There are many different options in the creation of any type of metal part. Some of the possibilities include extrusion, machining, fabrication or the use of precision metal stamping.
All will create a part that is precise, meets all required tolerances and looks and performs to the requirements for the component. However, there are cost factors, efficiency, and waste that also need to be looked at more closely before choosing the right method.
With precision metal stamping, large sheets of metal are used in combination with specially constructed dies and extremely high-pressure types of presses. These high tonnage presses force the metal of the sheet through the die. This can be used to create holes, folds, shapes and even uses tensile forces to draw the metal to the desired thickness over different parts of the shape.
This is a fast, efficient method that produces limited waste, doesn’t require heating of the metal, so it is less energy intensive and also limits the need for any additional machining processes on the completed part.
Extrusion, like precision metal stamping, can be used for simple to complex parts. It uses semi-liquid metal that is forced through a die under pressure to create a specific shape. This shape is then cooled and cut into the desired lengths.
Extrusion is a longer process with some metals requiring an aging process after the extrusion to reverse granular changes in the metal. It is also limited in the types of shapes that can be formed due to the challenges that are found with complex types of dies.
Machining can be a fast process, particularly with CNC machining centers. However, there is a lot of waste involved as it removes material from the workpiece to create the interior and exterior shapes required.
Choosing the right option for the manufacturing of parts and components starts with understanding the possible processes and then evaluating them for efficiency and cost.