Types of Die Cutting Operations

A major advantage of die cutting is its versatility as a fabrication method. Since the process depends upon the shape and configuration of an interchangeable die, manufacturers can perform multiple operations using a single cutting machine by replacing the die itself. Specialized dies may be used for specific projects, such as those involving bending, coining, or curling. There are many different types of dies, and, generally, the name of the die operation is signified by the type of die used in it. We list below the most common die-cutting techniques, with brief descriptions of each, including examples of the products each technique produces.

Bending is the process of deforming a base material through pressure from a die. For example, if the product requires an “L” bracket design, the die descends and curves the length of material into a 90-degree angle.

Blanking is a way of cutting flat material by trimming it from its exterior edge. The blanking die usually compresses uniformly, creating a precise degree of flatness.

A broaching die can be a useful option for shaping material that is too thick or hard to be cut by other means. This die employs multiple rows of successively larger cutting teeth to trim away material quickly and efficiently.

A bulging fluid die uses water or oil as a medium for expanding a part, while a bulging rubber die harnesses a pressurized rubber block to deform a work piece. Bulging can be used for expanding pipes or other cylindrical parts.

Coining is a type of stamping procedure used to punch circular holes through a material (usually metal). The cut is made via pressurized force clamping a punch and die. This process can result in highly intricate or precise product features.

A curling die rolls or bends material into a curved shape. Common uses for curling include the fabrication of door hinges or the removal of sharp edges on sheet metal parts. Curling can also improve material stiffness.

Cut Off
When excess material needs to be trimmed from a finished part, the process is usually performed by a cut off die. These dies are also used to cut or shorten a piece of material by a predetermined length to prepare it for further tooling or machining processes..

Drawing is a method of pulling material to a designated length, resulting in a thinner, longer work piece. Products such as tubing, bars, or wires are often fabricated through drawing.

Extrusion applies a high degree of pressure to force material between a punch and an extrusion die, which cuts it into shape. Unlike coining, the material only takes on the characteristics of the die, rather than those of the punch and die in combination.

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