11 Types of Presses in Sheet Metal (Explained!)

Different types of presses in sheet metal are listed below.

  1. Manual presses
  2. Mechanical presses
  3. Hydraulic presses
  4. Pneumatic presses
  5. Single action presses
  6. Double action presses
  7. Triple action presses
  8. Arch-frame presses
  9. Gap frame presses
  10. Straight side presses
  11. Horn presses

Various different types of presses used in sheet metal working are classified on the basis of characteristics like power source, number of slides, type of frame and construction, type of drive, and intended applications.

Let’s dive deeper into each type of sheet metal press along with their classification.

According to the basis of power source

#1) Manual presses

Manual presses are either hand operated or foot operated. They can be operated through levers, screws or gears.

Arbor press is an example of manual press which is used for assembly operations.

#2) Mechanical presses

Mechanical press is a type of sheet metal press that uses flywheel energy which is transferred to the workpiece via gears, cranks or levers.

#3) Hydraulic presses

Hydraulic presses are the presses which provide working force through the application of fluid pressure.

The fluid pressure acts on a piston by the means of pumps, valves, accumulators and intensifiers.

Hydraulic presses show better performance and reliability as compared to mechanical presses.

#4) Pneumatic presses

In pneumatic presses, the air cylinders are used to produce a required force on sheet metal.

Pneumatic presses are generally smaller in size and the capacity of these presses are also less than the hydraulic presses and mechanical presses.

Thus pneumatic presses are used for smaller jobs only which requires less force.

According to the basis of number of slides

#1) Single action presses

Single acting presses are the type of sheet metal press that has one reciprocating slide which carries the tool for the metal forming process.

Single acting presses have a fixed bed and it is widely used for blanking process, coining process, embossing process and drawing process.

#2) Double action presses

In double acting press, there are two slides that move in the same direction against a fixed bed.

Double acting press is generally preferred for deep drawing of sheet metal, than single acting press.

The two slides of double acting press are referred to as outer blank holder slide and the inner draw slide.

The blank holder slide is a hollow rectangle and the inner slide is a solid rectangle that reciprocates within the blank holder

The main advantage of double acting press is that the four corners of blank holder are individually adjustable.

Because of this, the double acting press is used for deep drawing process as well as for irregular shape stamping.

#3) Triple action presses

In Triple acting press, there are three moving slides.

The two slides are the same as that in the double acting press (one slide is the blank holder and the other slide is the inner slide).

The third slide (also referred to as a lower slide) moves upward through the fixed bed in a direction opposite to that of the other two slides.

Because of the time required for third action, the total cycle time required for triple action press is more than the double action press.

According to the basis of frame and construction

#1) Arch-frame presses

Arch frame presses are the type of sheet metal press that have the arch shaped frame.

#2) Gap frame presses

The gap frame presses have a “C” shaped frame and these presses are widely used as they provide unobstructed access to the dies from three sides.

#3) Straight side presses

Straight side presses are stronger and the capacity of the press is basically greater than 10 MN.

In a straight side press, the heavy loads can be taken in a vertical direction because of the side frame.

#4) Horn presses

Horn presses are the type of sheet metal press that possess a heavy shaft projecting from the machine frame instead of bed.

Horn press is used for cylindrical parts that involve rivering, punching, embossing and flange edges.

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