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A closer look at metal micro stampings

If you were to somehow manage to get into the inner workings of an integrated circuit, or other similar electronic component - functioning as a fly on the wall of sorts - you would, of course, quickly notice the presence of heat. A great deal of it, in fact, given off by the electric currents passing through the conductors in the component's vicinity. As a result of this, the components within such a setting need to be able to withstand heat, but at times they must also absorb it, allowing the internal temperature of a given device or system to fall back to safer operating levels.

This particular hypothetical represents one of the key functions of precision metal micro stampings. These tiny pieces of metal - so small that about a dozen of them can easily fit within the surface area of a U.S. quarter - serve roles that are vital to the successful and effective operation of numerous electronics systems in industries ranging from auto manufacturing and energy to naval defense and aerospace.

Background and key attributes of micro stampings

Micro metal stampings are tiny, metal pieces produced the same way any of their more commonly sized counterparts typically are - pounded out on high-speed presses, slide-forming machines and a series of other assembly devices. (One of the key factors involved in any metal micro stamping operation is, of course, the tightrope walk that must be accomplished between fast, high-volume production and fabrication according to precise dimensions, which we'll discuss in greater detail later in this post.)

In addition to filling the role of dissipating heat described above, micro stampings can serve as interfaces within - or, in some cases, on the surface of - microelectronic assemblies and packages. Commonly, these small parts will end up being employed in these contexts as jumper chips, bonding pads, covers, heat sinks, lead frames, tabs or terminals. Last but not least, precision metal stamped  components can also be used as part of the base plates, bent parts or "battery can" parts of certain critical electronic or microelectronic packages and systems.

Typical micro stamping metals and Coining options

When an original equipment manufacturer is seeking out high-precision metal micro stampings for use in their semiconductors or other, similar devices, and their representatives come to AMETEK ECP - specifically Coining, our business unit focused principally on assemblies, solder preforms and other metal components - the OEM has many metals to choose from as an order is determined. If the buyer wishes to go with specific pure metals, gold, tin, silver, nickel, copper, tungsten and molybdenum are all available, among others. Well-known and reliable alloys, such as Invar, stainless steel or Kovar, represent additional options.

With all that said, the needs of an OEM may dictate that the alloy used in the manufacturing of metal micro stampings for whatever application the customer wants it for be something a little bit more off of the beaten path than tried-and-true steel. This is well within our capabilities at AMETEK: Coining engineers can recommend any of high-performing alloys from the formulas seen here on our alloy list - or work with customer reps to find a truly unique blend of metals for a perfect alloy. With more than 100 years of combined experience between them, the team at Coining can roll with the punches of any micro stampings order.

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Limitless possibilities with AMETEK's micro stampings

At the Coining manufacturing facility in Montvale, New Jersey, our team has more than 100 four-post stamping presses at its disposal, ranging in size from 3 to 85 tons. All of them are equipped for high-speed operation, delivering more than 2,000 strokes per minute without ever sacrificing precision or quality. Hot presses - necessary for dealing with metals that have very high hardness, like tungsten or molybdenum - are also available. Coining personnel handle even the most advanced press operations in-house: EDM-based tool cutting, milling, grinding and hardening, all done perfectly to specifications even when customers come to the team with extremely complex work orders. We can achieve this by having more than 15,000 dies readily available.

Tight tolerance size preferences or configurations are also not a problem, as Coining's engineers are considerably experienced in handling everything from the simplest shapes to the most geometrically complex - and not infrequently at thicknesses of 1 mil (0001") or less. As just one example, rectangular and disc-shaped micro stampings can typically be produced at a minimum of 0.005 to 1.0 +/- 0.0004 inches in diameter and 0.0005 to 0.030 +/- 0.0001" thick, but Coining personnel's experience in dealing with custom specs means that these size ranges are routinely handled with ease.

AMETEK ECP has a deep commitment to customer service across all business units, and Coining is no exception when providing precision metal micro stampings. In addition to Coining's combination of scientific knowledge and metallurgy expertise, we offer fast-paced turnaround and rapid delivery of high-quality parts.

 

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