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I remember distinctly my initial knowledge about developing a die that had been expected to aluminium die casting china into a deep, contoured shape. Not being totally sure much about aluminum, I assumed that it ought to be extremely formable-after all, they create beverage cans from it, don’t they?

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

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

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

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Seeing that I am just a little bit wiser with respect to the formability of aluminum and aluminum alloys, I realize that my problem was really not the fault in the aluminum, but the point that during the die tryout stages, I found myself thinking like steel as an alternative to aluminum. Until then, everything that I will have carried out to correct the situation with a die that had been forming steel, I have done using the aluminum. Naturally, I failed.

The truth is that aluminum is not really 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 challenging to form? No, not if you think like aluminum.

Aluminum is not a bad metal; it’s merely a different metal. Like all metal, they have positives and negatives, and the key is to learn the material’s behavior before designing a part or creating the method and die which can be to generate it.


When you are comparing aluminum to deep-drawing steel, generally you will see that aluminum lacks near to the elongation ability of steel. For example, 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.

Generally and depending on the alloy, aluminum has poor stretch distribution characteristics compared to deep-drawing steel. It is regarded as a material that strains locally, meaning that most of the stretch that occurs when the metal is put through a stretching operation will take place in a tiny, localized area.

However, keep in mind that the forming punch geometry features a greater affect on how the metal stretches compared to the metal itself. Stamped parts to become made from aluminum should be designed so the part shape forces the metal to distribute stretch more evenly.

Aluminum ironing process

Figure 2Generally speaking, aluminum is a superb material when ironing may be used. During ironing, the metal is squeezed down a vertical wall to improve the outer lining area while reducing the metal’s thickness. Ironing is 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, especially if the final geometry is usually to be made in just one forming operation. In contrast, large, liberal radii and flowing, gentle geometries work best-suited for aluminum.


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

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

Tooling Interface

Although aluminum is soft, it can still be abrasive. While it does not rust conventionally, it forms a white powdery substance called aluminum oxide, that is utilized to produce 10dexppky wheels. This means exactly the same abrasive that you may have been utilizing to grind your tool steel die sections might be present in the aluminum sheet surface.

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

Generally speaking, aluminum is a superb material when ironing can be used. During ironing, the metal is squeezed down a vertical wall to improve the outer lining area while lowering the metal’s thickness. It increases the metal sheet’s surface area by squeezing the metal rather than exposing it to tension. Ironing is definitely the basic process used 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 your mirrorlike surface finish.

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