Types Of Die Cutting

Robert F
Robert F
Apr 27, 2015 · 5 min read

Die cutting is one of the most versatile cutting methods available and can be used in a wide range of applications. All machines utilize a die to cut the desired shape and this die can be changed according to what material needs to be dealt with. It is even possible to fit specialized dies which can involve bending, coining or curling. This means that a business only needs to purchase one machine and this can be used for many different applications. For those businesses which have just one project which needs cutting or shaping there are many companies which offer this service. This provides access to the best machines without the expense of purchasing them. One such company is Bailcorp, which specialize in the following types of cutting:

Rotary die cutter

These are capable of cutting multiple layers and can handle very fine detail designs including dealing with multiple cuts in one pass. These machines are extremely precise and can deliver products at a high speed.

Steel rule die cutting

This is also known as flat bed die cutting or stamping. These machines utilize manual handfed presses or servo controlled presses. Although the press is not as precise as the rotary die it is excellent when dealing with larger format parts or material which is too thick for the rotary cutter.

Matched metal die cutting

This method of cutting offers excellent tolerances and can handle complex shapes. It is also a very good choice when dealing with the need to cut small features. The material passes through two dies which have been designed in a female / male format to ensure a very high degree of precision. This type of cutting is completed on a flat bed.

Rotary matched metal die cutting

If you need intricate parts cut with multiple layers then this is the machine for it. It can also handle in-line laminating, slitting and adhesive coating. It performs the same function as the matched metal die cutter but uses rotary die cutting equipment to allow for faster speeds without losing the high precision level.

Clean room die cutting

Some projects, such as medical supplies simply must be performed in a controlled environment. The clean room die cutting equipment is in a room where the air flow is controlled to ensure a bacteria free environment is created. The room is also monitored to ensure the humidity and temperature stay within agreed ranges.

Specialized dies

As mentioned, die cutting machines are extremely versatile and the following specialized dies can be fitted for specific projects.

Bending

Any material can be bent if enough pressure is placed upon it. A specific die can be added to the machine to create any angle of bend — up to ninety degrees to create ‘L’ shaped brackets. By bending via a machine the angle and position of the bend can be exact every time.

Blanking

This is the name given to a die which cuts a specific distance from the edge of the material. It flattens and provides a smooth, precise finish.

Broaching

Some material is too thick to be placed through a rotary die cutter and some may even be too tough to cut by conventional means. A broach cutting die has a range of incredibly sharp teeth which get progressively larger allowing it to trim its way through almost any material.

Bulging

This die uses fluid, usually water or oil, inside a rubber block. The block is pressurized and this can alter the shape of the chosen material. It is a particularly effective way of expanding any cylindrical part or even pipes.

Coining

This die is used to punch circular holes into a material. The die is combined with a punch and can provide an extremely high level of accuracy which can be very useful when dealing with complex shapes which need to be the same every time.

Curling

As the name suggests this die can be used to roll or curve a material to create a curved effect. It can also be used to remove sharp edges from metal parts.

Cut off

This is a simple way to cut or shorten any material. The machine will remove the same amount from each sheet placed into it and ensures a uniform part is produced ready for the next step in the production process.

Drawing

Sometimes a material can be stretched to reach the length or shape that is required. A drawing die does exactly that and is often used for tubing or wires.

Extrusion

This is similar to coining but there is no punch involved. The die regulates the pattern of the cut.

Forming

This type of die is often used in conjunction with a drawing die. The forming die pulls a piece of material round a preformed shaped to create the same structure before the drawing die stretches it.

Roll Forming

Much like forming this type of die pulls material across it to mimic a predetermined shape. However, this method involves multiple dies and allows multiple shapes to be made out of one continual piece of material. It can be especially helpful when dealing with very long material.

Swaging

Sometimes a material or product needs to be tapered to a point. This can be accomplished by using a pressurized die to compress a cylindrical object. The die works on a similar principle to bulging but in reverse.

Conclusion

There is a die available to make nearly any cut or shape of product needed. Whatever shape product is required these machines can produce it to a consistently high standard. The main machines used are either a flat bed press or a rotary die cutting machine. The flat bed is cheaper to purchase although the rotary die can offer a much higher production speed.

Rotary die cutting equipment is also very durable and the tooling needs little or no maintenance. The dies are made from one piece of metal which ensures the highest degree of accuracy and it is very unusual for these dies to become deformed or blunted. This can make the rotary die cutter a cheaper option in terms of daily maintenance and makes it exceptionally good for large volume, high precision jobs.

Photo by Angela

Robert F

Robert F

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