Die cutting is the manufacturing process of stamping or cutting two dimensional parts out of flat sheets of material. This process, often used in conjunction with laminating services, is a crucial finishing service for a wide spectrum of parts, including rubber and foam gaskets, circuit boards, ID cards, stickers and a wide range of other adhesive-backed products.
Die cutting machines, which manufacture die cutting products, come in a variety of configurations, each specialized for creating different types of die cut shapes. Rotary die cutting is a continuous process that pushes material sheets through rolling calendar dies, while steel rule dies cut single or multiple sheets in batches. Laser die cutting, although it requires no die tooling and produces much less waste material, can be time consuming and costly for long runs; ultrasonic die cutting is a relatively new technology that uses ultrasonic vibrations to cut and heat seal edges simultaneously. Die cut foam is used extensively in medical, hydraulic, electronic and consumer industries as die cut gaskets, vibration absorbers, bandages and adhesives, while plastic die cutting produces a wide range of display items such as die cut handle bags and stickers. Rubber die cutting can also be used to make gaskets. Die cutters can be used to create all kinds of shapes out of all kinds of materials.
Rotary, steel rule, crush and kiss cutting are performed on flat sheets of material by a cookie cutter-like cutting tool called a die. Steel rule die cutting, the simplest and most common type of die cutting, uses sharpened, thin "steel rule" blade dies, which are embedded in rubber and mounted on a solid wood block. The rubber surrounding the steel rule's cutting edge serves to eject punched out pieces, and the sheets of foam, plastic or rubber are rapidly crushed between the die and a rubber pad with several tons of force. In rotary die cutting, sheets of material are crush cut between the angled blades on a cylindrical die and an anvil. Typically, the material is cut in continuous roll form, though sheets of metal can be fed through the rotary die. Rotary steel rule drum is a combination of rotary and steel rule die cutting, which is used to cut large parts such as boxes or garments with a high degree of accuracy. In ultrasonic die cutting services, a metal horn vibrates in a manner similar to that of an audio speaker, although ultrasonic waves are below the level of human hearing; the resulting vibrations generate heat and pressure that will seal thermoplastic materials. Laser die cutting machines, which are operated by CNC, are driven by a 3-axis table. Laser die cut machines come in two types: flat cutters, which cut flat sheets of material, and rotary cutters, which cut material from a web.
Steel rule dies are made for a number of applications. Conventional dies can attain the highest accuracies and the most intricate of forms as well as fold lines, scores and perforated or partial cuts. These dies are typically used to cut corrugated boxes, folding cartons, gaskets, plastics, fabric, rubber, foam and composites. The blades are held in place by high density plywood; the thickness of the blade is usually between .028" and .056". Heavy duty steel rule dies, such as clicker dies and bolt dies, have thicker blades (.056"-.112") to cut through thicker, tougher materials such as plastics, Kevlar, fabric, rubber, leather and composites to make a range of gaskets, vibration absorbers and plastic parts. Both rotary and steel rule die cutting can perform either kiss cutting or crush cutting. Crush cutting creates a cut all the way through the material sheet, making a clean, complete hole; foam pads, adhesive bandages, gaskets and rubber parts are usually crush cut. Kiss cutting, which is used only on adhesive-backed materials, cuts through the top layer of the material without cutting through the backing. This is used to create sheets of stickers, foam adhesives, bumpers and many other products that can be peeled off a backing sheet.
Rotary dies are typically used in the corrugated box industry, but they are also commonly utilized for plastics, foam, rubber and textiles. In rotary die cutting, parts are consistently within a tolerance as tight as .02", slightly higher than typical steel rule die cutting, which must be carefully aligned by hand and is more error prone. Laser die cutting can cut intricate, precision tolerance shapes and is very useful for cutting materials that are impossible for conventional steel rule dies to cut, such as steel thicker than .5". Laser die cutting can also be used to cut ABS, acrylics, aluminum, brass, composites, copper and cured fiberglass. Because laser die cutting uses no dies, it requires none of the costly initial tooling that all other types of die cutting requires; this cuts down on cost, while the laser die cutting process cuts down on wasted material due to its high tolerance capabilities. These properties make laser die cutting ideal for prototyping and short runs, but laser die cutting cannot cut parts at the speed and volume rotary and steel rule die cutters can, and most typical long run projects are still performed more time and cost efficiently by traditional dies. Ultrasonic die cutting is ideal for cutting thermoplastic materials that tend to easily fray. However, this type of die cutting is limited in that only relatively thin materials can be cut, and parts have a small maximum width. Each die cutting method can be a great asset to all kinds of industrial and commercial operations.
