Punching Aluminium Fabrications
On many occasions an aluminium fabrication calls for repetitive hole patterns, which can be quickly and efficiently created with a punch press. Punching is a common fabrication process and is especially practical if high volumes are involved.
Punching is a metal forming process that uses a punch press to force a tool, called a punch, through the aluminium to create a hole via shearing. The punch often passes through the work into the die, depositing a scrap slug as it does, which can then be recycled.
We supply an aluminium T-Section to the shop fitting industry, in which we punch slots down both sides. The unit is then screwed to the walls and hooks are slipped in to the slots for the shelving.
We also supply a specific aluminium box section that houses electronics whereby we punch holes in both sides before it gets black anodised.
Pressing Aluminium Fabrications
Press work is a slightly different method of aluminium fabrication. It’s when a component is formed in a press – normally carried out in eccentric presses with a cutting (shearing) tool. Burrs are avoided by regularly sharpening the punch and die. Furthermore, the cutting force required can be reduced considerably if the punch’s surface is ground at an angle (shear). The angle ground part should, at the most, be equivalent to the thickness of the material that’s to be cut. In certain cases, especially when punching holes, it can be an advantage to grind the punch at an angle while keeping the die flat.
When these processes are chosen as a long-term method there is a tooling price, which can be quite hefty, but the part price is then greatly reduced compared with machining or laser cutting.