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Precision Die Cutting

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Precision die cutting is a process of converting sheets or rolls of non-metallic materials into custom gaskets and other die cut parts with speed, uniformity, and accuracy. Plus, it’s cost-effective over a wide range of part sizes and quantities.

Interstate Specialty Products provides precision die cutting services supporting tight tolerances, small and large part sizes, and various production volumes. Here, at our Made in the USA manufacturing facility in Sutton, Massachusetts, we provide precision die cutting services using high-quality tooling and state-of-the-art equipment. Interstate also offers rotary die cutting and digital die-less cutting.

Advantages of Precision Die Cutting

Precision die cutting is fast, consistent, and cost-effective for parts that range from miniature washers to large gaskets. Non-metallic materials are continuously fed into die cutting equipment, and parts with tight tolerances are continually output. These die cut parts have a high degree of uniformity, even across higher volumes. Part features such as punched holes with specific radii, are readily achievable in production runs that range from dozens to millions of parts. Interstate can also combine precision die cutting with specialized handling and conversion capabilities, including the application of pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs) for peel-and-stick parts.

Die Selection and Precision Die Cutting

Precision die cutting techniques vary, but include the following components:

  • the die, a specialized metal tool for cutting or punching
  • the gasket material, such as a plastic, elastomer, film, or membrane
  • the die cutting machine, which is also known as a press
  • CNC controlled equipment, which can support advanced design software

To create your custom gaskets or other die cut parts, Interstate uses steel rules dies, solid milled dies, or matched metal dies (male/female dies). Each type of die offers distinct advantages.

Steel Rule Dies

steel rule diesSteel rule dies are made with hardened steel strips (steel rules) whose edges cut or punch sheet and web materials into specific geometries. They are less expensive than solid milled or matched metal dies, and are a great option for die cut parts that do not demand extremely tight tolerances. With steel rule dies, typical close-tolerance tooling is guaranteed to be within ±.010” for parts that measure less than 12".

Solid Milled Dies

Solid milled dies are made of solid, heat-treated steel for precision die cutting that’s consistent, reliable, and repeatable. These dies cause less flexing and distortion than steel rule dies, and may achieve final parts tolerances from ±.005" to ±.010". Solid milled dies cost more than steel rule dies, but provide greater accuracy for more demanding projects.

Matched Metal Dies

Matched metal dies, also referred to as male/ female dies, are recommended for die cut parts where extremely tight tolerances are required. They are more expensive than steel rule dies and solid milled dies, but can achieve final tolerances from ±.001" to ±.005".

Part Tolerances and Precision Die Cutting

Die cutting tolerances aren’t just a function of die type or part size. Material type, part features, tool type, and production technique play an important role. Tool costs, turnaround times, and specific design and manufacturing advantages also vary by precision die cutting technique.

Tool Type

Steel Rule Die

Solid Milled Die

Matched Metal Die

Part Features

Tolerances

1” to 12”

.010”

.005” to .010”

.001” to .005”

12” to 24”

.015”

N/A

N/A

Punched Holes

.010”

.005”

.001” to .005”

Hole Position

.015”

.015”

.005”

Radii .062” to .50”

.030”

.015”

.010”

Other Considerations

Tool Cost

$

$$$

$$$$

Turnaround Time

2 days

2 to 3 weeks

4 to 6 weeks

Advantage

Cost/

turnaround

Accuracy/

reliability

Accuracy/

reliability

Products and Materials for Precision Die Cutting

Interstate Specialty Products uses precision die cutting to create die cut products, including the following:

die cut products

  • custom gaskets
  • insulation
  • wicks
  • filter media
  • membranes
  • vents
  • washers
  • Porex chromatography frits

In addition to Porex, Interstate can die cut materials such as:

die cut materials

  • membranes
  • sponge and foam
  • solid elastomers
  • plastics and film
  • silicone membranes
  • EMI/RFI shielding materials
  • pressure-sensitive adhesives
  • electrical insulation
  • customer-supplied materials

Choose Precision Die Cutting from Interstate

Precision die cutting isn’t just about high-quality tooling and state-of-the-art technology. With over 50 years of die cutting expertise, Interstate adds application knowledge and technical expertise to your project. To learn how our custom die cutting capabilities can support your specific application, contact us on-line or call (800) 984-1811.

*Properties and applications shown throughout this website are typical. Your specific application should not be undertaken without independent study and evaluation for suitability.

 

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