Images Provided by Thrust Industries
Image Provided by Design Converting, Inc.
Die cutting is a high-speed fabrication method that utilizes a die to cut sheet metals and other low-strength materials, including fiberboards, rubber, plastics, adhesive tapes, and foam.
The die cutting method has its roots in the shoe industry, where it was used to cut leather into different shapes by exposing it to press installed with a cutting die, which carved pre-determined shapes based on the die. The process in the modern time includes sophisticated robots and high pressure presses that can shear webs even in a thick hard metal.
However, sometimes the term die cutting stems confusion as it is quite ambiguous and its meaning differs in different fields. For instance, stamping is a type of die cutting, where sheet metals are stamped to give specific shape.
In the fabricating industry, die cutting method draws its name from the die used for webbing shapes. Other than cutting a material, a die can perform other functions as well, such as, forming, which involves compression and other stressing method for producing desired shapes. The function of a die will perform depending on the way a die is tooled; dies can be divided two sections, one for cutting and other for forming. The die's cutting section can be made from an array of hard and wear resistant materials, like hardened steel and carbide.
Die Cutting Process
Die cutting is a cold operation that does not need heat to change the physical properties of a material. Instead, brute force is employed to cut pieces of required shape and size with the help of a press. The material that has to be stamped is positioned on the press with the help of auxiliary tools that lets the die pass through it. Then the press puts the material under high perpendicular force in flatbed press, where as in rotary die cutting, the force is put at different angles, which cuts parts by a continuous rotating action. If the material is a hard metal, the force acted on the material results into a shock, which can damage both the die and press. The freshly cut part has a shiny cut band or shear, which is known as the break line. However, heat is not introduced into the operation, the cut parts leave the die at high temperature because of the heat created by friction.
In different fields, die cutting is known by the material it is fabricating, for example, foam fabricating cutting die, rubber die cutting, plastic fabrication cutting die. Based on the industry, different types of hydraulic presses are used.
Die cutting is used extensively to fabricate a range of materials in different industries.
Die cutting is an important process of cutting materials in a desired shape by a manual or electrical processed die cutter. Besides shaping paper and plastic, fabric and rubber products, it is also used to cut metals in well-defined shapes and patterns. Used with stamping or embossing machine, it gives a perfect finish to stamped paper, plastic or metal products.
People who need large number of die-cut products on a daily basis should invest money in purchasing a suitable die cutter along with the dies. However, buying die cutter that fulfills your requirements and provides you maximum profit requires that you consider some of these essential factors that will go a long way to enable you make the right choice among a plethora of options.
Although the basic functionality of all types of die cutting machines is same, there is a great difference in the usability and cost of the machine. Based on your paper, plastic, rubber, aluminum, or other metal cutting requirements you would have to select die cutter that is specialized for your cutting requirements. You can select from manual die cutters to computerized die cutters that requires
A die cutting machine is useless without suitable dies, which are fabricated precisely by professionals. Dies come in various shapes and sizes and it is important to check the compatibility of dies with the machine. Manual die cutting machines may work with many types of dies from other companies while computerized die cutters are limited in this aspect due to the specific software programs. Buyers should check out various options of dies to make the right decisions.
Setting up a die cutting machine may be time consuming. Hence, buyers must check as how much time it takes to install the machine and also check the portability of the machine. A small sized and easy to be installed machine must get to be on the high priority.
As a buyer you should check the space available for storage of your die cutting machine. This will give you a fair idea about the size of the required machine. Besides considering the usability of the machine, you must look at how much space the machine will take up and how difficult it will be to store properly without risking damage to the machine.
