How to Prolong the Useful Life of the Dies in Your Fabrication Shop

A die is a device that can be used to mould or stamp a design onto a metal during the fabrication process. These devices wear out easily because they rely on exerting mechanical force on a metal as they do their work. This article discusses some steps that you can take to prolong the useful life of the dies in the metal fabrication shop that you have just set up.

Always Preheat Steel

Some metal fabricators can overlook the importance of preheating steel before placing it under the die for casting. This mistake can cause the die to wear out quickly because steel is very hard. Make it a habit to preheat any steel sections before they are put in the die so that that hard metal does not overwork the equipment.

Always Lubricate the Die

Lubricants help to reduce the harmful effects of metal-upon-metal contact. That is why you should always ensure that your die is lubricated before it is used. You should also use the recommended lubricants for the material used to make the die. For instance, chlorinated lubricants may damage carbide dies. Read the equipment manual carefully so that you grasp the recommended type and method of lubricating your dies.

Keep Die Protection Methods Functioning

Different die manufacturers equip the dies with different protections mechanisms. For instance, some dies may have limit switches or sensors that turn off the machine when there is an obstacle in the path of the die. Ensure that these protection mechanisms are in good working order so that your equipment is saved from accidental damage during work cycles. The maintenance manual of the die has suggestions on how to keep these protection methods working effectively. Contact your equipment supplier for help in case you do not have the user manual of the die.

Set the Shut Height Correctly

Dies should always be set to shut down once the die ram reaches the stop blocks underneath the material being machined. Keep referring to the manual of your equipment so that you adjust the shut height frequently. These frequent adjustments will prevent unnecessary wear on the moving components of the machine.

The suggestions above should be implemented alongside the scheduled maintenance recommended by the die manufacturer (such as sharpening die sections frequently and checking die spring strength to confirm that they are distributing pressure evenly throughout the moving parts). You should also ensure that the operator of the die receives the best training because no amount of maintenance work will save a die that is in the hands of an ill-trained operator.