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Tight Tolerance Punched Holes Obinerea gurilor cu tolerane strnse pe centrele de tantat CNC

To the naked eye, a hole made in sheet metal

using a punch press is fairly uniform throughout its entire depth. On closer examination however, we can see that there are different areas such as a lead in radius where the punch presses on the sheet before it fractures, a shiny cut area which can vary according to the clearance between punch and die and finally a fractured or breakaway area which can also appear on the underside of the sheet as a burr.

A typical punched hole is therefore not uniform and the sides, or internal walls, are far from parallel. There are some applications however, where a hole with parallel sides and no burr at all is required. This could be the case, for example, if the hole has to support a tube and as much bearing surface as possible is needed. Or, alternatively, the hole may need to accommodate an insert or pin requiring a very tight tolerance fit.

Such a tight tolerance hole, which has a machined appearance finish, can be achieved on the punch press using the following technique. In fact, because of a punch press inherent, consistent accuracy, it lends itself perfectly to this type of application.

Two basic steps are involved: firstly, punch a hole in the desired location on the sheet using a punch which is about 0.25mm undersized and a die with clearance calculated according to the type and thickness of material being punched. Secondly, without moving the sheet, punch a hole in the same location with a punch of the correct size, but this time using a die with clearance of approximately 5% of the material thickness. This second hit has the effect of shaving off the remaining material as shown in the drawing above.

The savings which can be achieved with this simple technique, compared to the cost of the time, materials and manpower required to do it as a secondary operation, are considerable.