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ANALYTICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF SHEET METAL PUNCHING PROCESS

(PART 1)s
1. INTRODUCTION The sheet metal forming processes in general and in particular the punching
process, often associated with relatively simple mechanical processes of low technological input and low
added value. However, the reality is very different because these processes, as well as other processes of
mechanical type, are strongly influenced by very different factors related to machine tools, material and
geometric characteristics of the piece or the environment itself process (table 1). The punching operation
is a sheet cutting or sheets, usually cold, by a mechanical device consists of two tools: the punch and die.
Applying a compressive force on the punch forcing it to penetrate the sheet, creating an initial
elastoplastic deformation regime followed by shearing and rupture of the material by rapid crack
propagation between the cutting edges of the punch and die. The process ends with the removal of the cut
piece (Figure 1)

In general , most studies on the mechanics of the process of plastic deformation and cutting, are intended
to analyze the defects that occur on the edge of the punched parts . The first results of studies on the
mechanisms of cutting punching occur in the early fifties , Germany ( Keller ) and Japan ( Fukui and
Maeda ) simultaneously. Today , studies focus on obtaining mathematical models together with the finite
element method allowing the calculation of forces, determining edge quality of the part and process
simulation .
2. ANALYSIS OF THE PROCESS OF PUNCHING
2.1 . Mechanical cutting
In the punching process can be considered three steps (Figure 2) :
Deformation efforts punch on the metal sheet , it originate deformation , elastic and then initially plastic ,
around the edges of the punch and die .
Penetration : the cutting edges of the punch and die penetrate into the material , causing cracks in the
material due to stress concentration along the cutting edges .
Fracture : cracks originated either side of the sheet are causing the separation of material. Also, the punch
continues its descent to eject the cut . The court game J , allows the penetration of the punch in the matrix
( Figure 3) and the expulsion of the cut material.

Fig . 2. Steps punching


The court game J has an important effect on the cutting process and is defined as the lateral distance
between the edge of the punch and the edge of the matrix. Overall, the value of play cutting is usually
expressed in two ways , either as a percentage of the thickness of the sheet and ( cutting clearance
relative) or giving the value of the distance between the edges . For punches circular section , the cutting
set is half the difference in diameters of the die and punch , but is frequently found manufacturer data
relating to the difference in diameters of the die and punch ( 2J ) .
Cutting by punching produces various features at the edges of the sheet and the cut material. These
characteristics are ( Figure 3 ) :
characterized by plastic deformation a small radius R.
polished shiny area characterized by the width D.
angular fracture, with matt appearance , defined by the penetration P.
Burrs characterized by its height H.

Photo Fig . 3. Features cutting edge normal game


All these features of the cut edge depend on the type, hardness and thickness of the material between
punch and die set, state of the cutting edges, fastening material and size of the punch relative to the
thickness of the sheet. The dimensions of the area 2 (Figure 3) determines the punch, in the case of the
plate or matrix, in the case of the cut material.
Extending plastically deformed zone 1 zone 2 with polished, they are represented as percentage of the
thickness of the material and defines the distance traveled by the punch before the fracture of the
material. The percentage of ice pick penetration varies with the type and hardness of material. Thus, as
the material hardness increases, the percentage of penetration of the punch decreases. Furthermore, the
penetration of the punch increases when the size of the punch is less than 1.5 times the thickness of the
sheet, due to the high compressive stress it is subjected to the material in the cutting area.
The angular fracture and cutting quality depend on the interplay between die and punch. With insufficient
clearance between punch and die, a secondary interruption occurs. Initial cracks corresponding to the
punch and die are misaligned, and therefore never meet (Figure 4). Continued descent of the punch
produces the extension of cracks and the uncut surface between them will break in a secondary fracture.

At the bottom of the punch stroke, a side cut and a second burnished area (Figure 5-B) occurs. The
decrease of the game, below normal values, causing decrease of all defects in shape, thereby improving
the accuracy of the edges obtained.

Fig . 4. Relative position of cracks according to the game


When the game used is too low side cuts that hurt the quality of the edges begin to appear. It is
noteworthy that by reducing court game is an improvement in the accuracy of the piece, however, other
factors such as tool wear or energy consumed are adversely affected . In case you have a game overcut
(Figure 5- A) excessive plastic deformation , burnished lower part and a height greater burr appears . On
the other hand , it should be noted that increasing the game cut above the normal values , is able to
increase the life of the tool at the expense of accuracy obtained at the edges. Thus, the game appropriate
court will be the one that does not cause a secondary cutting and plastic deformation and has a small burr
height .

