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What is Deep Drawing?

Deep drawing is a compression-tension metal forming process in which a sheet metal blank is radially drawn into a forming die by the mechanical action of a punch. It is thus a shape transformation process with material retention. The flange region (sheet metal in the die shoulder area) experiences a radial drawing stress and a tangential compressive stress due to the material retention property. These compressive stresses (hoop stresses) result in flange wrinkles (wrinkles of the first order). Wrinkles can be prevented by using a blank holder, the function of which is to facilitate controlled material flow into the die radius.

The total drawing load consists of the ideal forming load and an additional component to compensate for friction in the contacting areas of the flange region and bending forces at the die radius. The forming load is transferred from the punch radius through the drawn part wall into the deformation region (sheet metal flange). Due to tensile forces acting in the part wall, wall thinning is prominent and results in an uneven part wall thickness. It can be observed that the part wall thickness is lowest at the point where the part wall loses contact with the punch, i.e. at the punch radius. The thinnest part thickness determines the maximum stress that can be transferred to the deformation zone. Due to material volume constancy, the flange thickens and results in blank holder contact at the outer boundary rather than on the entire surface. The maximum stress that can be safely transferred from the punch to the blank sets a limit on the maximum blank size (initial blank diameter in the case of rotation ally symmetrical blanks). An indicator of material form ability is the limiting drawing ratio (LDR), defined as the ratio of the maximum blank diameter that can be safely drawn into a cup without flange to the punch diameter. Determination of the LDR for complex components is difficult and hence the part is inspected for critical areas for which an approximation is possible.
Commercial applications of this metal shaping process often involve complex geometries with straight sides and radii. In such a case, the term stamping is used in order to distinguish between the deep drawing (radial tension-tangential compression) and stretch-and-bend (along the straight sides) components.

Deep drawing has been classified into conventional and unconventional deep drawing. The main aim of any unconventional deep drawing process is to extend the form ability limits of the process. Some of the unconventional processes include hydro mechanical deep drawing, Hydro form process, Aqua draw process, Guerin process, Mar form process and the hydraulic deep drawing process to name a few.

The Mar form process, for example, operates using the principle of rubber pad forming techniques. Deep-recessed parts with either vertical or slopped walls can be formed. In this type of forming, the die rig employs a rubber pad as one tool half and a solid tool half, similar to the die in a conventional die set, to form a component into its final shape. Dies are made of cast light alloys and the rubber pad is 1.5-2 times thicker than the component to be formed. For Mar forming, single-action presses are equipped with die cushions and blank holders. The blank is held against the rubber pad by a blank holder, through which a punch is acting as in conventional deep drawing. It is a double-acting apparatus: at first the ram slides down, then the blank holder moves: this feature allows it to perform deep drawings (30-40% transverse dimension) with no wrinkles.

Industrial uses of deep drawing processes include automotive body and structural parts, aircraft components, utensils and white goods. Complex parts are normally formed using progressive dies in a single forming press or by using a press line.

TAGs: Stamping

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