Die cutting machines according to their features are available in a specific price range. Considering your die cutting requirements and long term budget you should invest in buying expensive or less expensive models from the reputed supplier. You should compare prices and do proper research before buying the die cutting machine and get the maximum value for money. You can get the best price quote from the leading supplier and thus purchase suitable die cutting machine at a reasonable price.
Die cutting is used extensively as a fabricating method in the manufacturing industry. Different types of materials, ranging from metal sheets to cardboard, to rubber and plastics, are cut into desired shapes with the help of die cutting presses. By die cutting, different products can be fabricated at high-speed and with precision. The efficiency of die cutting units has made it the most viable manufacturing process that does not involve heat.
In die cutting, two things matter, first a die and second the press that provides force to form shapes. Since, cutting dies are used in a number of industries there are a variety of die cutting operations.
Now, moving to presses employed in die cutting. Typically, two types of presses are used, either flatbed or rotary presses.
In flat-bed presses, in the most common design, the force is exerted perpendicularly to material that needs to be fabricated. The presses usually are driven hydraulically. However, mechanical models may also be available.
In rotary die cutting, a cylindrical die is used, which is fitted on a rotary press. The press works continuously and cut pieces as it rotates, making the operation efficient and fast. Both presses have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, as flat bed press is not fast as that of rotator presses. However, the tooling of flat bed is inexpensive in comparison to rotary press.
Die cutting is the industrial process of cutting flat sheet of materials like rubber, fiber, paper, or metals in the desired pattern to produce these products in bulk. Starting as a process of cutting leather for shoe industry, die cutting became more sophisticated to be used in producing a wide range of products like circuit boards, ID cards, credit cards, labels and stickers, adhesive tapes and stamps, and metallic products. Various die cutters are used that are specialized to cut different products like furniture, plastic, paper or metals in specific designs and patterns.
Several traditional forms of die cutters are widely used across industries, which includes rotary, press, and flatbed die cutting machines. Many new forms of die cutting machines are also increasingly getting popular such as water jet die cutting, ultrasonic die cutting, and laser die cutting.
Die cutters use specially shaped blades for sharp and precise cutting. The material to be shaped is placed on a flat surface with a supportive backing and the die is pressed against the material to cut it. Depending on the type of material to be cut, the machine may either cut and form a piece of material or slice multiple pieces of materials stacked one over the other.
Whether you have to cut machine parts and form intricate designs or you have to cut a sheet of paper you should select a suitable die cutter that would fulfill your cutting and shaping requirements. It can be quite time and cost saving to procure services from die cutting companies if you require die cut components on a less frequent basis.
You can find many computerized die cutters and portable die cutters that may be either manual die cutters or electronic die cutters. Besides these you may procure industrial die cutters that make stainless steel dies with a hydraulic press. What make die cutters so popular are their precise cutting as well as versatility. Die cutters have evolved from simple manual cutters to computerized cutters using the CAD software and the latest technology.
Whether you require a Rubber Die Cutting machine or a flatbed cutting machine for stamps and stickers you can either purchase the machine from reputed supplier or get personalized die cutting service from the company. The die cutting action in press die cutters is controlled by manual, hydraulic, pressurized, or electric sources depending on the type of the machine.
When it comes to cutting materials involving different kind of shapes and get high design flexibility then selecting flatbed die cutters is the best bet. This machine uses steel rule dyes with a hydraulic press that can make precise kiss-cuts and die-cuts into sheets and laminates.
Die cutting is one of the most important processes for the manufacturing industry as most of the flat shaped objects are produced through it. Products like keys, paper products, and flat plastic pieces as well as metallic components, corrugated envelopes, cartons, gaskets, fabric, and rubber products are manufactured through die cutting. Selecting a suitable die cutting machine depends on many factors like the material to be cut, the structure or design to be formed, the volume of cutting requirements, the speed of the machine as well as the method of cutting that will suit the needs.
Die Cutting Terms
- Holes in die cutters that aid in
the prevention of deformations in die cut materials by allowing the release
of air from the die cavities.
- DuPont's trade name for aramid fibers that are strong, tough and stiff, have a high melting point and are used in composite construction. Kevlar is lighter, stiffer and more costly than glass fiber.
- A die cut that penetrates the upper layer(s) of the
die cut material instead of penetrating through the material.