If you were to ask an average person on the street what deep drawing is, they might assume that it was a psychedelic art movement started on some 1960’s art school. Instead, deep drawing is instead a complex sheet metal forming process where metal blanks can be formed into shapes that we people use every day. Deep drawn products include aluminum cans, metal wash basins and sinks, and many other household products that can be found in homes and businesses all over the world.
How does it work?
Essentially, the process of deep drawing is mechanical force radially drawing blank sheet metal over a die. If there’s an easy way to visualize it, think of a thin rubber membrane like the skin of balloon being pulled over a shape – replace the balloon with metal and essentially, you have deep drawing in a nutshell.
This process is used to create all types of products as manufacturers can create all types of parts from relatively simple dies.
As simple as the process may sound at first glance, there are some minor issues that must be taken into account when a deciding upon a partner such as CFI. A product that is made via the deep drawing process cannot guarantee the same exact tolerance that other processes can due to a chaining effect as well as wrinkling in the metal.
The main reason for these issues is because deep drawing is effectively warping the metal. While welding other shaping processes such as the English Wheel warp metal, the act of punching complex shapes into metal has a relatively higher chance of warping the metal with more complex shapes – unless precautions such as blank holders, lubrication between the punch and die as well as cooling processes, are used.
Most metals can be deep drawn, although the most popular metals include malleable, moderately inexpensive and easily found metals such as aluminum, Brass, cold-rolled steel and stainless steel. Surprisingly, the more malleable the material is, the more likely it is to warp.
While deep drawing is an excellent way to shape material inexpensively and efficiently, there are risks that must be taken into consideration.