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I remember distinctly my first exposure to developing a die which was expected to aluminium die casting china into a deep, contoured shape. Not understanding much about aluminum, I assumed that it must be extremely formable-all things considered, 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 needs to 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 huge section of my hair making that job work. I must have spent weeks fighting splits and wrinkles. It wasn’t well before I got to the actual final outcome 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 respect to the formability of aluminum and aluminum alloys, I realize that my problem was actually not the fault of your aluminum, but rather the fact that throughout the die tryout stages, I had been thinking like steel as an alternative to aluminum. Up to then, everything that we would have carried out to correct the situation by using a die that had been forming steel, I have done together with the aluminum. Of course, I failed.

The truth is 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 does this make aluminum hard to form? No, not if you consider like aluminum.

Aluminum is not a bad metal; it’s simply a different metal. Like every metal, it has benefits and drawbacks, and the secret is to comprehend the material’s behavior before designing a part or creating the procedure and die that are to create it.


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

Most of the time and based on the alloy, aluminum has poor stretch distribution characteristics when compared with deep-drawing steel. It is known as a material that strains locally, which means that most of the stretch that happens when the metal is subjected to a stretching operation will take place in a small, localized area.

However, remember that the forming punch geometry includes a greater impact on the way the metal stretches compared to the metal itself. Stamped parts to get made out of aluminum has to be designed to ensure 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 used. During ironing, the metal is squeezed down a vertical wall to increase the surface area while reducing the metal’s thickness. Ironing is definitely the basic process accustomed to make beverage cans.

Parts requiring quite a lot of stretch in a small area with small male radii are doomed for failure if designed of aluminum, specifically if the final geometry is going to be made within a forming operation. In comparison, large, liberal radii and flowing, gentle geometries work best-suitable for aluminum.


First, don’t confuse drawability with stretchability. Drawability may be the metal’s ability to flow plastically when exposed to tension, while stretchability may be the increase of surface area as the result of tension.

Based on the type, aluminum can draw adequately (see Figure 1). It features a good strength-to-weight ratio and it is well-suited to the deep-drawing process, and also multiple draw reductions. The reductions percentages are incredibly corresponding to those often used when drawing deep-drawing steel.

Tooling Interface

Although aluminum is soft, it can nevertheless be abrasive. Although it is not going to rust conventionally, it forms a white powdery substance called aluminum oxide, which is often used to help make 10dexppky wheels. That means exactly the same abrasive which you have been utilizing to grind your tool steel die sections could be present in the aluminum sheet surface.

You may prevent this poor interface through the use of high-pressure barrier lubricants, which maintain the aluminum from touching the tool steel sections during forming and cutting.

Generally speaking, aluminum is a good material when ironing may 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 by squeezing the metal instead of exposing it to tension. Ironing is the basic process employed to make beverage cans (seeFigure 2).

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

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