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Dies Types and Operations

Assembly

Assembling two or more parts together by press fitting, riveting, staking or other means.

Bending

The shaping of sheet metal at a predetermined angle.  This operation compresses the interior side of the bend and stretches the exterior side. 

Blanking

Produces a blank by cutting the entire periphery in one simultaneous operation. 

Broaching

Removes material through the use of multiple cutting teeth,  with each tooth cutting behind the other.  A broaching die is commonly used to remove material from parts that are too thick for shaving.

Bulging

Expands a portion of a drawn shell causing it to bulge.

Burr

The ridge on the edge of a workpiece resulting from a dies cutting operation.

Change-over Tooling

Components of a die that allow tools to produce multiple parts.

Coining

Forming features on either face of a blank by transfer from the face of the punch or die.

Compound

Allows the cutting of internal and external part features on a single press stroke.

Curling

Forms the material at the edge of a workpiece into a circular shape or hollow ring.

Cut-Off

Is used to cut off excess material from a finished end of a part or to cut off a predetermined length of material strip for additional operations.

Drawing

Similar to forming with more severe plastic deformation in the material.

Fine Blanking

A specialized form of blanking where there is no fracture zone when shearing.  This is achieved by compressing the whole part and then an upper and lower punch extracts the blank.  

Forming

Bending a blank along a curved surface.

In Die Stacking

A die that is designed with features that clinch laminations together during the stamping process.

Lancing

The workpiece is sheared and bent with a single press stroke.

Notching        

A piercing operation that removes material from the edge of a workpiece.

Piercing

Used to pierce holes in stampings.

Progressive

A single die that provides multiple stations to blank a finished part.

Shaving

Removes a small amount of material from the edges of a part to improve the edges finish or accuracy.

Side Cam

Transforms vertical motion from the press ram into horizontal or angular motion.

Swaging/Necking

Opposite of bulging, the workpiece is reduced in size causing the part to become longer. 

Tolerance

The accepted deviation from a desired dimension.

Trimming

Cuts away excess or unwanted irregular features from a part and is usually the last operation formed.

Die Components 

Bolster Plate

A plate that is designed to hold the lower die shoe in place.  It is attached to the top surface of the press bed.

Change-over tooling

Components of a die that allow tools to produce multiple parts.

Die Set

The collective assembly of upper and lower die shoes, guide pins and bushings, and punch and die holders.

Lower Die Shoe

The lower plate of a die set that contains the cavity into which the punch shears the sheet metal.

Pilot

A punch that is used to position the sheet metal by entering a previously formed hole. 

Punch

The tool typically attached to the upper portion of the die set that shapes or penetrates the sheet metal. 

Stripper

A plate designed to remove sheet metal stock from the punch as it pulls away from the die.

Upper Die Shoe

The upper plate of a die set that secures the punch holder.   

Other Operations

CNC Machine (Computer Numerical Control)

A machine tool that runs from computer instructions.

Laser Cutting

An operation that uses a laser to cut parts from sheet metal.  Typically laser cutting is used for short run, lower production numbers or prototype pieces.

Wire Cut EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining)

A metal cutting process where a thin single-strand of metal wire is fed through a work piece submerged in a dielectric fluid.  Material is removed by a series of rapidly occurring electrical discharges between the wire and the workpiece.  This process is used to cut metal plates to make pinches, tools and dies from hard material to difficult to machine with other methods.

Presses and Components

Bed

The main foundation and supporting structure on which the operating parts of a press are mounted and guided.

Gap Frame/C Frame

A press with a C shaped frame suspending the crown over the bed and an open portion in the front.  The open front of the press offers easy access to the die set.

Parts Conveyor

A piece of equipment designed to remove parts from the die area.

Press Brake

A special type of machine press that bends sheet metal into shape.  Normally they have an open frame and narrow bed.

Ram

The main upper portion of the press that slides up and down within the press frame.  The upper die shoe is attached to the ram.

Straight Side

A press with supporting columns in each corner of the frame offering improved rigidity and reduced deflection. 

Steel/Metals

Alloy Steel

Basic steel with alloying elements added to produce qualities of hardness, ductility and tensile strength. Common alloy elements are chromium, manganese, molybdenum and nickel.

Aluminum Alloy

An alloy in which aluminum is the predominant metal.  This alloy is has a   high strength to weight ration and offers corrosion resistance. 

Annealing

A process where a metal is heated to a certain temperature in a prescribed atmosphere and then gradually cooled.  This changes the structure of a metal and alters its mechanical properties.

Bar Stock

Raw material produced by the metal manufacturer in the form of cylindrical bars.

Basic Steel

An alloy that contains mostly iron with a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight.   

Cold Working/Rolling

The shaping of metal at temperatures lower than the metal’s molten state, often at room temperature.  This process adds increased strength and improved surface finish.

Copper

A ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance.

Electrical Steel

Also called lamination steel, silicon electrical steel or transformer steel, is a specialty steel manufactured to produce certain magnetic properties.  This iron alloy contains up to 6.5% silicon. Silicon significantly increases the electrical resistivity of the steel which reduces induced eddy currents and thus reduces core loss.

Electrical Steel Fully processed

Electrical steel in which the magnetic properties are completely developed by the steel producer.  Though additional processing is usually not required, a low temperature heat treatment may be used to eliminate stresses introduced by the fabrication of the material.  

Electrical Steel Grain Oriented

Electrical steel that is processed to achieve optimal magnetic properties in   the rolling direction.  It is normally used for the cores of high-efficiency transformers, electric motors and generators.  Grain oriented steels are produced fully processed. 

Electrical Steel Non-oriented

Electrical steel that is processed to have similar magnetic properties in all directions of magnetization in the plane of the material.  It is less expensive than oriented steel and is used in applications where the direction of magnetic flux is changing.

Electrical Steel Semi-Processed

Electrical steel that is finished to final thickness and physical form by the producer but is not fully annealed to develop final magnetic properties.  For the attainment of magnetic properties the heat treatment process is necessary.

Grade

A numeric name that describes the contents of a metal alloy. 

High Carbon

A carbon steel that contains more than 0.6% carbon.

Hot Working/Rolling

The shaping of metal at temperatures close to the metal’s molten state.

Low-Carbon

A carbon steel that contains less than 0.3% carbon.

Medium Carbon

A carbon steel that contains between 0.3% and 0.6% carbon.

Plain Carbon

The basic type of steel that contains less than 3% of elements other than iron and carbon.

Sheet Metal

Flat metal stock typically with a thickness from ¼ (.25) inch to 1/64 (.01562) inch.

Stainless Steel

A steel alloy with a minimum 10.5% chromium content by weight.  It is known for resisting stains corrosion and rust.

Tool Steel

A high carbon steel designed for excellent wear resistance and strength typically used for making cutting tools, dies and fixtures.