Complex is the New Simple
Today’s highly technical manufacturing world is increasingly complex. Higher standards, shorter deadlines and more demanding requirements make everyday work harder than it’s ever been. Experienced tooling technicians can help. A tooling supplier who cares about making you successful will ask questions to fully understand your stamping application challenge before providing the right solution. He or she will recommend the optimal combination of tool steels, coatings, surface enhancements and more to maximize your tool life, increase your productivity and lower your costs. So you get more than the right tool for the job. You get a full-service tooling partner you can count on and the right solution.
With the right tooling partner, you’ll see that punches and dies may be consumables, but they are certainly not commodities.
Let’s take a look at few of the options a tooling partner takes into consideration when designing you the ideal punch for your application:
Explore Tool Steels
Wilson Tool provides M2 steel as standard on all headed punches, M4 on ball lock, and powdered steels like 3V, 10V, and 15V for applications that call for a more specialized approach. By investigating various tool steels, stampers can realize longer runs between sharpenings and punch replacement. To maximize punch life, a general rule is to choose a tool steel that matches the material being punched. Tough material requires tough tool steel, while more abrasive material calls for greater wear resistance. See this flyer for a deeper comparison of tool steel performance.
Consider Specialty Coatings
Inexpensive, general-purpose coatings are prone to flaking and tend to wear out fast. For better results, look into coatings such as TiCN or those that are specifically engineered to maximize the life of the punch. Like tool steels, a superior coating can be well worth the investment in the long run. Different coatings treat various application challenges like wear, breakage, galling and excess friction. See this resource for further description of what coatings should be applied when.
Take Advantage of Straight-line Grinding
Straight-line grinding is machining a punch parallel to its Y axis for a smoother finish. This reduces friction and pressure when stripping and produces a cutting edge that distributes force more evenly. The result is reduced galling and tool wear, as well as a cleaner punch with a more accurate hole diameter. Learn more about the benefits of surface finish, grind and polish here.
Don’t Discount Shear Angles
Stampers often avoid using punches with shear angles because sharpening a punch with shear angles can be tedious. However, any headaches associated with die maintenance are well worth the improved results. Shear angles significantly reduce the shock (tonnage) and recoil within the punch. Reducing tonnage not only increases tool life, but also reduces press wear and tear. Reducing recoil minimizes punch head breakage and protects the die from slug pulling.
Design to Minimize Head Breakage
Punch head breakage is one of the most common problems stampers face. That’s why it’s critical to know the ins and outs of alterations that make heads less vulnerable. Drawing back the punch head to a consistent 40 to 45 Rockwell hardness C (HRC) makes it less brittle. Making punch heads thicker and adding a larger-than-normal radius under the head can make a big difference. A chamfer on the back of the punch head will minimize fracturing by keeping the load centered on the body diameter not the head only. Wilson Tool uses this design modification as well as other additions to add strength and lasting power for extremely demanding applications.
Beyond these considerations, alterations in punch body size and type, lubrication, tolerance, slug protection and more will pay dividends when it comes to punch life. Making the right tool choices can mean an exponential increase in productivity, as many customers have discovered.
Want to start reaping the benefits today? Contact Impax Tooling Solutions, a division of Wilson Tool to discuss your application today.