(978)686-6332 sales@nedc.com

Custom Die Cutting

Gaskets, Thermal Pads

Custom Die Cutting is NEDCs core competency. We offer custom die cutting through steel-rule dies. This enables us to offer essentially unlimited customization. This is because we can provide a steel-rule die with specific shapes, cut-outs, and diameters along with the ability to cut a specific material. Since these shapes, sizes, and materials are essentially endless our ability to produce custom gaskets, thermal pads, absorbers, and epoxy films are also endless.

What is Die Cutting?

Array of Die Cut Parts

Array of Die Cut Parts

The modern way to “die cut” is to take advantage of all the uses of the steel rule die. The steel rule die is essentially a piece of durable wood such as maple that has “rule” in it; one side of the rule is sharpened. This steel rule is bent into the shape of the part and placed into the wood to create a tool that is very durable. The steel rule offers an economical solution to manufacture a quality product for large-scale runs. These steel rule dies “die-cut” hundreds of different shapes, and sizes of parts that range from extremely complex to very simple. One of the biggest benefits of dies is their durability, and their low cost. Some dies can be good for a million hits or more depending on the material.

The equipment is all that is needed to manufacture a quality part. A die-cutting machine comes down with enormous pressure, and precision to “burst” the die through the material.  Modern die-cutting machines offer computer algorithms and lightning fast die cutting ability. Our modern die-cutting machines utilize coordination of computers, hydraulics, and nesting software to offer our customers the best price. Part of custom die cutting is the ability to match our customers needs to what our machines and tooling can do.

Capabilities of Die Cutting:

One of the advantages of die-cutting is the reproducibility of every cut. The part is made by the die, and the die is naturally stronger than the material itself, so it helps in producing a quality part over and over. The shape of the part is dictated by the rule of the die which stays in place due to the wood and the pressure of the machine that is being used. Nearly every cut is within a few thousandths of the last cut. One of the limitations of the steel-rule die is the tolerance. Steel-rule dies can be manufactured to hold a +/- .005” tolerance. However, it may be difficult to stay within that tolerance on a very complex part such as extremely thick foam materials or extremely dense materials.

Concavity, or hourglassing is a common phenomenon known to die-cutters. Luckily, NEDC offers a solution to this problem as well, (see our Waterjet Cutting article). It is also possible to hold a +/- .002” tolerance with a solid tool on select parts; NEDC provides solid tool cutting as well. Solid tools can have a prohibitively expensive cost if not cutting a lot of pieces. Die cutting normally offers a two-dimensional part (X and Y axis); it is possible to offer some parts as three-dimensional, through bends. This is rare but can be done with some rigid, thin materials. Die Cutting also offers the ability to “kiss-cut,” this is described in our article on “Kiss-Cut Parts“.

Quantities involved in Die Cutting:

It is possible to manufacture a die with more knife bent into the configuration to make more parts with each ‘hit’. This is done often when there are many parts required. It is also helpful when nesting the part may offer a more effective price structure for our customer. It is normal for the price to go up on the tool when there are more parts offered per ‘hit’. When we add more cuts per hit, we call the tool a higher “up”. For example, that die, is 10-up meaning with every hit, it cuts 10 parts. NEDC offers die cutting for quantities ranging from very high such as 1,000,000 pcs to 1 pc.

Materials:

NEDC now offers a large variety of high-performance materials that may be die cut. These materials include silicone, fluorosilicone, nitrile rubber, EPDM rubber, electrically conductive gasketing materials, thermal management, as well as many other types of materials (see our products list).  Some of the parts NEDC has the capability to die-cut are gaskets, thermal pads, epoxy preforms, and absorbers. Of course with custom die cutting, NEDC offers a wide array of materials to be die-cut.

Another bonus of modern custom die cutting is the ability to offer pressure sensitive adhesive on the back of parts with ease of removal. There are many types of adhesive backing that can be provided with a part. These tapes can be acrylic-based, rubber-based, or silicone-based. This oftentimes depends on the application. NEDC is an authorized converter of 3M. For that reason, we offer many different types of adhesives on the back of its parts:

  • Thin Films such as Nylon, Mylar®, ETFE, PTFE, and DuPont’s Kapton®.
  • Adhesives, such as the wide range 3M offers: VHB Tapes, Acrylic Transfer Tapes, Double Sided Tapes, and more.
  • Fabrics such as Felt
  • Thin Foils such as Copper Foil, Aluminum Foil and others.
  • Aramid paper Products such as DuPont’s Nomex®

About NEDC:

NEDC(New England Die Cutting) is a custom die cutting manufacturer in Methuen, MA with a 77,000 sqft facility. If you have any questions concerning custom die cutting or our die-cutting process please contact our Sales Team at sales@nedc.com.

