Metal slotting is the process of adding additional slots or channels in a part to meet assembly design requirements such as forming keyways, creating interlocking channels, and for material stress mitigation. There are many machining methods capable of performing metal slotting such as milling, EDM processes, or grinding. The use of a punch press such as those used in the Accurate Forming deep drawn metal stamping process however, is by far the most cost effective and efficient.
Keyways are shallow channels formed into the part, typically at the ends of a tube or shaft, which are slightly curved upward at the end. Applications include the addition of a metal bit called the key which slips into the keyway and a channel in the adjoining part, causing the two to lock together or prevent rotation. Motor drive shafts are a common application of this design.
Interlocking channels are slots that are cut into the part in order to provide a locking surface for other components in the assembly. Such channels may be any shape but are usually rectangular, square, or hemispherical. The channel allows a second part with a matching feature to interlock and transmit drive force or prevent movement.
In some cases, the design of a part requires additional metal slotting in order to provide stress relief points for the material. Stresses induced during machining or during use from force or extreme temperatures can significantly reduce the lifespan of the part. To mitigate these stresses, slotting is added at non-critical surfaces to allow for expansion or contraction of the material. This process can also be used to reduce the mass of the part in applications where weight is critical.
Accurate Forming incorporates the technology to create all of these design features and more. At Accurate Forming, metal slotting operations are performed in coordination with the deep drawn stamping process by use of dedicated punching dies and mandrels. This capability provides excellent value to the customer by reducing complexity and increasing the flexibility of the process to meet design criteria. Whether standard or customized, single or multiple slots, Accurate Forming has the technology to create various shaped slots in the deep drawn product quickly and at low cost.
Below are examples of deep drawn product that Accurate Forming has added slotting to the product.