Die Cut Gaskets & Pads, Gasket Die Cutting
Stockwell Elastomerics is a leading die cut gasket manufacturer with a wide array of fabrication capabilities and techniques focused on bringing value to customers. Stockwell Elastomerics fabricates die cut gaskets and cushioning pads from a variety of elastomeric materials with a core specialty in silicone rubber. Benefits of using Stockwell Elastomerics for custom die cut gaskets include:
- Fast gasket cutting
- Low-cost steel rule die cutting available
- Machined solid steel dies for more complex and tolerance sensitive parts
- CNC die cutting, yield optimizing software for best material usage
- Large die footprint
What it the Best Die Cutting Method?
There are several processes or combination of processes that can be utilized to make die cut gaskets and pads. The best method for manufacturing gaskets will vary depending on tolerances, quantities, and the materials being cut. Stockwell Elastomerics will work with engineers to help design for the best converting method, reducing cost and improving handling. The Applications Engineers at Stockwell Elastomerics can help evaluate designs for manufacturability and minimize manufacturing cost. Slight design modifications up front can save thousands of dollars in production costs later.
High Speed Die Cutting, Kiss Cutting
Automated, flatbed die cutters are typically used for relatively small, thin die cut gaskets that have mid-level volume (100K – 500K per year). Die cut gasket part sizes generally range from 0.25″ square or round to 12″ square or round. The flatbed die cutters are also capable of “kiss cutting” gaskets or pads that have adhesive one side. Kiss cutting is when the die blade cuts through the gasket material and just into, but not through, the adhesive liner. Once parts are kiss cut they are wound on a roll for shipment.
- Advantages: Fastest, most cost-effective means of cutting thin simple parts, a capability to kiss cut parts
- Limitations: Can’t cut large parts, edge deformity on thicker materials, can’t cut part with adhesive on 2 sides
Continuous Feed CNC Gasket Die Cutting Unit
Stockwell Elastomerics’ CNC cutting unit is typically utilized to die cut mid to large sized gaskets. With its optimizing software, continuous feed belt, and accelerated hit rate, the CNC unit is used for larger gaskets with mid-level volumes (100,000 – 500,000 per year).
- Advantages: Fast, cost-effective for mid-large volume large die cut gaskets, has a continuous feed
- Limitations: Longer setup time, edge deformity on thicker materials, some material limitations
Beam Press, Manual and Traveling Head
Parts that are typically cut on the manual and traveling head beam presses are similar to those cut on the CNC unit (mid to large die cut gaskets), but at lower volumes.
- Advantages: Minimal setup time, cost effective for low volume runs of large die cut gaskets
- Limitations: Manual feed, edge deformity on thicker materials, some material limitations
Die cut parts typically cut on a clicker presses are similar to those cut on the Preco unit (small to mid-sized die cut gaskets), but at lower volumes.
- Advantages: Minimal setup time, cost-effective for very low volume runs of small die cut gaskets
- Limitations: Manual feed, edge deformity on thicker materials
Knife slitting units are used to manufacture gasket tape and strip rolls of material. A master sheet of material is rolled onto a 3″ diameter core and presented to the slitter where it is cut to smaller rolls, much like a loaf of bread. In many cases this roll is then sent to a die cutting station for a “straight blade” cut on a specific progression; the resulting part is a rectangle or square. The method of first slitting a roll then straight blade cutting is usually referred to as “Progression Cutting”.
Considerations for Cutting Gaskets and Pads
- Geometry – Parts with thin walls less than 0.1″ may not die cut well, and may require waterjet cutting.
- Material Type – Certain materials are susceptible to deformation in the form of edge concavity, which may or may not be acceptable depending on the particular application.
- Material Thickness – The thickness, in conjunction with the density, plays a significant role in how well the material can be cut or if it can be die cut at all.
- Tolerances – By the nature of soft good materials, the tolerances need to be “looser” than sheet metal tolerances. Parts requiring tight tolerances may need solid steel tooling or water jet cutting instead of steel rule cutting.
- Volume – Large volume parts are best designed with Preco or CNC cutting in mind for cost savings.
- Packing and Shipping Method – Typically manufacturing cells prefer parts to be packed in a certain fashion whether the parts are in roll form, cut through, or on a strip. Considering the packing method before the final design can contribute to significant cost saving in manufacturing time.
Die Cut Gasket Applications
Stockwell Elastomerics specializes in die cutting custom gaskets for many applications and industries. The following are some examples of custom die cut gaskets and their uses:
- Die cut adhesive LED gaskets
- Die cut LCD bezel gaskets
- Die cut NEMA and UL 50 enclosure gaskets
- Die cut battery pads
- Die cut radome gaskets
- Die cut environmental gaskets
- Die cut EMI gaskets
Die Cutting Alternative – Waterjets & Digital Knife
An alternative to die cutting is waterjet cutting and digital knife cutting. Stockwell Elastomerics has four in-house waterjet cutting machines and a flash cutting cell to offer fast, fabricating services. Tool-less cutting can be used to meet critically short deadlines, do fast prototyping and produce intricate geometries. Waterjets and flash cutters can cut most rubber gaskets and pad materials very accurately.
- Advantages: Cuts very accurately, can cut complex parts, excellent for cutting high quality parts without costly cutting dies, quick lead-time
- Limitations: Longer cycle time, least cost-effective means of cutting simple parts
Contact Stockwell Elastomerics for Die Cut Gaskets & Pads
Contact Us for further assistance with die cutting, including high speed die cutting, kiss cutting, continuous feed CNC, beam press, clicker press, and knife slitting to make custom die cut gaskets and die cut pads.