Die cutting is a special shearing process that uses special tool called die to cut through rubber material. Die cut rubber parts are available in different shapes depending on the die configurations.
Die-cut rubber components are also popular because rubber is easy to punch. Besides, all rubber compounds can be die-cut quickly in mechanized setups. One benefit of such mechanized die-cutting systems is reduced material wastage.
Rubber Die-Cutting Machines
There are different rubber die-cutting machineries with diverse capabilities.
This section delves into some of the available rubber die-cutting machinery.
1. Flatbed Die Cutters for Rubber
For small, slim die-cut rubber parts, you can use flatbed die-cutters. Flatbed cutters can perform through cuts, perforations, and kiss-cutting. Through cuts is where you use a long cutting tool to cut through the rubber’s full depth.
In piercings or perforations, the die punches small holes in the rubber material. You can subsequently use the perforations to detach the finished part.
In kiss-cutting operations, the die cutter partially shears the rubber material into the adhesive liner. This cut part is then detached from the stock material leaving a small depression.
Flatbed die cutters are fast and economical for cutting thin materials. However, they are less effective for large or thick materials.
2. CNC Die Cutting Machines for Rubber
Unlike flatbed cutters, CNC die-cutting machines can cut larger and thicker rubber parts. These machines are automated and have continuous feeding capability. CNC die-cutting machines can produce hundreds of thousands of rubber die cut section.
CNC units can complete accurate flash cuts. Flat cuts use an oscillating knife tool to engrave, mill, kiss cut, and mark rubber materials. Expectedly, you have to first feed the flash cut instructions into the CNC processor.
Nevertheless, setting up CNC production units takes longer than flatbed cutters. Also, they may distort the edges of extremely thick materials.
3. Beam Presses in Die Cutting Rubber
Like CNC die-cutting machines, beam press units also cut large, thick rubber material. They are easy to assemble and can produce small amounts of large die-cut rubber parts cheaply. Their efficiency is limited by their manual feeding system and distortion of thick materials during cutting.
4. Digital Slitters
Have you ever wondered how rubber strips are cut into those tiny sizes? Well, slitters cut large rubber sheets into desired sizes. These knives do not distort material edges and can achieve crucial tolerances.
Digital slitters’ cutting action does not yield significant heat that can affect material quality and dimension. In summary, digital slitters are fast, accurate, and cost-effective for small- and large-scale operations.
Factors to Consider When Die-Cutting Rubber Parts
Geometry: Rubber parts with ultra-thin walls should not be die-cut
Thickness: Some thick or dense materials are hard to die-cut without deforming the edges.
Tolerances: Some tolerances are unachievable when die-cutting rubber. Therefore, you can use alternative cutting methods in such cases.
Volumes: You should use CNC units or traveling head press for high-volume productions. On the flip side, flatbed die-cutters are appropriate for smaller orders.
Essential Rubber Die-Cutting Steps
Step 1: Technical Drawing for Die Cut Rubber Parts
The first step in the rubber die-cutting process is producing a drawing specifying the essential dimensions. Worth mentioning is that the drawing must capture all the essential parts’ requirements and specifications. If you use an automated machine like a CNC unit, you will input the product’s detailed drawing into its processing unit.
Step 2: Feeding Rubber Sheet for Die Cutting
The second step entails feeding the rubber material to the cutting section. Here, you must position the material correctly to ensure excellent cutting.
Step 3: Rubber Die Cutting Process
In the third step, the cutting unit will punch through the rubber material to produce desired parts.
The last step, known as stripping, encompasses removing the finished parts from the cutting section. Consequently, you may produce other parts from the remaining material or use it in other processes.
Step 4: Ejection Rubber for Die Cutting
Die cutting tools typically have ejection rubber component affixed to them. Ejection rubber help to safely remove the cut rubber from the tooling. Notably, ejection rubber for die-cutting reduces edge distortions due to its enhanced durability, hardness, and elasticity.
