Some new metal fabricators incur high costs to replace piercing and punching equipment that keeps breaking as it is being used. Such fabricators may not know what steps they can take to prevent those breakages. This article discusses some of the important factors you can pay attention to in order to prolong the lifespan of your press punch.

Minimise Press Deflection

Press deflection refers to the degree to which the punching press' ram isn't parallel to the bolster plate that provides the force used to punch through the material placed in the machine. Deflection causes different sections of the ram to undergo varying degrees of stress. This eventually causes the punch to break at the point that frequently undergoes more strain than other sections of the punching ram. Avoid this problem by checking the settings of the press punch so that no deflection is allowed to develop. This will ensure that the tool lasts for a long time because the punching force will be transferred to the metal being fabricated instead of being transferred to the punching ram.

Install Pressure-Loaded Strippers

Die punching machines usually have bridge strippers that pull the materials from the punching ram after perforation has been done. However, those bridge strippers can cause the punch to break because the material may move from side to side during the punching process. This is because the bridge stripper doesn't hold the material firmly in place during the punching process. That sideways movement of the material may also deflect as the material is moving. It is better to install a pressure-loaded stripper on your punching equipment. This type of stripper uses air pressure to hold the material as the punching ram is coming down. That pressure is then released so that the material disengages from the punching ram without exerting a lot of strain during that detachment process. This reduced strain can prolong punch ram life.

Be Careful When Sharpening the Punch

The punch can heat up during the sharpening or grinding process. That heat can cause micro-cracks to develop in the tool. Over time, the cracks can make the punch break when they widen to a level that compromises the integrity of the punching ram. Always cool the punch with water or any other coolant as you sharpen or grind it so that you prevent those damaging cracks from developing.

Consult metal fabrication experts for additional help in case the measures above do not result in longer punch life in your equipment.