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I remember distinctly my initial knowledge about constructing a die which was designed to die casting manufacturer right into a deep, contoured shape. Not being totally sure much about aluminum, I assumed that it needs to be extremely formable-in fact, they can make beverage cans from this, don’t they?

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

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

I feel I lost a large part of my hair making that job work. I must have spent weeks fighting splits and wrinkles. It wasn’t a long time before I stumbled on the conclusion that drawing and stretching aluminum were not as easy as I had thought.

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Since I am just a little wiser with respect to the formability of aluminum and aluminum alloys, I understand that my problem was not the fault from the aluminum, but the point that throughout the die tryout stages, I had been thinking like steel as opposed to aluminum. Up until then, all of the things which i could have performed to correct the situation having a die which had been forming steel, I did with all the aluminum. Of course, I failed.

The reality is that aluminum is just not steel. It doesn’t behave like steel, it doesn’t flow like steel, plus it certainly doesn’t stretch like steel. So accomplishes this make aluminum challenging to form? No, not if you believe like aluminum.

Aluminum is not a bad metal; it’s merely a different metal. Like all metal, it has advantages and disadvantages, and the key is to comprehend the material’s behavior before designing a part or creating this process and die which are to create it.

Stretchability

Should you be comparing aluminum to deep-drawing steel, generally you will recognize that aluminum lacks close to the elongation ability of steel. For instance, typical deep-drawing steel has elongation somewhere around 45 percent, while a 3003-O temper, meaning “dead soft,” aluminum can have elongation near 30 percent.

In most cases and according to the alloy, aluminum has poor stretch distribution characteristics compared to deep-drawing steel. It is known as a material that strains locally, meaning that a lot of the stretch that takes place when the metal is exposed to a stretching operation will occur in a tiny, localized area.

However, take into account that the forming punch geometry carries a greater effect on the way the metal stretches compared to the metal itself. Stamped parts to get made from aluminum should be designed to ensure the part shape forces the metal to distribute stretch more evenly.

Aluminum ironing process

Figure 2Generally speaking, aluminum is a great material when ironing may be used. During ironing, the metal is squeezed down a vertical wall to improve the outer lining area while decreasing the metal’s thickness. Ironing will be the basic process utilized to make beverage cans.

Parts requiring quite a lot of stretch in a small area with small male radii are doomed to fail if designed of aluminum, specifically if the final geometry is usually to be made in one forming operation. On the other hand, large, liberal radii and flowing, gentle geometries are best-best for aluminum.

Drawability

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

Depending on the type, aluminum can draw perfectly (see Figure 1). It features 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 really similar to those often used when drawing deep-drawing steel.

Tooling Interface

Although aluminum is soft, it can nevertheless be abrasive. While it is not going to rust conventionally, it forms a white powdery substance called aluminum oxide, which is used to produce 10dexppky wheels. Which means a similar abrasive that you have been utilizing to grind your tool steel die sections might be present about the aluminum sheet surface.

You are able to prevent this poor interface through the use of high-pressure barrier lubricants, which keep your aluminum from touching the tool steel sections during forming and cutting.

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

When aluminum is ironed, it almost compressively flows such as a hot liquid along the wall in the die cavity and punch, and it also shines to a mirrorlike surface finish.

Aluminum has more springback than soft draw-quality steel. However, the level of springback that takes place can be controlled by designing the stamped product with regards to the springback value.

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