Fig . 5. Features edge with excessive and insufficient play


From the standpoint of the fracture mechanics of material it may be considered to process operation is
optimal when cracks initiated from the punch and die are aligned. Since the cutting set is the parameter
that most directly affects the fracture mechanics of the material, optimum cutting the game should be able
to provide this alignment.
2.2. Forces in punching
The cutting force varies depending on the game while keeping the other parameters constant. In Figure 6,
the force exerted by a punch of 10 mm diameter and its displacement by cutting a steel sheet 2.8 mm
thick, with different sets of cutting is shown. In general, curves can be broken down into two distinct
parts: the first in which the force increases from zero to its maximum value, a point corresponding to the
beginning of the fracture, and a second in which cracks grow and complete cutting the material. The first
area has a very similar appearance in all curves, however, from the time the fracture is initiated,
significant fluctuations for different games are played.

Fig . 6. Influence of cutting set J on the cutting force

Fig . 7. Resistance punching cutting by game. a) sr = 630n / mm2 , e = 5 mm ; b ) sr = 450 N / mm2 , e =


5 mm ; c ) sr = 460 N / mm2 , e = 10mm
The crack formation may be associated with sudden drops that can be seen in the diagrams. When caused
cracks are not aligned, the steep descent tend to soften , sometimes reaching the horizontality. In these
cases , significant decreases in strength due to the formation of secondary cuts usually occur again . As a
result of fluctuations produced in the decreased strength , an increased area enclosed by the diagram , and
therefore the energy consumed in the process occurs . Therefore , when cutting the sheet cracks have the
same alignment , the energy consumed by the process is minimal .
The shear strength by punching ks will , from the maximum cutting force Fs max :

where As is calculated from the plate thickness and area and perimeter cutting lp

and ks includes game effects cutting, tool wear and the influence of other parameters such as material
properties, thickness and shape of the contour of the punch.
The shear strength by punching ks decreases with increasing cutting game, and its variation of
approximately 14% in the range of J = 0.01 0,1e. In Figure 7 shows this effect, using three different
materials and perfectly sharp punches. As punchings are performed, the punch suffers wear which results
in an increase of up to 1.6 times ks. Moreover, the cutting resistance is affected by the diameter of the
hole punching and the value of cutting resistance decreases with increasing diameter of the punch if the
other constant conditions (Figure 8) are maintained. Another influencing factor is the shape of the section
of the punch. In areas of high curvature there is a stress concentration, why is more frequent breakage of
the punch in sharp corners.

Fig . 8.- Effect diameter punch puncture resistance

In practice , industry ks value by the maximum shear stress tB , and the maximum cutting force is
estimated by :

TB value is obtained from tables or from resistance to breakage sr . Usually taken as tB shear resistance
of a value equal to 80% of the breaking strength , however , this ratio varies with the type and thickness
of material. According to studies by Oehler , there is a linear dependence between the shear and the
logarithm of the ratio dp / e . According to these studies :

Once cut the material it must be expelled through the matrix, generally conically shaped to facilitate
removal and hinder the return of the material with recoil cut punch. The force required to overcome
friction and radial compression between the punch and the plate and between the cut piece and the

matrix. Some of these forces are also present during the return of the punch due to the friction of the
sheet with the punch. This extraction force is usually expressed as a percentage of the force required for
punching and depends on the material and cutting game.
Another factor to consider is the state of the punch. For example, blunting it suffered progressive, causing
increased cutting force, while a decrease in the recoil force.
Cutting speed also influences the shearing force. Thus, increasing the bit rate, it decreases the strength,
mainly due to elevation of the material temperature which originates with increasing strain rate.

Fig . 9.- special punch Afilados


When shear forces are too high, these can be reduced considerably by a progressive punching cut, namely
inclining the cutting punch (Figure 9). However, the force variation is not a variation of the power
consumed in the process. 2.3. Tool wear The tool, during its working, is subject to a series of mechanical,
thermal and chemical actions, which have an effect of wear, and therefore is of great interest to know the
factors that affect it. These factors may be mentioned the work material, the number of punches, the
material of the tool, the diameter of the punch, play cutting and lubrication. All wear mechanisms
(adhesion, abrasion, etc.) may occur when punching operations are performed, both the punches and the
supporting matrix of the plate to be punched. Wear occurs in three areas: faces, sides and edges of the
punch and die (Figure 10). The flanks and edges of the punch and die are exposed to the action of
surfaces generated in the cutting process, and causes relative sliding adhesion phenomena on the flanks
and edges.