Die Cutting Blog
Die Cut Gaskets vs. Laser Cut Gaskets vs. Waterjet Cut Gaskets

Die Cut Gaskets vs. Laser Cut Gaskets vs. Waterjet Cut Gaskets

At NEDC we operate many pieces of cutting machinery. We operate state of the art conventional die cutting machines, laser cutting machines, and waterjet cutting machines. In this blog post, we thought we would delineate the differences between all of these machines so...

read more
Previous Posts
Thermal Gap Filling Pads | Self-Attaching Methods

Thermal Gap Filling Pads | Self-Attaching Methods

At NEDC we cut a lot of thermal gap filling pads. One of the frequent questions we get is “Why are many thermal pads not available with pressure sensitive adhesive?” The answer comes back to the whole purpose of the thermal pad itself. Attachment Methods Thermal...

Electrically Conductive Silicone Gasket – EMI/RFI Shielding

Electrically Conductive Silicone Gasket – EMI/RFI Shielding

At NEDC, we cut a lot of interesting materials. One of the most commonly used gasketing materials are EMI/RFI Shielding Gaskets. They feature high levels of electrically conductivity imparted by their fillers, and low electrical impedance. Many of these gasket...

High Temperature Gaskets- Silicone, Fluorosilicone, other Elastomers

High Temperature Gaskets- Silicone, Fluorosilicone, other Elastomers

In the gasket industry, we deal with a lot of materials. There are gasketing materials for just about every need. There are some gasket materials that can survive thousands of degrees for a few seconds. There are some that can handle hundreds of degrees continuously...

Environmental Foam/Sponge Gaskets

Environmental Foam/Sponge Gaskets

At NEDC we specialize in custom foam and sponge gaskets for all purposes. One of the common foam/sponge gaskets we make are environmental gaskets. These are gaskets we consider for outdoor use and environmental sealing.  These gaskets do not have the luxury of high...

Die-Cut Silicone Products- Gaskets, Thermal Pads, Insulators, Absorbers

Die-Cut Silicone Products- Gaskets, Thermal Pads, Insulators, Absorbers

 At NEDC, we would be remiss to not mention most of our products revolve around silicone-based materials. As a result, products that we offer a lot of die-cut silicone products. Out of our 5 core products, 4 are normally silicone based. In this post, we picked out 4...

Fungus Resistant Gaskets

Fungus Resistant Gaskets

At NEDC we cut a lot of unique materials. One of the more common materials NEDC cuts is fungus-resistant gasketing materials. Nowadays, a lot of people recognize that fungal growth should be a concern when building assemblies. This is well documented because designers...

Kapton Tape- Die Cutting, Kiss Cutting Custom Shapes

Kapton Tape- Die Cutting, Kiss Cutting Custom Shapes

Some people get confused about Kapton® Film vs. Polyimide Film. At NEDC we cut both. However, 3M offers both Kapton® Tape, and polyimide tape. The difference comes down to a brand. That brand is by DuPont. DuPont holds the registered trademark for Kapton®. 3M offers...

3M VHB Tapes- Information, Properties, Die Cutting

3M VHB Tapes- Information, Properties, Die Cutting

At NEDC, we like to think we are problem solvers. At 3M Company, they do the same. Since NEDC is an authorized 3M converter we die-cut many tape products of theirs. As far as permanent fasteners go, 3M VHB Tapes are known globally and recognized as the leader in...

Double Coated Tape 3M 9731- Acrylic/Silicone

Double Coated Tape 3M 9731- Acrylic/Silicone

We are an authorized 3M Converter at NEDC. As a result, we work with many of their tape products. These include VHB Tapes, EMI Shielding Tapes, Transfer Tapes, and many others. One of the tapes we work with often is 3M 9731 Double Coated Tape. This tape has the great...

Poron® Urethane Foam- Properties, Information, Cutting

Poron® Urethane Foam- Properties, Information, Cutting

My furnace at home is 95% fuel efficient. I was told this is among the best money can buy. After removing the lid to the furnace I noticed a strip of foam that looked very familiar. It was Poron® Urethane Foam. Poron® Urethane Foams are among the many different...

Sponge Gaskets- ASTM D1056, Types, Classes, Grades

Sponge Gaskets- ASTM D1056, Types, Classes, Grades

At NEDC, we commonly offer different gasketing solutions. Many in the industry organize cellular products in their head a few different ways. However, the specification ASTM D1056 organizes them by type, class, and then grade. Most of the materials characteristics can...

Fluorosilicone Gaskets- Solid, Sponge, and Electrically Conductive

Fluorosilicone Gaskets- Solid, Sponge, and Electrically Conductive

Fluorosilicone(FVMQ) is one of the materials that has many uses in the industry. Any die-cutter is familiar with it. The high cost reflects its customizability, and versatility. Fluorosilicone is the blue gold of the industry. Fluorosilicone typically comes in a...

All of the information presented above is believed to be factual and accurate; however, NEDC is not liable for any design or application utilizing this information.

New England Die Cutting

Popular Blog Posts

Sil-Pad or Gap Pad?

It is easy to understand why the applications of Gap Pad and Sil-Pad can be confused. This is because both thermal pads have a lot of similarities. For the most part Sil-Pads and Gap Pads are electrically isolating. Both thermal pads are thermally conductive, and both...

©New England Die Cutting 2020