More About the Basics of Cutting with Metal Stamping in Minneapolis, MN

January 27th, 2016 · No Comments

Cutting like laser cutting is one of the most common operations performed during metal stamping. While it’s categorized as a simple operation, cutting complexity must be taken into account. At Thomas Engineering Company, we recognize the importance of having an expert cutting system with our metal stamping in Minneapolis, MN.

We’ve covered some of the basic cutting operations used here at TEC, but learning more about the operation as a whole can help you understand how this aspect of our metal stamping operation works.


Understanding Sheet Metal

Sheet metal may seem like a rigid material, and it does often serve that purpose. However, we can’t deny the fact that metal is an elastomer, which means that it flexes and behaves like rubber. While some metals like high-strength steel are less flexible than others, all metals have failure point. During the cutting process, the line of the cut is where the blank is stressed to its respective failure point, severing the metal along that line. The clearance between the sections cutting the blank changes depending on the material, thickness, hardness, and edge quality of the metal being cut.

 The Cutting Process

  • Cold extruding happens after the initial hit from the punch deforms the blank slightly. The punch continues to push down and wedge its way into the blank, squeezing the separated sides of the blank out from under it.
  • Shear strength, the greatest force a blank can withstand without fracturing, is met during the cold extruding process, and the blank is severed.
  • The cut band/shear zone is created during the cold extruding process when shear strength is met. The cut band is the shiny area along the cut edge.
  • The breakout/fracture zone is also produced along the cut. Because the cold extruding process does not create a 90º-angle cut, the cut line has two sections: the angled, smooth cut band, and the adjacent rough breakout. The cut line can be altered after the procedure depending on the quality of edge desired.
  • Strippers are spring-loaded or urethane components that forcibly remove the cut blank from the punch. Because the cutting operation drops so much force onto a blank, the metal decompresses and can stick to the punch. Strippers efficiently and safely separate the blank and the punch.

Without a high quality system for performing cutting operations, many sheet metal blanks would be damaged or provide poorly cut parts. For more information about our metal stamping in Minneapolis, MN, contact Thomas Engineering Company at (763) 533-1501.

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