Equipping die-cutting tools with ejection rubber improves the die-cutting machine’s efficiency. To this end, ejection rubber helps position the material, ensuring accurate and fast cutting operations. It also reduces tear on the die-cut part by ejecting it correctly from the die tool.
Die Cut Rubber Tolerances
Tolerances refer to the acceptable dimension disparities. Rubber die-cutting can produce parts with tight tolerances. Nonetheless, several production aspects impact die-cut rubber tolerances.
The grade of the rubber compound, environment, part complexity, tooling, and the equipment used all determine the part tolerances.
First, different rubber grades have unique characteristics that influence their tolerances.
Second, environmental conditions like temperature and humidity changes can increase or reduce the sizes of die-cut rubber components.
Third, die-cutting tools and equipment also distort the edges of rubber materials, affecting the dimensions.
Last, the size and complexity of a die-cut rubber component also influence their tolerances. For example, large part sizes have higher tolerances.
Types of Rubber Material for Die Cutting Process
Die-Cutting Silicone Rubber
Silicone rubber’s adaptability makes it a choice material across various industries. Its numerous advantages include heat, weather, corrosion resistance, and superb flame-retardant ability. For that reason, die-cut silicone rubber parts are ideal when you require such strengths.
Die-cutting silicone rubber produces parts with uniform thickness. It is also suitable for producing small-sized and complex parts. Lastly, automation allows you to mass-produce die-cut silicone rubber parts.
Apart from silicone, you can make die cut rubber components using these following materials:
- Neoprene die cut rubber parts
- EPDM die cut rubber parts
- Butyl die cut rubber parts
- Natural rubber die cut rubber parts
- Nitrile die cut rubber parts
- Viton die cut rubber parts
Even as you choose rubber material for die cutting rubber process, it is important to consider the following key aspects:
- Price of the final die cut rubber parts
- Specific applications or uses
- Rubber material ease of fabrication
Die-Cut Rubber Parts
Die-cut rubber parts are adaptable for broad and diverse applications. They offer numerous benefits to manufacturers. For example, rubber die-cutting produces more parts from standard material, reducing waste and production costs.
Die-cut rubber parts include gaskets, seals, washers, keychains, stamps, pads, and sheets.
Die-Cut Rubber Gaskets
Die-cut rubber gaskets are manufactured using dies. They seal coupling surfaces of components holding or conveying fluids or gases to avert leakages. Depending on the sealing application, die-cut rubber gaskets come in different shapes and sizes.
Die-cut rubber caskets are valuable for both short and long production cycles. They are easy and cheap to produce since they only require a die and a cutting machine. Further, die-cutting often produces gaskets with uniform dimensions and minimal errors.
Die-cut rubber gaskets are resistant to extreme temperature and pressure conditions. They, thus, provide superior protection to machine parts.
Choosing a die-cut rubber gasket that meets your size and shape requirements is essential. An ill-fitting die-cut rubber gasket will cause leakages.
Die-Cut Rubber Washers
Die-cut rubber washers serve as vibration-damping parts. They weigh less than metallic washers and are excellent insulators. Manufacturers produce customized die-cut washers for different service requirements.
One custom die tool makes several washers, reducing production time and ex-factory price.
Most die-cut rubber washers are made from silicone rubber. Silicone rubber’s popularity is due to its distinctive properties, such as high strength, insulative capacity, and temperature resistance.
Diet-Cut Rubber Key Chains
Die-cut rubber key chains are available in different designs, shapes, and sizes. Die-cut rubber key chains are smooth, flexible, and durable, like most rubber products.
These rubber key chains are also customizable. Businesses frequently use these key chains to promote their products and services. So, a manufacturer can customize die-cut rubber key chains to market your new product or event.
Die-Cut Rubber Sheets
Die-cut rubber sheets are used for myriad applications. For instance, they protect people from slips and falls in industrial and swimming pool walkways.
As you can see, rubber die cutting is a versatile process for making many parts and components depending on your unique requirements and specifications.
At Lindas, we will help you in all your die cutting process with both custom and OEM options available.