The private car has been a crown jewel of public consumption over the past hundred years since the notorious Henry Ford got wealthy from the Model “T” that gave people freedom of movement. In the last half of the 20th century and in the first decade of the 21st century the auto industry grew to be 10% of North America and Europe’s GDP, employing around 9 million people directly and five times that total in associated sectors. That means that 5% of the working population are employed by automotive companies and almost everybody is affected by the automobile in one way or another.
One part of a car wears out quickly and needs replacement on a regular basis is the muffler. The one that came with the car is long forgotten, now just part of a garbage mountain of fellow rusty mufflers on the outside of town. The automotive giant doesn’t make these directly but contracts from other manufacturers for a supply. In turn, a metal stamping factory turns the aluminum and steel into the necessary parts for the muffler factory. The metals are formed into the various parts through the process of metal stamping whereby coil, bar, or sheet metal working materials undergo die forming to shape the part. A die is a specialized tool that is used to press the material into the desired shapes.
The die that produces a flat piece of metal and cuts the outer contours in one operation is known as a blanking die. In the case of muffler parts, sheet metal would be formed using a die that consists of the punch, which performs the blanking operation while the other part, known as the die block clamps the work piece securely for accuracy. Lubricants are used to reduce friction between the working material and the punch and die. They also aid in removing the part from the punch. Some examples of lubricants used in drawing operations are heavy-duty emulsions, phosphates, white lead, and wax films.
Punches and dies are typically made of tool steel, however carbon steel is cheaper, but not as hard and is therefore used in less severe applications, it is also common to see cemented carbides used where high wear and abrasive resistance is present. Alloy steels are normally used for the ejector system to kick the part out and into durable and heat resistant blank holders. When the parts to be made are of unusually deep dimensions, special dies and casts are used in a procedure known as “deep drawing”. An example of this would be the shape of a deep-fryer in a restaurant where stainless steel or aluminum is formed deeper than it is wide to insert the basket of french fries into the oil.
Car mufflers are specially shaped with in inlet and an outlet with perforated tubes inside leading to a measured resonator chamber where sound waves are lined up in order to interfere with or cancel each other out. Without them, car engines would make an unbearable noise – the sound waves would go higher in frequency as the car goes faster. The roads would be chaos, as the engines would sound like thousands of “choppers” – motorcycles with mufflers removed to draw attention to the manliness of the rider through noise pollution.
Pat Boardman is an SEO consultant writing in respect to Taurus Stampings in the roll forming and steel stamping industry who have the facilities for deep drawing to manufacture parts made of stainless steel and aluminized steel.
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