Steel rule die cutting, a widely employed technique, plays a pivotal role in shaping various sheet materials, from paper and cardboard to rubber and plastic. Many of the standard cardboard boxes and packaging solutions we encounter daily are the product of this seemingly simple yet highly effective process. Beyond merely cutting shapes, it extends its utility to crafting creases, perforations, and slits.
At its core, the die is crafted from a flat base or substrate, typically fashioned from high-grade, high-density plywood. This plywood predominantly comprises hardwoods like maple, ensuring it’s free from voids or any imperfections. Some specialized dies may demand aluminum or steel substrates. A die-maker wields a special bandsaw or laser cutter to create precisely positioned slits within the substrate. As for the steel rule, it’s essentially an elongated razor blade, painstakingly crafted from hardened steel. The die-maker meticulously cuts and bends this steel rule, securing it into the pre-made slits in the substrate.
An essential feature of this process is the inclusion of ejection rubber in the die’s construction. Rubber pads are carefully affixed to the substrate to facilitate the ejection of material after it’s been cut. Without this crucial addition, materials might tend to get entangled within the steel rules.
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Article with all rights reserved, courtesy of aboutmechanics.com
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