Aluminium Bronze Alloys by AMPCO METAL: The finest materials for deep drawing tools


Tools in processes of metal forming have to endure recurrent high levels of pressure, especially in the process of deep drawing. For that, tool materials need to possess multiple specific physical properties. These range from compressive strength to impact strength, hardness, microstructure, all the way to wear and abrasion resistance.

Two properties, in particular, emerge into the spotlight when it comes to deep drawing tools, however, due to an issue of incompatibility. Hardness is in some measure inversely proportional to ductility, in which an increase in the former would lead to a drop in the latter, and vice versa.

This has compelled manufacturers to make trade-offs between those properties, which in turn has led to the prioritisation of one property at the expense of another. What is needed is a material that can circumvent this incompatibility to a certain extent and allow for enhanced deep drawing mechanisms.

A material family that stands out from the rest is AMPCO METAL’s aluminium bronze alloys. The materials combine the properties provided by both copper and aluminium, resulting in an outstandingly strong and extremely hard material with exceptional friction properties. This material can help bypass the incompatibility issue between hardness and ductility, which makes it ideal for metal forming, particularly deep drawing of stainless steel and titanium.

What is AMPCO METAL's aluminium bronze?

With a composition of 9-14% aluminium added to the base metal, copper, AMPCO METAL’s aluminium bronze alloys possess great mechanical properties. They outshine commercial grades, which makes them highly suitable materials for metal forming. They’re also applicable in other application areas such as aerospace and shipbuilding.

Primarily, the AMPCO® specification puts forward a distinctive grain microstructure that ensures reliability, based on three phases, each with its unique contribution. The alpha phase, which softens the material, offers ductility yet preserves high strength as it is uniformly distributed throughout the material. The beta phase produces and maintains hardness and strength, keeping the alloy from becoming brittle. The third phase is the intermetallic compound, commonly known as AMPCO-PHASE®, which displays superior metallurgical attributes compared to generic aluminium bronze alloys that are said to have large, segregated and unrestrained structures.

Courtesy of AMPCO METAL.

What are the properties and advantages of AMPCO METAL’s aluminium bronze?

AMPCO METAL’s aluminium bronze alloys are characteristically hard, strong and low-friction materials. With their outstanding compression and impact strengths, good corrosion and wear resistance, high hardness, and great sliding properties, they provide manufacturers with the ability to reduce friction, avoid scratching, expedite the manufacturing process, and thus improve cost efficiency and quality of products.

What are the different grades of AMPCO METAL’s Aluminium Bronze?

Several aluminium bronze grades fall under the brand name of AMPCO®. Here are the common grades that are mainly used in deep drawing tools.

Material Grade

Aluminium content

Hardness HB

at 20 °C

Compression Strength

at 20 °C

AMPCO® 21 Centrifugal castings



1310 MPa

AMPCO® 21 Forgings



1335 MPa

AMPCO® 22 Centrifugal castings



1448 MPa

AMPCO® 22 Extruded bars



1351 MPa

AMPCO® 25 Centrifugal castings



1551 MPa

AMPCO® 25 Sand castings



1517 MPa

AMPCO® 26 Centrifugal castings



1515 MPa

AMPCO® 26 Forgings



1608 MPa


For more material grades, click here to see the full list.


AMPCO METAL is an integrated metal producer that delivers a wide range of premium copper alloys with excellent physical properties under the brand names of AMPCO® and AMPCOLOY®. It produces metals in various forms, including round bars, tubes, plates, rectangles, and tailored shapes based on customer requirements. Its high-value services span the world with warehouses located in Europe, USA, and China. Their high-tech alloys are available for all modern challenging applications, particularly high-performance aluminium bronze alloys for deep drawing, pressing, bending, rolling and similar processes.

Contact AMPCO METAL now for more information about aluminium bronze alloys and other materials.

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Courtesy of AMPCO METAL.

Article by AMPCO METAL

Production and Distribution of engineering metal products