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Robert Wax’s Sales Seminar: Dies

Types of Dies:

  • Steel Rule Die – Die set in wood. Consists of cutting blade and wood.
  • Steel Rule Clicker Die – Wood form with steel bent around it and bolted. Heavier and sometimes welded.
  • Forged Die – Made by heating steel to malleable state, shaping steel, heat treating, then grinding the edge sharp.
  • Pre-Hardened and Ground Steel Die – Made with pre-hardened and ground steel. Only the tip is hardened – Cold bent.

Steel Rule Dies

  • Initially in the paper industry used with Clam Shell presses. Steel Rule comes in strips in 2, 4, 6, 8 pt. thickness. Usually 6pt. in our industry (thinner OK for HS press application.)
  • Usually center or side bevel.
  • Cutting rule height may vary for kiss & through cutting applications. • Uniformity in height • Precise • Inexpensive • Use in automated cutting systems.
  • Use with mechanical stops.

Forged Dies

  • Variety of heights: high dies, clearance dies.
  • Double edge dies – shoe trade (striking plate necessary)
  • Hardened completely (body & tip)
  • Can use with most materials except vacuum formed parts & HS press applications because height is never uniform.
  • Cannot use when cutting against steel or cutting belt because of non-uniform height. (High quality dies can be made to use with belts, ie. Allegiance and Johnson & Johnson)

Pre Hardened and Ground Steel Dies

  • Also known as European or Sandvik dies – Cold bent.
  • Lower cost, faster to make.
  • Only tip is hardened – can only be sharpened one or two times before getting up to the soft body.
  • Different edges:
    • Serrated for textiles:
      • Viking Tex – material pushed up into serration.
      • Micro Tex – finer serration.
    • Pinking – zig-zag cut.
  • Ontario Die uses pre-hardened and ground steel in wood.

Other factors in determining the die:

  • Bevel
  • Hardness of material: man made vs. natural
  • Clearance in dies
  • Ejection – stiffer materials require more ejection material
  • Distance between die blades – if die blades close together, material goes up between blades, more tonnage may be necessary. The material always needs a place to go or blade will blow up.
  • Height of die depends on material thickness and plies. When cutting multiple plies, deformation of material (difference of size of top and bottom pieces) may take place.
  • Die should fit under head of press unless the die is on the bed, blade up, and the material is pushed into the die.