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I remember distinctly my initial exposure to creating a die which had been supposed to aluminium die casting china right into a deep, contoured shape. Not being totally sure much about aluminum, I assumed that it ought to be extremely formable-in the end, they make beverage cans as a result, don’t they?

My first thoughts were, “This could be a cake walk. I’ll bet these things stretches a mile. Yep, it should stretch a whole lot because it’s really soft.”

This thought process was obviously a testimony to my ignorance regarding aluminum.

I do believe I lost a huge portion of my hair making that job work. I must have spent weeks fighting splits and wrinkles. It wasn’t a long time before I got to the conclusion that drawing and stretching aluminum were not as simple as I had thought.

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Since I am just a little wiser with regards to the formability of aluminum and aluminum alloys, I understand that my problem was actually not the fault from the aluminum, but alternatively the reality that throughout the die tryout stages, I was thinking like steel instead of aluminum. Until then, all of the things i could have performed to correct the issue having a die that had been forming steel, I did so with the aluminum. Needless to say, I failed.

To be honest that aluminum is not steel. It doesn’t behave like steel, it doesn’t flow like steel, plus it certainly doesn’t stretch like steel. So can this make aluminum difficult to form? No, not if you consider like aluminum.

Aluminum is not necessarily a bad metal; it’s only a different metal. Like every metal, they have positives and negatives, and the trick is to comprehend the material’s behavior before designing a part or creating the method and die which are to make it.


In case you are comparing aluminum to deep-drawing steel, generally you will recognize that aluminum lacks near to the elongation ability of steel. As an illustration, typical deep-drawing steel has elongation somewhere around 45 percent, while a 3003-O temper, meaning “dead soft,” aluminum may have elongation near 30 percent.

Most of the time and based on the alloy, aluminum has poor stretch distribution characteristics in comparison with deep-drawing steel. It is regarded as a material that strains locally, which means many of the stretch that takes place when the metal is exposed to a stretching operation will occur in a little, localized area.

However, understand that the forming punch geometry features a greater affect on the way the metal stretches than the metal itself. Stamped parts to get created from aluminum has to be designed so the part shape forces the metal to distribute stretch more evenly.

Aluminum ironing process

Figure 2Generally speaking, aluminum is a good material when ironing can be utilized. During ironing, the metal is squeezed down a vertical wall to boost the top area while decreasing the metal’s thickness. Ironing will be the basic process accustomed to make beverage cans.

Parts requiring significant amounts of stretch in a tiny area with small male radii are doomed to fail if designed of aluminum, particularly if the final geometry is to be made in a single forming operation. As opposed, large, liberal radii and flowing, gentle geometries work best-best for aluminum.


First, don’t confuse drawability with stretchability. Drawability will be the metal’s capacity to flow plastically when subjected to tension, while stretchability is definitely the increase of area due to tension.

Based on the type, aluminum can draw adequately (see Figure 1). It possesses a good strength-to-weight ratio and it is well-designed for the deep-drawing process, as well as multiple draw reductions. The reductions percentages are extremely similar to those often used when drawing deep-drawing steel.

Tooling Interface

Although aluminum is soft, it may still be abrasive. Though it is not going to rust conventionally, it forms a white powdery substance called aluminum oxide, which is used to create 10dexppky wheels. It means a similar abrasive that you have been utilizing to grind your tool steel die sections could be present about the aluminum sheet surface.

You can prevent this poor interface by utilizing high-pressure barrier lubricants, which retain the aluminum from touching the tool steel sections during forming and cutting.

Generally speaking, aluminum is a great material when ironing may be used. During ironing, the metal is squeezed down a vertical wall to enhance the outer lining area while decreasing the metal’s thickness. It increases the metal sheet’s surface area by squeezing the metal instead of exposing it to tension. Ironing will be the basic process used to make beverage cans (seeFigure 2).

When aluminum is ironed, it almost compressively flows like a hot liquid along the wall of your die cavity and punch, and it shines to your mirrorlike surface finish.

Aluminum has more springback than soft draw-quality steel. However, the quantity of springback that happens may be controlled by designing the stamped product with respect to the springback value.