Fig . 10. Wear punch and die

The needled part undergoes a hardening to deform plastically, resulting in a growth of local pressures and
causing the appearance of more abrasive particles. Also it gives high production speed resulting in a high
number of impacts, favoring particle adhesion and fatigue of the cutting edges. Simultaneously increasing
the temperature of the die, the punch and the workpiece, so the adhesion is increased and oxidation is
promoted.
The elastic deformation of the part causes a relative movement along the punch face, initially outwards
and then, once initiated fracture, inwardly. This produces abrasive wear on the front face of the punch.
The treader limits this elastic deformation of the material, whereby wear of the punch is reduced.
Furthermore, the elastic recovery of the sheet produces a flank wear of the punch in the retraction
movement.
On the lateral surface of the punch and die, wear is mainly due to adhesion mechanism. Another area that
suffers wear, is the cutting edge, posing both wear mechanisms, not being remarkable the influence of the
type of tool material thereon.
The uselessness of criteria commonly used tool, are:
Energy consumption and maximum force required in the process.
Tolerable height of the burr generated in cutting.
Wear measurement of faces, sides and edges on the punch and die.
As the game increased cutting as a result of wear.

Fig . 11. Factors affecting the geometrical defects of the punched parts

It seems logical to establish standard equations of life, as in machining operations by chip removal,
which allow to know in advance the number of punches that is able to perform a set punch-matrix before
being rejected. These models allow you to set the length of the tool before reaching a value determined
wear, which will function optimization criterion chosen (minimum cost, maximum production, highest
quality, etc.). Studies on this subject are relatively rare, especially because of the complexity of the
mechanism of wear, closely linked with the life of the tool. Therefore, it is difficult to establish models
on a large database of experimental data.
2.4. Precision punched parts In the punching, as in any other manufacturing process, in necessary to
establish the accuracy specifications needed to meet user needs. It is therefore interesting to a study of
precision, in order to define the specifications, in the most accurate way possible.

The accuracy of the punched parts can be characterized by the following defects: dimensional, positional
and shape. Factors that affect these defects are mainly materials, tools, process variations and machine. In
Figure 11 the various factors affecting each of these defects are represented. Diameters and hole cutout,
measured on the polished surface, should coincide theoretically with the punch and die respectively.
These theoretical dimensions may be altered due to the influence of some factors, such as inaccuracies in
the dimensions of the tools, the elastic deformations of the elastic-they or stresses produced in the plastic
material. With respect to the positional defects, they comprise two kinds of geometrical inaccuracies:
contour irregularities and inaccuracies cutout holes punched parts. The former are usually due to lack of
coaxiality between punch and die, to defects in the guides or the inaccuracy of form tools. As for the

inaccuracy of position of the holes it depends on the accuracy of the system of movement of the plate
(Table 2).
Shape defects are those that occur at the edges of the part and tools and depend on the material. Tools
factors that most affect these geometric inaccuracies are cutting the game, the shape of the punch and the
wear of the cutting edge, while material, are quality, strength and thickness of the sheet.

Table 2. Data of the accuracy of various models of punching machines CN basis

Fig . 12. Different types edge depending on the game . Material steel low carbon

Table 3. Approximate range of values of the different edges of Figure 12


The defects in shape can be controlled by adjusting the cutting set. Thus, according to the game cutting,
you can be obtained five types of edges in the punched sheet. In figure 12 can be seen schematically for
punching steel low carbon content. The characteristics of each of these types of edges are shown in Table
3.
With regard to the dimensions of the hole they are affected by changing the cutting clearance. When
games cutting edges that produce the type 4 (Figure 13) are used, the hole diameter is about 0.01 mm
smaller than the diameter of the punch. However, if an edge of type 2 is obtained, the hole diameter is
0.01 mm larger than the diameter of the punch.

The value of burr height (H) is conditioned, in the case of cutting, the wear of the punch, while in the
hole, this depends on the degree of wear of the matrix. Therefore, the height of the burrs depends on the
same factors as the tool wear. Figure 13 shows the height of the burr depending on the number of
punches made.

Fig . 13. Variation of the height of the burr with the number of strokes