If you are looking for a way to produce high-quality metal parts with smooth and even edges, Fineblanking might be the solution for you. Fineblanking is a specialized metal-forming process that combines cold extrusion and stamping technologies to produce parts that cannot be made by other stamping methods. In this blog post, we will explain what Fineblanking technology is, how it works, and what are its advantages and applications.
What is Fineblanking technology?
Originally developed for the Swiss watchmaking of precision gears, Fineblanking, also known as precision blanking, is a process that involves cutting a metal sheet with a punch and a die, while applying high pressure from both sides of the sheet and the part. This pressure prevents the metal from tearing or bending during the cutting process, and results in a clean and straight cut edge. Fineblanking can produce parts with very tight dimensional tolerances, excellent flatness, and intricate features such as forms, bends, coining, countersinks, counterbores, and more.
How does Fineblanking technology work?
Fineblanking technology uses a triple-action press that consists of three main components: a punch, a die, and an ejector. The punch is the tool that cuts the metal sheet into the desired shape. The die is the tool that supports the metal sheet and has a cavity that matches the shape of the punch. The ejector is the tool that applies counter pressure to the metal sheet from below and pushes the cut part out of the die.
The Fineblanking process involves four steps:
- Clamping: The metal sheet is clamped between the punch and the die with a ring-shaped tool called a stinger. The stinger applies high pressure to the sheet and creates lateral pressure on the inner surface of the cut edge. This helps to prevent tearing and lateral flow of metal in the shear zone.
- Counterforce: This applies opposing pressure to the part shape during the blanking process.
- Blanking: The punch blanks the metal sheet into a part along the edge shape of the die. The ejector applies counter pressure to the sheet from below and compresses the material in the shear zone. This creates three-way compressive stress in the material and eliminates tensile stress that causes bending, stretching, and tearing. The result is a pure shear along the cut edge that produces a smooth and even surface. The clearance is typically 0.5% to 1% of the material thickness, which is much smaller than in conventional blanking. The small clearance reduces the stress concentration and improves the material’s plasticity in the shear zone. The punch starts to move downward and pierces the metal sheet with a small clearance between the punch and the die.
- Ejection: The punch retracts and the ejector pushes the cut part out of the die. The stinger releases the clamped sheet and prepares for the next cycle.
What are the advantages of Fineblanking technology?
Fineblanking technology offers several advantages over conventional blanking or other metal-forming methods such as machining, forging, casting, or powder metallurgy. Some of these advantages are:
– High-quality edges: Fineblanked parts have cleanly sheared and straight-cut edges that can hold very tight dimensional tolerances throughout the thickness of the part. The straight-cut edges also provide excellent and functional bearing surfaces.
– High strength: Fineblanked parts are made with rolled stock, which makes them inherently stronger than powder metal components or cast components. Often this increased strength enables engineers to design smaller, lighter fineblanked components than would be designed for PM or casting.
– High precision: Fineblanked parts have excellent flatness as a result of the counter pressure applied throughout the blanking cycle. This often eliminates the need for secondary grinding or reduces the amount of stock that needs to be removed in grinding, saving time and cost.
– High flexibility: Fineblanked parts can have complex shapes and features that are difficult or impossible to produce by other methods. Multi-station progressive Fineblanking tooling can create parts with forms, bends, coining, countersinks, counterbores, and more in one operation.
– High accuracy: Fineblanked parts have high positional accuracy and repeatability as a result of the construction of fineblank tooling. True position tolerances can be held very closely throughout the life of a tool.
What are some applications of Fineblanking technology?
Fineblanking technology can be used to produce parts for various industries such as automobiles, motorcycles, electronics, medical devices, aerospace, defense, and more. Some examples of fineblanked parts are:
The benefit to Fineblanking is that it eliminates extra steps in the manufacturing process, saving costs. For example, casting, stampings and cold headings would require secondary machining/operations.
Fineblanking technology is a powerful metal-forming process that can help you achieve high-quality, high-precision, and high-strength parts for your applications at a lower cost. If you are interested in learning more about Fineblanking technology or want to get a quote for your project, contact us today. We are a leading Fineblanking company with state-of-the-art equipment, in-house finishing capabilities, and experienced engineers. We can help you design and produce fineblanked parts that meet your specifications and exceed your expectations.