.
  3. Improved Quality: Optimizing the process parameters to achieve the desired part quality.

Deep draw stamping of cosmetic parts involves numerous metallurgical and engineering challenges. Addressing these issues requires a comprehensive understanding of material properties, die design, process parameters, and quality control measures. Advances in simulation and modeling have provided powerful tools to optimize the process and ensure the production of high-quality parts. By carefully considering these factors, manufacturers can achieve the precision and surface finish required for cosmetic applications, ultimately leading to superior products and satisfied customers.

Contact D&H Industries today for more information on our metal stamping services or request a quote!