The malleable rubber material used to create a vast number of common industrial and commercial products, used in business and residential contexts alike, is one of the easiest and quickest materials to be shaped by die cut machines. Rubber die cutting is the manufacturing process of turning flat sheets of rubber into individual flat shapes, usually one shape at a time for a specific product. The production runs often produce products such as water or air tight seals and noise and vibration absorbers, as well as other related products used in the aviation, automotive, electronic, manufacturing, military and transportation industries, among others.
Rubber die cutting has a number of variances as far as the types of products produced from it, the type of rubber that may be utilized and the type of die cut machine that accomplishes the production process. A couple product types have already been listed above, but a few others include gaskets, electronic components and children’s toys. Types of rubber cover a wide spectrum since each type of rubber has specific characteristics, some of which are more attractive for certain types of applications. For example, some rubber die cut products may need to be resistive to chemical breakdown, while others may be immersed in water and need to resist the breakdown of water. Natural rubber, neoprene, sponge rubber, EDPM, red rubber and silicone rubber are just a few examples of specific types used often for die cutting projects.
Various die cutting techniques include steel rule dies, which is the classic method that started the die cutting phenomenon with simple razor sharp dies or molds that are punched through flat sheet material to create products. This progressed into the quickest die cutting technique, rotary die cutting. Another die cutting favorite is laser die cutting, which is almost always completely controlled by CNC machining programs.