Gaskets are important components in construction and machinery, as they function as mechanical seals to prevent fluid and gas leaks. While some gaskets are manufactured through waterjet cutting, others are created via die cutting. Die-cut gaskets provide a seal between two distinct surfaces, filling the space when a sufficient amount of bolt load produces a compressive force.
Die cutting is one of the most effective methods for splitting, molding, and forming flexible materials, making it the technique of choice among manufacturers. It delivers a high level of precision and can cut shapes easily.
Rotary and flatbed die cutting are two of the most common methods of die cutting, and deciding which method to use for die cut gaskets can be tricky. This article will discuss the fundamentals and distinctions between rotary and flatbed die cutting.
Flatbed Die Cutting
Flatbed die cutting is the method of cutting or perforating the required shape from the raw material with a hydraulic flatbed press. The machines have a flat, permanent base and a movable head, and the cutting die is commonly composed of sharp strips of metal called steel rule.
The raw material is fed along the base while the press is vertically pushed down to produce the cut. The vertical motion shapes thicker materials, resulting in minimal material bending.
The flatbed die-cutting process is typically utilized for four primary reasons:
If the product is thick
If the material is only accessible in sheet form
If the order is low-volume
If budget is a consideration
Flatbed die cutters are frequently used in custom manufacturing projects due to their exceptional workability and cost-effectiveness. Moreover, recent technology advances in flatbed die cutter equipment, such as laser cutting, digital printing, and design refinement, provide manufacturers with more options.
Rotary Die Cutting
Rotary die cutting uses a cylindrical die to cut shapes out of material. The cutters are equipped with blades to cut the required form in a circular rotating motion around the full circumference of the cylinder.
The process begins by feeding the raw material at a very high speed between two rolling cylinders. The rolling die cuts off the shape with excellent tolerance and precision and generates less waste than the flatbed die cutting.
The rotary die-cutting process can produce exceedingly complex multilayer parts due to its capacity to perform multiple functions during the same cycle. It also allows cutting each piece completely through or kiss cutting, where a paper liner is left to hold each piece together until it is required.
Manufacturers usually utilize rotary die-cutting presses for the following circumstances:
If the product is thin
If the required quantity is high
If the project necessitates a kiss cut
If the design has precise tolerances
Rotary die cutting is suitable in areas where metal and plastic sheets must be precisely the same size. It is also recommended for producing adhesive sheets that suit identically sized objects and printing bandages in a precise manner. In addition, it accommodates a vast array of materials, including thin metal, plastic, paper, foam, cloth, and laminates.
Choose Mercer Gasket & Shim for Quality Die Cut Gaskets Solutions
Rotary die cutting utilizes a cylinder to cut shapes from a material, whereas flatbed die cutting uses a hydraulic flatbed press to make the desired shape. The flatbed die-cutting method is excellent for low-volume projects. On the other hand, the rotary die-cutting technique is suitable for large production due to its ability to make many cuts simultaneously.
At Mercer Gasket & Shim, we offer flatbed die-cutting solutions for precision gasket manufacturing! We provide materials recommendations, building-to-print services, CAD design, PMI services, engineering assistance, and computerized reverse engineering.
As an ISO 9001:2015-accredited company, we follow rigorous quality management systems for all products and services. We have also earned a reputation for delivering high-quality solutions promptly.
Food grade gaskets play a vital role in consumer safety, helping to maintain the sterility of consumable products. Manufacturers typically utilize these gaskets across a wide range of food-production applications to prevent contamination.
One of the most important applications for gaskets is food production; compromising the safety of food and beverages can threaten entire populations. Recent outbreaks of E. coli and other bacteria have forced companies to recall their products to prevent widespread illnesses or even death for some consumers.
For compliance and safety, companies need gaskets that adhere to the strictest FDA and USDA guidelines. A specialized rubber gasketensures no food or beverage is contaminated during any process condition. These gaskets are fabricated from materials that maintain the highest levels of sterility.
Food grade gaskets offer a fair amount of flexibility compared to gaskets manufactured for other industries. At our ISO 9001:2015-certified facilities, we offer the following methods of gasket cutting:
At Mercer Gasket, we have been specializing in the production of custom precision gaskets for 100 years. Our engineers work closely with every client to assist in the entire production process, including material selection, computer-aided design, and computerized reverse engineering. Over the years, our clients have continually trusted us to provide high-quality gasket solutions for even the most challenging projects.
For applications requiring exposure to extreme heat, silicone is a popular option. It can withstand temperatures of up to 450° F, while still functioning well in temperatures as low as -67° F. This material is often translucent, but it is also available in gray, white, and red.Read More
Like silicone, PTFE offers high levels of temperature resistance. It also provides significant anti-abrasion and anti-stick properties. This synthetic fluoropolymer is very malleable, and it is often one of the most desirable materials for food grade gaskets.Read More
Ideal for situations requiring exposure to the elements, EPDM rubber is resistant to UV light and doesn’t break down in extreme weather. As such, it is a popular choice for food production in agricultural settings such as grain silos. This material is both flexible and strong, and it holds up well even when exposed to oily substances. EPDM rubber is typically black in color and provides reliable service in temperatures of -40° F to 250° F.
