Punch and Die Materials and Tooling Solutions

September 28, 2020

Punching has been very helpful in providing holes in sheet materials. After all, this forming process utilises a punch press that forces the punch through the workpiece by creating a hole. Some examples of sheet materials that can undergo the punching process include sheet metals, paper, vulcanised fibre, and some types of plastic sheets.

Principles behind the Punching Process

Manufacturing companies that require one or more holes in their workpieces would maximise different forming processes. One of these processes is punching. As mentioned, punching utilises a punch press to create holes in a workpiece. This process of punching begins by aligning the workpiece between a punching tool and a die. The punching tool is typically made from tungsten carbide or any other metal that has a great level of strength. The die, alternatively, is a customised tool that can cut or shape the material.

Once the workpiece is aligned well, the punching tool is pushed down into the workpiece. The created piece from the process would usually take the same shape as the die. A circular die would mean that the workpiece will have a circular shape. A triangular die, alternatively, will create a triangular hole on the workpiece. The hole found on the workpiece will, therefore, be similar to the shape of the die.

Understanding Perforating Technology

The process of creating small holes in a workpiece is often called perforating. The perforating process involves the creation of holes in the workpiece with a specific set of tools that mostly include a perforating punch. Perforations, which are the small holes in a workpiece, are often found on packaging materials. Other industries likewise utilise perforations to maximise aesthetics and functionality.

Perforating punches are important in carrying out the perforating process. For the process to be successful, the perforating punch should have great physical inter-changeability and structural soundness. Load distribution, fatigue-resistance, and overall strength of the perforating punches must also be considered so that the process can be carried out without any problem.

The durability of the punch hugely depends on the induced stress levels of the perforating process. Some known concerns over perforating punches include head breakage and bending or buckling issues. To overcome punch durability concerns, the blend radius of the punch must be modified effectively.

The Importance of Punch-to-Die Alignment

Punch-to-die alignment pertains to the degree of clearance uniformity on the crucial points on the cutting periphery between a punch press or tool and the die. Uniform stamping of the workpiece can only be achieved if its alignment between the tool and the die is great. Subsequently, greater production quantities of workpieces can be achieved once uniform stamping is carried out.

Alternatively, non-uniform clearances may only equate to unbalanced loads. Unbalanced loads, consequently, will result in deflection and premature component failure.

An effective tooling solution for the punching process can only be achieved if the punch-to-die alignment is great. Attaining a great punch-to-die alignment can be done if the operator will consider some factors such as concentricity limits, effects of shape deviations, axial relationships in multi-hole retainer plates, and effect of the retention system on the aforementioned relationships.

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