Die cutting is a popular manufacturing process used to create high-precision metal parts. As its name implies, the process involves the use of a die, a customized tool employed in a press to shear webs of low-strength materials. Dies can be used with a wide range of materials, including rubber, cloth, paper, plastic, and sheet metal.
The die cutting process begins with the creation of a customized die that will match the desired shape or outline of the part being manufactured. How the die is designed is critical to the overall success of the project, and many manufacturers are now turning to automated software programs to create more precise dies.
A die consists of strategically placed blades that are used to form the intended part shape. Once shaped, the die is mounted onto a plate and set into the press, which may be rotational or flatbed style. The manufacturer then places the selected material onto the press and applies the die, pressing it until it forms the desired shape. Accommodating a wide range of materials, the die can be modified to form any shape.
Thanks to its great versatility, die cutting remains one of the most commonly used manufacturing processes, used in a number of industries for a wide range of applications. Below are a few examples of how die cutting can be used to transform common materials into useful products.
Cardboard and carton packaging — Die-cut cardboard and other fiberboard materials are used in a variety of packaging supplies, including envelope mailers, bookends, product packaging, and cargo and truck liner components.
Foam — Die-cut foam can be used to create a wide range of automotive parts, such as gaskets and vehicle insulation.
Plastic — Die-cut plastic can be used to create various products, including stiffeners and hold-downs.
Rubber — Die-cut rubber has many automotive applications and is frequently used to create products such as pump gaskets, sheet gaskets, and electric motor gaskets, as well as gasoline engine seals.
Fabrics and fibers — A wide assortment of fabrics can be worked with die cutting, including felt, cotton, polyester, and carbon fiber, which can be used for automotive parts such as padding, car seat inserts, and door fabric inserts.
The Versatility of Die Cutting
Versatile and reliable, die cutting can be used to create products for a huge range of applications. The ability to customize each die and choose from various material options make the process ideal for manufacturing jobs across countless industries.
Read more: Common Die Cutting Applications
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