Deep drawing is the manufacturing process of forming sheet metal stock, called blanks, into geometrical or irregular shapes that are more than half their diameters in depth. It involves stretching the metal blank around a plug and then moving it into a moulding cutter called a die. Common shapes for these products include cylinders for aluminum cans and cups for baking pans. Irregular items, such as enclosure covers for truck oil filters and fire extinguishers, are also commonly manufactured with this method.
The average kitchen sink is a perfect example of deep drawing technology as it is both deep and seamless. Other parts manufactured for industry range from tiny eyelets used as reinforcements to large enclosures that house industrial production equipment.
A drawing press can be used for forming sheet metal into different shapes, and the finished shape depends on the final position that the blanks are pushed down in. The metal used must be malleable as well as resistant to stress and tension damage.
Industries that rely on this technology include aerospace, automobile, dairy, lighting, pharmaceuticals, and plastics. Companies that manufacture these parts require engineer-designed operations, and deep drawing presses are relatively expensive.
Accessories such as molds, tooling plates, and columns are required to manufacture the parts. While a mold is needed for stretching the material over the mold's edge to produce the required shape, a tooling plate or column is needed as a surface for holding workpieces.
Deep drawing differs from metal stamping, since rather than using single piece blanks, metal stamping uses a continuous stream of sheet metal blanks on a strip. Metal spinning, on the other hand, is similar, as both operations produce circular and seamless components. Some technology combines aspects of stamping and spinning in order to provide the most cost-effective manufacturing solution.