Types of Dies Used by a Tool and Die Manufacturer
A die is a tool used in manufacturing to shape or cut material in a press or machine. The die process is one of the most common manufacturing techniques, used for the creation of items as diverse as paper clips, aluminum cans, and car bumpers.
A tool and die manufacturer can make a wide variety of dies based on the customer's particular fabrication need. There are countless different types of dies, and many dies incorporate multiple operations. Here is a sample of the types of dies a tool and die manufacturer can provide.
Dies that shape
Bending and forming: Both of these dies are designed to form material into a specific shape. A bending die bends a straight piece to a predetermined angle, such as the creation of a metal L-bracket. A forming die creates a curved shape like the bottom of a soda can.
Bulging and swaging: A tool and die manufacturer creates these dies for opposite purposes. A bulging die expands part of a piece, like the bulge in a chef's hat. A swaging die is used to "neck down" a part, making it narrower than the rest of the piece.
Coining: Uses extreme pressure to stamp a design on one side of a piece, such as the face of a coin.
Extrusion: An extrusion die is involved when a slug material is forced through the die to squeeze it into a specified shape. Think of those PLAY-DOH® toys you played with as a kid. Industrial extrusion is more likely to use materials like aluminum than clay, so requires extremely high pressure to force it through the die.
Wire-making: Tool and die manufacturers provide these dies, similar to extrusion dies, specifically for drawing out long stretches of standard gauge wire from metal rods.
Dies that cut
Blanking: A blanking die cuts a flat piece of material into a shape with one punch, similar to a cookie cutter. A properly sharpened blanking die creates a part with a finished edge that is extremely accurate within narrow tolerances.
Broaching: This type of die is used to remove material using a series of cutting teeth like a saw. It is provided by tool and die manufacturers for cutting off pieces that are too thick for a shaving die.
Piercing: A piercing die punches a hole in a material
Shaving and trimming: A shaving die removes material from the edge of a piece to improve accuracy or edge finish. A trimming die cuts away waste such as flashing from a finished piece and is usually the final die used in the manufacture.
Threading: A tool and die manufacturer can provide dies that create the threads on screws and bolts. These can also be used to repair damaged threads, a procedure called chasing.
This is only a small sample of the types of dies available for manufacturing. Tool and die manufacturers offer a wide array of dies customized to fit a customer's need.