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Cutting and Punching

Our Gasket Manufacturing facility offers a wide range of cutting and punching processes and materials, to allow us to produce a vast range of products in small to medium volume for a huge range of industries.

Punching Techniques

Gasket Punching is a traditional process established in the 1800’s whereby a Rule Forme (a special steel strip bent into the desired shape with the bottom edge sharpened into a blade) is forced through a sheet of material and into a sacrificial cutting board below, by means of a hydraulic or power press. Originally used widely in the Shoe industry, these Rule Formes are either one piece forgings for extended production runs, or bent Rule set in plywood backing sheets which can be rapidly manufactured. The resulting shape pinched out of the parent material will be consistently sized and repeatable. Low or high volume parts can be produced, with semi automated repetition machinery, and kiss-cutting to produce reels of parts can often be a convenient method of handling small punched parts. Standard cutters are available for products such as Flange and Joint gaskets to BS EN 12560, and special cutters for bespoke parts can be manufactured in 48 hours.

Advantages:

•  Rapid production of parts with no need for tooling

•  Very large or very fine parts can be produced

•  Prototyping of pre-production parts

•  Complex shapes can be made, when buffing, trepanning, adhesive or vulcanising processes are added to the activity

Disadvantages:

•  Softer materials such as foams may deform during cutting, leading to concave edges

•  Low aspect ratio cross sections cannot be punched, other techniques are required

•  Can be slow

Water Jetting

The process whereby a very high pressure jet of water approx 0.1mm diameter is blown through a sheet of parent material to cut it, driven around the sheet via a CNC controller. This technique allows soft or hard, solid or cellular materials to be cut rapidly into an infinite variety of shapes very quickly, and without the deformation often found in the Punching methods.

Advantages:

•  Rapid production of parts with no need for tooling

•  Low wasteage when parts nest efficiently

•  Very large or very fine parts can be produced

•  Softer materials such as foams can be cut without deformation during cutting

•  Low aspect ration cross sections can be generated without issues

•  High precision

Disadvantages:

•  Can be slower than punching for repetition parts

•  High cost of equipment

•  Can damage materials which suffer moisture attack

Laser cutting

A process very similar to water jetting, but replacing the water jet with a laser. The benefits are very similar, although the wetting problem may be replaced by an equivalent flammability problem.

Hand Cutting

The most traditional yet still effective method, Martins are still called on daily to hand mark out shapes in sheet material, then use knives and saddle punches to create special or large gaskets for customers.

Advantages:

•  Rapid production of parts with no need for tooling

•  Very large or very fine parts can be produced

•  Prototyping of pre-production parts

•  Complex shapes can be made, when buffing, trepanning, adhesive or vulcanising processes are added to the activity

Disadvantages:

•  Will be slower than punching for repetition parts

•  Repeatability may be an issue, even with Templates to aid activities

•  Manual handling may be an issue

Strip Cutting

A rotary knife press cuts long sheets of material into strip form using a series of circular rotation knives, with the distance between each blade being set to determine the width of the strip produced.

Finishing

We employ dedicated skilled finishers to ensure that your product is not only manufactured, but also trimmed, finished and packed to the excellence that we maintain throughout our manufacturing cells, meaning that there is a level of craftsmanship akin to the quality level you would expect. We also offer a dedicated Kitting service developed for our own MR Seal Kit products range, or bespoke customer specified kits to be supplied complete and finished to production stores. From this section of our web site you can access details on our Gasket products, detailed Technical Specifications, our Standard Gasket Products and more detail on the various Process / Techniques available for the production of Gaskets. Please follow the links for further information.