Experts in Silicone Gasket Solutions
Experts in Silicone Gasket Solutions


Flash Cut Gaskets and Pads, Flash Cutting

Common line cut pads on liner, kiss cut gray silicone, kisscut window gaskets with release liner

Stockwell Elastomerics fabricates flash cut gaskets and pads using digital knife cutting systems from silicone elastomers and other materials that are sourced from trusted supplier partners. The flash cutting manufacturing cell can cut most silicone rubber gasket and pad materials at speeds that are especially conducive for quick turn prototyping and production. Stockwell Elastomerics can provide customers with custom gaskets for evaluation that will mirror how the parts will be received at commercial levels.

What is Flash Cutting?Flash cutter in progress cutting gaskets with release liners

Flash cutting is a die-less, automated process that uses a system of reciprocating knives and computer numerical control (CNC) to fabricate parts like silicone gaskets and silicone pads with clean edges and precise shapes with tolerances comparable to the waterjet cutting process. It also works well with other elastomers and polymers. There’s no custom tooling to wait for or pay for, and part designs can be uploaded directly from computer aided design (CAD) files. A gantry style table holds sheet materials in place and supports parts nesting for greater material yields.

Die-less Cutting and Die-less Knife Cutting

Sometimes flash cutting is called die-less cutting or die-less knife cutting instead. There are other fabrication processes that cut without dies, however, and it’s possible to cut rubber gaskets or pads with a knife that’s held in the hand. Because flash cutting is a digital manufacturing process, it provides greater accuracy, consistency, and repeatability than manual methods. Additionally, digital knife cutting systems do not produce fumes or burn marks like laser cutting, another die-less cutting method.

Flash Cut Gaskets and Pads for Prototyping and ProductionKiss cut silver aluminum silicone pads on release liner, kiss cut gray silicone foam

Flash cut gaskets and pads are ideal for quick turn and iterative prototyping. Because there’s no custom tooling, the design engineer doesn’t have to wait for a die to be cut for fabrication to begin. If a part design changes, the engineer can revise the CAD file or create a new one from which the updated part can be fabricated quickly. Flash cutting’s speed and flexibility also make it a good choice for production runs with tight deadlines, or for parts that have intricate shapes or larger sizes. In terms of aesthetics, flash cut gaskets and pads are comparable to molded.

Flash Cutting vs. Die Cutting

Flash cutting is used for part volumes that range from the ones or tens to hundreds or several thousands. For higher volumes, die cutting is typically preferred as it is more economical. However, when greater precision is required, the flash cut process delivers a better product without rough corners, jagged edges or hour-glassed sides (deformation). With flash cutting, a multi-tool head can also support operations such as hole punching.

Manufacturing Tolerances for Flash Cutting

Stockwell Elastomerics provides technical data on dimensional tolerances for flash cut sponge components.

Stockwell ElastomericsRMA
Flash Cut Tolerance 1BL1 Tolerance 2BL2 Tolerance 2
For material thickness: up to 0.125"
Under 0.50"+/-0.010+/-0.025+/-0.032
0.50 to 0.99+/-0.015+/-0.025+/-0.032
1.0 to 6.3"+/-0.015+/-0.032+/-0.040
Over 6.3" multiply by0.00250.00630.01
For material thickness: 0.125" to 0.25"
Under 0.50"+/-0.010+/-0.025+/-0.032
0.50 to 0.99+/-0.015+/-0.025+/-0.032
1.0 to 6.3"+/-0.015+/-0.032+/-0.040
Over 6.3" multiply by0.00250.00630.01
For material thickness: 0.25" to 0.50"
Under 0.50"N/A+/-0.032+/-0.040
0.50 to 0.99N/A+/-0.032+/-0.040
1.0 to 6.3"N/A+/-0.040+/-0.050
Over 6.3" multiply byN/A0.00630.01
For material thickness: Over 0.50"
Under 0.50"N/A+/-0.040+/-0.050
0.50 to 0.99N/A+/-0.040+/-0.050
1.0 to 6.3"N/A+/-0.050+/-0.063
Over 6.3" multiply byN/A0.00630.01
1 Stockwell Elastomerics, Flash Cutting Tolerance represents Stockwell Elastomerics’ capability based on flash cutting adhesive backed cellular elastomeric materials.
2 Rubber Manufactures Association (RMA), BL1 and BL2 – data is from RMA Table 35 for designing components fabricated from cellular elastomeric materials.

Contact Stockwell Elastomerics for Flash Cut Gaskets and Pads

Stockwell Elastomerics maintains a large inventory of solid silicone sheet, silicone sponge, silicone foam, and other materials that can be fabricated into flash cut gaskets and pads. To learn more about the advantages of flash cutting or to discuss a current application, contact Stockwell Elastomerics.

Contact Stockwell Elastomerics

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