What is Steel Rule Die Cutting

You might wonder what steel rule die cutting is and what differentiates it from other regular cutters. You may already know the answer to these questions, especially when you are working or if you have a vast knowledge in the construction industry. However, to any noob out there, this can be quite a challenge but not impossible. Read on to learn more.

1 Definition. Steel rule die cutting is a procedure that is quite common in cutting or clipping off sheet materials such as rubber, plastic, cardboard and even plastic. This process is the most ideal way to use when you want to cut a bunch of regular boxes made out of cardboard or packages made out of pliant plastic. This unambiguous technique can also perfectly create creases, can easily puncture holes through thick materials and can effortlessly slit boxes.

2. Description. You might wonder why it is called "steel rule die cutting."  The explanation behind the name may sound a bit complicated but it is actually easy once you understood it.

  • The die is made out of a base that is usually flat. In most cases, it is built from sturdy, high quality plywood that usually consists of laminated, flawlessly layered woods such as narra or maple with a very smooth, almost a glassy texture to it. There are some dies that need a special kind of material such as thinly layered steel or aluminum.
  • The die maker uses a band saw or laser cutter that is especially designed to fit the flat base of the die. This kind of cutter also ensures perfect precision when positioned to the plywood or steel. It consists of a steel rule that is elongated in shape and is made out of a thin razor blade from folded steel (just like a sword). This will enable the die maker to be flexible when cutting the steel rule.
  • Finally, an ejection rubber is added in order to remove the material right after it is cut. This component is very important. Without the ejection rubber, the steel rule die will most likely get stuck.

3. Types of Cut. There are several types of cut that you can do when using a steel rule die. These are:

  • Side Bevel - the cutting edge is off center however, it can cut in high quality.
  • Facet Bevel - the cutting edge is in the center and provides clean, diamond shaped cuts.
  • Center Bevel - the most common cut; the edge is centered and sandwiched between the steel rules.
  • Flush Bevel - the cutting edge is paralleled with the face of the steel rule.

The flat base, the steel rule and the rubber are the main elements that you need in order to create an ideal steel rule die. Interestingly enough, these three seemingly innocuous factors can produce a minimum of 20 tons or18,000 kilograms to a maximum of 150 tons or 135,000 kilograms of force. So be careful when using this!


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