Have you ever seen a stamping machine? They are some of the fastest and most precise machines in industrial factories.People might think they are a recent invention (since they look a bit as if they've just come from a Sci-Fi film) but, as you can imagine, humans have always been interested in pressing, stamping… and doing all sorts of things to metal!
Let's take a look to mythology: every pantheon of gods has their own blacksmith from Hephaestus – who forged Zeus' own armour! – to Wayland – a recurrent character in English legends. And why were they so well considered? Because metal is the source material of so many items… it makes your life easier, even if you're a god!
Humans discovered gold, silver and copper during the Prehistory, because they are metals present in nature. They worked with them using force – that is, a big hammer. At some point they also learned more advanced techniques, such as smelting, melting, casting and riveting. But still everything was very noisy.
Then, the Iron Age came, and everyone was in love with – of course – iron, mainly because it was stronger and more resistant than bronze. However, working it was a bit of a pain because it needs a very high temperature – not like bronze. That's why good quality steel was very rare until the 19th century!
During the Medieval Period, being a blacksmith was a very respectable profession, part of the so-called seven mechanical arts. They used charcoal in their forges resulting in the loss of a huge number of trees.This led to the use of coal as a fuel – which has the disadvantage of being contaminated with sulphur, impoverishing the quality of forged metal. Medieval blacksmiths spent a long time heating and hammering iron before forging it because they had noticed this brought better quality. The scientific explanation for this is that this method removes oxygen (which brings rust) and adds more carbon into the iron.
The Industrial Revolution brought a pretty cool invention which would change everything: the steam hammer! This machine could forge large steel and iron items. So, for the first time, stamping could be done at a large scale of production and with a relatively low cost.
The contemporary era put hydraulic and electric energy into the game. These new sources of energy make high levels of pressure possible, something that would have seemed a fantasy barely a century ago! Besides, the evolution of dies has enabled the stamping industry to create a varied catalogue of items. For instance, you can contact us and we'll customize any of our products to accommodate it to the needs of your project!
And so, what's the last step in the stamping history? Well, look at our new beauty, the Bruderer BSTA 500-110B, which is able to produce 1,100 stampings per minute…
At European Springs we like to think we're helping create the future of stamping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to discover more exciting news from the stamping industry!