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I remember distinctly my very first knowledge of constructing a die which had been expected to aluminium die casting china in to a deep, contoured shape. Not being totally sure much about aluminum, I assumed that it must be extremely formable-in fact, they create beverage cans from using it, don’t they?

My first thoughts were, “This will 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 think I lost a huge section of my hair working to make that job work. I have to 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 elementary as I needed thought.

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Since I am just just a little wiser with regards to the formability of aluminum and aluminum alloys, I know that my problem was actually not the fault from the aluminum, but alternatively the truth that during the die tryout stages, I had been thinking like steel instead of aluminum. Up until then, all of the things i would have performed to correct the problem using a die that was forming steel, I did with all the aluminum. Of course, I failed.

The fact is that aluminum will not be steel. It doesn’t behave like steel, it doesn’t flow like steel, and it certainly doesn’t stretch like steel. So can this make aluminum tough to form? No, not if you think like aluminum.

Aluminum is not a bad metal; it’s only a different metal. Like every metal, they have advantages and disadvantages, and the key is to know the material’s behavior before designing a part or creating the process and die which can be to create it.


Should you be comparing aluminum to deep-drawing steel, generally you will see 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 can have elongation near 30 percent.

Most of the time and according to the alloy, aluminum has poor stretch distribution characteristics compared to deep-drawing steel. It is regarded as a material that strains locally, which means most of the stretch that happens when the metal is subjected to a stretching operation will occur in a little, localized area.

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

Aluminum ironing process

Figure 2Generally speaking, aluminum is a good material when ironing works extremely well. During ironing, the metal is squeezed down a vertical wall to enhance the outer lining area while lowering the metal’s thickness. Ironing is the basic process utilized to make beverage cans.

Parts requiring a great deal of stretch in a tiny area with small male radii are doomed for failure if designed of aluminum, specifically if the final geometry will be made in just one forming operation. As opposed, large, liberal radii and flowing, gentle geometries are the best-suited for aluminum.


First, don’t confuse drawability with stretchability. Drawability is definitely the metal’s power to flow plastically when exposed to tension, while stretchability will be the increase of surface as the result of tension.

Depending on the type, aluminum can draw well (see Figure 1). It has a good strength-to-weight ratio and is also well-suited to the deep-drawing process, in addition to multiple draw reductions. The reductions percentages are really much like those often used when drawing deep-drawing steel.

Tooling Interface

Although aluminum is soft, it can nonetheless be abrasive. Even though it will not rust conventionally, it forms a white powdery substance called aluminum oxide, which is used to create 10dexppky wheels. It means the same abrasive you have been utilizing to grind your tool steel die sections might be present about the aluminum sheet surface.

You may prevent this poor interface by using high-pressure barrier lubricants, which keep your aluminum from touching the tool steel sections during forming and cutting.

Generally, aluminum is a superb material when ironing may be used. During ironing, the metal is squeezed down a vertical wall to increase the top area while reducing the metal’s thickness. It improves the metal sheet’s area by squeezing the metal instead of exposing it to tension. Ironing may be the basic process utilized to make beverage cans (seeFigure 2).

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

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