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Choosing the Right Metal Stamping Material

Posted by Tim Lynch | 5/4/22 8:52 AM

Precision metal stamping is one of the most popular manufacturing processes for various industrial applications because it is quick, accurate, and repeatable as well as being a versatile, cost-effective metal forming process. When creating complex parts through metal stamping, it is imperative to choose the best raw materials for your application. Consulting with metal stamping specialists early in the process can help you evaluate the materials to ensure the material has the right properties to fit your needs.

How to Evaluate Materials for Metal Stamping

Selecting the correct material for your needs involves evaluating specific properties of the material such as:

  • Thickness and width of the material
  • How well metal stamping can form to specifications using that material
  • How the part will perform in the application and the operating environment
  • Material cost and availability

The properties of the metal also need to be considered. Those properties include:

  • Tensile strength
  • Elongation
  • Elasticity
  • Conductivity
  • Heat capacity
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Weldability
  • Machinability
  • Formability

Types of Metal

When you're choosing the correct metal for your metal-stamped parts, it's vital to understand which properties make the metal appropriate for the work it will be doing. Different metals have distinctive properties that make them suitable for specific uses. There are four categories of metals: ferrous, non-ferrous, precious metals, and noble (or other) metals.


Ferrous metals contain iron within the compound. These metals are magnetic, and they have limited resistance to corrosion.

Depending on the properties of the ferrous metal, you'll find it used in various industries including construction, agriculture, appliance, automotive, and medical.

Steel in its various forms is included in the category of ferrous metals. 


  • cost-effective
  • strong
  • durable
  • dense
  • holds up under constant use
  • holds up under stress
  • typically used in applications that do not rely on pleasing appearance
  • cost-effective
  • adaptable
  • suitable for various applications
  • available in grades with high load-bearing abilities
  • more controlled surface quality


  • resists extreme temperatures
  • resists corrosion
  • available in various grades
  • dependable
  • strong
  • easy to manufacture
  • aesthetically pleasing

HIGH-TENSILE STEEL (high strength low alloy HSLA)

  • contains low amounts of carbon
  • added alloying ingredients increase durability
  • ductile and malleable
  • resists corrosion
  • resists extreme temperatures
  • can be treated to improve hardness levels


  • available in various grades
  • ductile
  • easily machined
  • easily welded
  • typically used when high levels of corrosion resistance are needed


  • has amid-range amount of carbon
  • typically alloyed with other metals to enhance toughness
  • strong
  • wear resistant


  • has the highest amount of carbon
  • stronger than low- or medium-carbon steel
  • heat treatment enhances metal’s hardness


  • available in several grades
  • can be heat treated or coated to enhance properties and resistance to corrosion
  • often used in a soft or annealed state to allow for more intricate formations


Non-ferrous metals do not contain iron, which gives them a greater resistance to corrosion than ferrous metals. A major advantage of non-ferrous metals is that they are highly malleable, making them easier to shape and form using pressure.

Many industries use non-ferrous metal components including aerospace, marine, automotive, defense, and electronics.

Non-ferrous metals include:


  • dependable drawability
  • resists corrosion
  • soft
  • lightweight
  • sustainable
  • reflects light and heat
  • recycles easily
  • ductile and malleable
  • durable
  • alloy with other metals to increase strength
  • does not impart taste in packaging
  • prevents toxin leaks


  • excellent electrical conductivity
  • ductile and malleable
  • has antimicrobial properties,
  • withstands a variety of corrosive materials (neutral saline solutions, alkalis, industrial atmospheres, water, and non-oxidizing acids)
  • has an appealing appearance


  • combines aluminum and copper
  • versatile
  • strong
  • highly resistant to corrosion
  • ideal for electrical, mechanical, and thermal applications


  • lightweight
  • corrosion-resistant
  • flexible
  • malleable
  • excellent heat and electricity conductor
  • good strength to weight ratio
  • smooth
  • decorative finish
  • adhere to complex geometry
  • frequently used in the transportation industry for cost savings due to weight reduction


  • a soft alloy of zinc and copper
  • malleable
  • resists corrosion and fresh water
  • fluctuating surface regularity
  • softness, corrosion resistance, and chemical reactivity depending on the ratio of zinc to copper in the alloy
  • attractive


  • a copper alloy made from copper, tin, and phosphorus
  • resists corrosion
  • elastic
  • malleable
  • has a high rate of electrical conductivity
  • strong


  • malleable
  • doesn't spark
  • resistant to corrosion and oxidation
  • recyclable
  • easily made into complex shapes
  • improves tensile strength with heat treatment
  • an excellent conductor of heat and electricity


  • maintain properties under extremely high temperatures
  • resist high pressure
  • weld easily
  • resistant to atmospheric corrosion
  • strong, tough
  • most frequently used for metal-stamping production

Precious Metals

Precious metals are used in metal-stamping as a plating material or a coating. Limited availability and high cost make finding a stamping process that conserves precious metals a vital necessity.

Precious metals make good conductors of heat and electricity. They are used in the medical, electronics, and automotive industries.

The four primary precious metals used in metal stamping are:


  • very malleable
  • an excellent conductor of both heat and electricity


  • doesn't tarnish
  • an excellent conductor of both heat and electricity


  • soft and pliable
  • extremely resistant to corrosion and tarnishing


  • the best conductor of electricity
  • tarnishes

Noble/Other Metals

In the noble and other metals category are those metals known to resist corrosion and oxidation. These metals also are known to be extremely durable.

The industries that make use of the noble and other metals are varied and include medical, aerospace, petroleum, defense, and electronics. From laser technology to medical implants, these metals have a multitude of uses.


  • strong
  • resists corrosion
  • low-density
  • non-allergenic
  • non-toxic
  • sterilizes easily
  • heavier than aluminum
  • different grades available


  • an alloy made of cobalt, nickel, and chromium
  • resists corrosion
  • strong
  • high hardness level
  • durable


  • hypoallergenic
  • good resistance to corrosion
  • withstands high temperatures well
  • ductile
  • durable
  • stable
  • reasonably lightweight
  • used in mixed alloys to help improve strength

Allow A Metal Stamping Expert Assist You in Choosing the Right Material for your Metal Stamping Projects

Each metal has unique properties that make it uniquely suited for specific applications. Choosing the right material for metal stamping requires understanding the different qualities of each metal as well as any drawbacks of using the chosen material. The very property that makes a metal desirable for one application may not work for metal stamping and vice versa.

When you are choosing materials for your project, speaking to an expert who is well-versed in the properties of each metal can help you avoid unnecessary costs and lost time. An experienced metal stamping team can guide you through each step of the process to ensure the high-quality results you expect.

Get details on a range of metals to help you choose the right material for your application.
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Topics: Materials