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.
Contact us today to learn more about our premium die-cut gasket solutions, or request a quote to get started with us!