Quality Punches and Dies for Tool MakingJune 8, 2018
There’s a formula for creating quality punches. The engineering techniques also apply to the dies for tool making that perform flawlessly during their extended lifespans. Principally speaking, the key is to never accept anything less than the best. Unfortunately, sheet material manufacturers also using that approach. If tooling technology stands still, these improved raw metals will cripple the tools, so how do we keep these hardened edges one step ahead?
Research and Development Strategies
By examining the punch slugs, it’s possible to gain an insight into the issue. Is the tool advancing at the wrong angle? Is it fitted to a worn tool head? These technical problems are correctable, so the next period of downtime quickly address the mechanical fault. But what if punch quality no longer effectively impacts the sheet metal? A newly developed tool is the solution, one that will endure the compressive and tensile forces as they rip through the base metal.
Accounting for Impact Action
The sheet metals’ tensile force has been overcome by the punch tip. The manufacturing edge has been regained, but it’s not enough. There’s the discharged slug to analyze, plus an accompanying need to reevaluate the die design. The punch, as it drops through the slug opening, is about to retract. A quality derived design formula delves deep into this stage of the operation. The flanks of the punch, are they tapered and smooth? If they are, then the tooltip will retract without difficulty. Substandard punches and dies for tool lack this feature, so they retract with a rasping noise and leave burrs.
Assuring Reliable Die Action
Working in concert, dies and punches remove the slugs and localize the impact energy. High-quality tool combos complete this action with a single compressive press of the tool head. If the quality section of our formula is lopped off and forgotten, that localized die action becomes compromised. Essentially, the tungsten carbide punch still creates geometrical shapes on the workpiece, but the die hampers that movement. The high-tolerance die clearance setting becomes erratic when this low-quality tooling component shifts, so the punch profile ends up twisted and deformed. Even a small die offset can cause sharp punch corners to curve and subvert the intended shearing zone.
Material flaws and manufacturing defects produce tough tungsten carbide dies and punches, but weakened fracture sites are populating every other tool. The quality assurance program is failing. If it’s not a material defect, then the sides of the tool are poorly realized, which means the retraction operation will cause ragged edges and frictional damage. Lastly, high-quality punches and dies for tool making purposes must equally deliver these features. Otherwise, a poorly matched pairing will impair the quality of the impact-driven punch profile.
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