STAMPING & DIE CUTTING
THE BENEFITS OF STAMPING & DIE CUTTING PLASTICS
In the fabrication industry, there are a number of methods used to shape and cut material to specification. For thin materials such as polyester, Nomex®, and plastic laminates and films, stamping and die-cutting are ideal fabrication tools for cutting and shaping.
Polyester film or Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is a thin plastic film composed of terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol. The material’s clarity and rigidity, along with its ability to retain print make it an ideal material in the use of signage and displays. In addition, polyester film is extremely heat and chemical resistant, so it is an excellent option for use in high-temperature electrical insulation, oven-ready packaging, and labeling of hazardous materials.
Nomex is a rigid relative of the more familiar material nylon. Unlike nylon, Nomex is incredibly resistant to high temperatures, chemicals, and radiation. Thanks to these distinctive characteristics, Nomex has become a standard material for attire for firemen, race car drivers, military pilots, and astronauts. It is also used frequently as a filter material in exhaust systems for high-temperature industrial activities.
Plastic laminates are flat sheets of paper, fabric, or cloth material impregnated with a plastic or polymer compound, and then layered using thermosetting techniques that bond multiple material layers into one sheet. The material comes in an array of colors and finishes and is impact-resistant, which makes it an attractive option for floors and countertops.
PLASTIC REFLECTIVE FILMS
Plastic reflective films are composed of thin plastic or polymers with a shiny outer coat or dark tint that reflects UV radiation and absorbs heat. The material is useful to regulate temperature and insulate from UV radiation damage.
APPLICATIONS FOR STAMPING & DIE CUTTING
With the number of versatile materials that can be shaped by stamping and die-cutting, it is no surprise that many products benefit from this method. Some equipment that uses stamped and die-cut materials include:
- Insulators for motors
- Transformers or electric devices
- Reflective films
- LED lenses
Within the realm of stamping and die-cutting, there are a number of techniques and methods used to achieve different results depending on the application:
A steel rule is custom shaped thin metal blade used to punch a shape into materials on a flat die board. It is typically used for soft materials, such as cork, cardboard, or rubber. Materials that are too brittle are likely to break when force is applied to stamp the material. A steel rule can accommodate larger sheets of material than a rotary die cutter.
ROTARY DIE CUTTING
Rotary die cutting uses a custom cylindrical die that is rolled over the material to cut the desired shape. This is a versatile option for cutting multiple custom shapes from one piece of material. For this process, the material is placed flat on the work surface, and the cylindrical die is rolled over the material, cutting the custom shapes repeatedly into the material with each rotation.
Rotary die-cutting is an excellent method for material conservation, as multiple shapes can be cut from the same piece of material. It is also a time-efficient means of producing exact duplicate parts on a large scale. However, the size of sheet material that can be used is limited based on the rotary die’s capacity.
On the other hand, flatbed die cutting allows for larger sheets to be printed at one time. It is a slower process than rotary die-cutting and requires more manual attention, as a flatbed die-cutter cannot be automated to the same extent as a rotary die cutter.
A punch press is the mechanical component of a stamp or die cutter that pushes against the material to be shaped by the die in order to “punch” the shapes out of the material. It operates from above and parallels to the surface on which the die and material are superimposed. The press is then pushed down on the material, allowing the die to cut the material from the bottom into the appropriate shape.
Slitting operations are a means of cutting wide rolls of material to a narrower width, particularly for thin materials that are easy to cut with a metal blade. Roll splitting services use slitting to cut wide, unwieldy rolls to a more manageable width to make them usable in press and printing operations.
STAMPING & DIE CUTTING AT WS HAMPSHIRE
At WS Hampshire, we offer a variety of quality stamping and die cutting services for all your business needs. For more information on our expert fabrication services or to get started on your next project, contact us today and request a quote!