Nitrile (NBR, Buna-N)
One of the biggest strengths of FDA Nitrile Rubber is its resistance to oil. This is particularly beneficial in the food industry since it will function well even when exposed to greasy or oily foods, particularly vegetable oils and animal fats. Nitrile can withstand temperatures ranging from -40° F to 212° F. It is most often available in black or white color options.
When compared to gaskets manufactured for the pharmaceutical industry, gaskets for the food and beverage sector have incrementally greater flexibility in design. Pharma regulations indicate that no substitutions can be made in gasket production; however, food industry gaskets can be designed with material substitutes for certain applications.
Even so, the materials for the vast majority of food and beverage gaskets have been predetermined by industry customers. While gasket manufacturers are ready and willing to provide advice, most clients select the materials they need according to size, temperature, application, media, and pressure (STAMP).
One of the most frequently used gasket types in food production is the PTFE gasket, or Teflon® gasket. Known throughout many industries for its dielectric and non-stick properties, most PTFE resins are FDA-approved for food-related applications. Other frequently used materials for food and beverage gaskets include silicone and EPDM rubber. Mercer stocks a full line of sanitary gaskets and we are also able to create many other custom gaskets using the materials above.
Compliance for Quality
Every gasket-purchasing client needs to know their products can be delivered at the highest quality standards and without contamination. Manufacturers need to ensure contamination-free products, but the need for confirmable quality assurance goes beyond that.
Gaskets and seals for the food and beverage industry need to follow strict governmental regulations and industry standards, including:
Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA publishes regulations that include which manufactured materials can come in contact with food and beverage products.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This organization oversees packaging materials and equipment used in meat and poultry processing.
United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Class VI. A non-governmental organization, the USP sets high standards for materials used in food and beverage processing. Class VI compounds meet the tightest requirements for non-toxicity.
Contact Us for Quality Custom Gaskets for the Food and Beverage Industry
To prevent contamination of consumables both during and after production, it is imperative to utilize high-quality FDA gaskets. Working with expert engineers streamlines this process, ensuring that you will receive products and materials that are suited to your unique needs.
AtMercer Gasket, we work at the highest levels of quality available in the industry. We are fully ISO 9001:2015 certified, ensuring that every gasket we produce meets the most stringent industrial standards and governmental regulations. Our experience in producing gaskets for the food and beverage industry extends back 20 years.
Not only do we offer gaskets in a full range of FDA- and USDA-approved materials, but we also work with customers to maintain an inventory that meets their specific requirements. Maintaining these inventories allows our clients to rest assured that their specific gasket material will be available upon request and ready for delivery. For additional material needs, our in-house group of sourcing experts can assist in selecting and procuring the necessary products for your project.
For more information about our extensive experience and expertise in producing gaskets for the food industry, please contact us or request a quote today.
Choosing the ideal material for your application is a critical decision; important points you must consider are temperature, pressure, and chemical exposure of the gasket’s environment. Mercer Gasket understands the importance of this decision, which is why we offer a large selection of standard and specialized materials that can withstand the most extreme operating environments.
Our gasket materials have different mechanical and chemical properties, making them suitable for a wide range of industrial applications. To categorize the performance characteristics of our materials, we have created a Materials Selection Guide.
Available as a free download from our website, this in-depth guide provides information on the materials we offer—temperature ranges, chemical resistances, specific features and applications, and more. Our many material offerings include:
We also manufacture products of specialized materials, such as ceramic, fiberglass, cork, vegetable fiber, and others. Please contact us for more information on our custom materials—Mercer’s customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day.
To obtain your free copy of Mercer Gasket’s Materials Guide, simply click the button below and complete the short form.
In addition to this Materials Guide, we also have other resources available, including an elastomers material guide, chemical resistance charts, and an eBook on selecting the right gaskets for you application.
To access our collection of resource materials, visit our Resource Library here or click the button below.
Mercer Gasket, understands that material choices will differ greatly depending on your application—that’s why we manufacture high-quality gaskets using a wide range of elastomer materials to meet specific process conditions.
Gaskets made with elastomers are afforded enhanced resiliency against inclement environments and various substances, and the elasticity needed to withstand the most intense compression and torsion.
To illustrate some of the most common elastomers utilized in our products, we have created an Elastomers Materials Guide. Downloadable from our website, this guide will provide comprehensive information on the elastomer materials used in many of our gaskets, including:
For each of these elastomers, you will acquire knowledge of their:
Adhesive Properties to Metals
Temperature Usage Ranges
Tear, Abrasion, and Solvent Resistances
Elastomers are quite versatile, but everyone—manufacturers and consumers alike—has different needs. This guide will enable you to make the most informed decision regarding your gaskets.
To obtain your free copy of Mercer’s Elastomers Materials Guide, just click the button below and complete the form. In addition to our Elastomers Materials Guide, we also offer comprehensive guides to a number of our other product materials, including a full materials list for both elastomers and metals, as well as a general materials guide for the most common materials used in our products.
To access all of our resource materials, visit our Resource Library here or click the button below: