I remember distinctly my initial knowledge of building a die that was designed to aluminium die casting china in to a deep, contoured shape. Being unsure of much about aluminum, I assumed that it needs to be extremely formable-in the end, they can make beverage cans from it, don’t they?

My first thoughts were, “This can be a cake walk. I’ll bet this stuff 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 sizable part of my hair attempting to make that job work. I have to have spent weeks fighting splits and wrinkles. It wasn’t prior to I arrived at the actual final outcome that drawing and stretching aluminum were not as simple as I needed thought.

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Since I am a little wiser with regards to the formability of aluminum and aluminum alloys, I understand that my problem was not the fault of the aluminum, but alternatively the point that in the die tryout stages, I was thinking like steel rather than aluminum. Until then, all of the things i will have carried out to correct the situation by using a die that had been forming steel, I did so using the aluminum. Naturally, I failed.

To be honest 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 can this make aluminum challenging to form? No, not if you believe like aluminum.

Aluminum is not a bad metal; it’s simply a different metal. Like any metal, it offers positives and negatives, and the bottom line is to learn the material’s behavior before designing a part or creating this process and die which can be to create it.


In case you are comparing aluminum to deep-drawing steel, generally you will see that aluminum lacks close 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 will have elongation near 30 percent.

Generally speaking and based on the alloy, aluminum has poor stretch distribution characteristics in comparison with deep-drawing steel. It is actually 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 take place in a little, localized area.

However, understand that the forming punch geometry includes a greater affect on exactly how the metal stretches compared to the metal itself. Stamped parts to be created from aluminum should be designed in order that the part shape forces the metal to distribute stretch more evenly.

Aluminum ironing process

Figure 2Generally speaking, aluminum is an excellent material when ironing works extremely well. During ironing, the metal is squeezed down a vertical wall to improve the surface area while lowering the metal’s thickness. Ironing may be the basic process utilized to make beverage cans.

Parts requiring a great deal of stretch in a small area with small male radii are doomed to fail if designed of aluminum, particularly if the final geometry will be made within a forming operation. As opposed, large, liberal radii and flowing, gentle geometries are best-suitable for aluminum.


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 surface due to tension.

Dependant upon the type, aluminum can draw perfectly (see Figure 1). It possesses a good strength-to-weight ratio and is also well-fitted to the deep-drawing process, and also multiple draw reductions. The reductions percentages are really comparable to those often used when drawing deep-drawing steel.

Tooling Interface

Although aluminum is soft, it can nonetheless be abrasive. While it is not going to rust conventionally, it forms a white powdery substance called aluminum oxide, which is often used to create 10dexppky wheels. This means the identical abrasive you have been utilizing to grind your tool steel die sections might be present in the aluminum sheet surface.

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

Generally, aluminum is an excellent material when ironing may be used. During ironing, the metal is squeezed down a vertical wall to boost the surface area while lowering the metal’s thickness. It increases the metal sheet’s surface area by squeezing the metal instead of exposing it to tension. Ironing may be the basic process employed to make beverage cans (seeFigure 2).

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

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