Stainless Steel Stamping Capabilities
Prototype & Short-Run Services has been providing superior quality, custom stainless steel stampings for more than two decades. We specialize in deep drawn stainless steel components and prototype parts. Our high precision, perfectly repeatable production capabilities allow us to deliver complete-to-print parts in quantities to meet your demands and in quick turnaround times to meet your schedule.
We are a full-service metal stamping job shop with the capabilities to take your project from the concept and design stages to full production. We can provide design assistance and engineering, as needed, as well as a variety of finishing services (heat treating, deburring, etc.) to create stainless steel stampings that meet your unique requirements.
Deep Drawn Stainless Steel
In the deep drawing process, sheet metal is formed into the desired part shape using a mechanical press and a series of progressive dies. First, the stainless steel sheet is “blanked,” or cut into round or shaped flats. From there, the blanks are fed into a drawing machine, where a steel punch presses the metal into the dies in turn, with each one moving the material closer to the final shape of the part. This results in seamless, one-piece metal parts.
Any holes the design may require are punched through the part after the drawing process. Excess material is trimmed after the part is finished.
Deep drawing is a “cold working” process. As the stainless steel is stretched and formed into part shapes, its grain structure is altered and the material is work hardened. This gives deep drawn stainless steel parts greater physical strength than the original material from which they’re made.
Our deep drawing expertise enables us to produce both simple and complex stainless steel parts with incredible precision. More intricate part designs often require more steps/dies in the drawing process, but can ultimately be produced just as efficiently and effectively as basic designs.
Stainless Steel Grades
We can produce deep drawn stainless steel products and prototype parts in numerous grades, including, but not limited to:
- 304 stainless steel
- 305 stainless steel
- 310 stainless steel
- Etc. etc.
Characteristics of Stainless Steel
Created by British metallurgist Harry Brearly in 1913, stainless steel is a steel alloy containing a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass. Other materials, such as nickel, niobium, and molybdenum may also be included. The material is ideal for applications where both the physical properties of steel and corrosion resistance are needed.
The addition of chromium helps the material resist corrosion from air and moisture that results in rusting (or “staining”) in standard low carbon steel. The chromium content naturally combines with atmospheric oxygen to form a microscopically thin—yet stable—layer of chromium oxide. This passive oxide layer prevents oxygen diffusion on the surface of the stainless steel and prohibits corrosion from spreading to the material’s internal structure.
If the chromium oxide layer is cut, scratched, or otherwise damaged, a new layer of oxide will rapidly form to cover the exposed area, protecting it from corrosion. Oxygen is required for this self-repair process; as such, stainless steel is considerably less effective in low-oxygen environments.
Benefits of Working with Stainless Steel
Deep drawn stainless steel parts are ideal for a wide range of applications. The material’s high corrosion resistance is its greatest and most desirable attribute; it also provides a distinctive appearance. Stainless steel can be steam-cleaned and sterilized, and requires no paint or other surface finishes, making it a very low maintenance material.