To discuss the benefits of silicone stamping dies or hot stamp dies it is helpful to start with a quick definition. Silicone stamping dies are used in hot stamp and heat transfer decoration to carry graphics that are transferred via pressure to the surface of a product or component. Silicone rubber dies are commonly used for the application of hot stamp foil and heat transfer labels onto flat, contoured or cylindrical-shaped products.
Some benefits provided by silicone hot stamp dies are inherent to this type of die and can be found in most silicone stamping dies available in the market today. Other benefits are unique to dies from United Silicone and our sister company CER in Europe. This article will take a look at BOTH the general benefits of silicone stamping dies as well as the specific benefits provided by our dies.
Silicone hot stamp dies can deliver crisp, clean, impactful decoration to your part. General benefits of silicone stamping dies include:
1) A unique ability to conform to surface variations
2) Excellent thermal conductivity and heat conduction properties
3) Strong silicone to metal bond
4) Reduce stamping pressure (when compared to the use of metal dies)
5) High impact visual performance with pigment, metallic, holographic or prismatic foils.
Beyond these general benefits, silicone hot stamp dies from United Silicone and CER offer superior performance with market-leading efficiency. United Silicone has expertise in:
Below, we will provide an overview of each of these benefits unique to dies from United Silicone.
United Silicone uses specially engeineered high-performance silicone formulations. Not all compliant materials are created equal. Urethane, viton and other elastomers cannot withstand the temperature our silicone rubber formulations can without degrading. Our Ultrasil formulation is good for operations requiring temperatures up to 550 degrees farenhiet and/or high pressure. In addition this advanced heat and pressure resitance, our Thermsoil formulation also offers rapid heat recovery for automated, high-speed applications. Our silicone formulation are specially engineered to be resistant to high pressure and compression stress.
Molds are another die manufacturing tool used to ensure superior stamp quality. Making a mold is an essential step to the creation of a finished silicone stamping dies. Molds are literally the “BOX” that holds and forms the silicone into the graphic design resulting in a finished Die
United Silicone offers customers the option of high precision CNC machine-engraved molds in the three instances where this they can provide superior performance:
1) When multiple reliefs or shapes such as crowns and full contours are needed to match the shape of a part
2) When vertical sidewalls are required for part clearance
3) When extreme precision alignment is needed -such as in printing decoration on measuring device
Quality Graphic Design is the first and most important step in successful, quality hot stamp decoration. No amount of sophistication in die manufacturing can overcome bad artwork! Best practices in graphic design include the use of original vector artwork with resolution of at least 600 dpi with crisp lines and characters. That is to say, graphics must be clearly defined and sufficiently spaced. And, the entire image should meet minimum line weight requirements. The saying ‘Garbage in; Garbage out’ applies to ‘Hot Stampable’ artwork! Getting the graphic design right is crucial. For this reason the United Silicone team includes skilled graphic artists who are ready to work together with you to turn your vision into reality!
United Silicone dies are improved by our experience and unique manufacturing techniques. Texturing or Screening of dies in conjunction with our approach to Reliefs (raised area of die) can eliminate the voids that cause air entrapment and compromised decoration.
Our texturing technique eliminates air entrapment inherent to hot stamping large, bold, or solid areas. We can overlay a dot matrix pattern onto your artwork to enable air to be vented through the face of your die utilizing a series of stamped dots, creating a network of fine graphics versus one solid area. This technique is achieved utilizing various dot sizes and spacing to best accommodate each application.
The result is superior decoration quality.
Select silicone dies from United Silicone can be re-coated for repeatable use- generating significant cost savings.
Unique-in-the-market Magnetic Quick Change Dies from United Silicone provide unmatched efficiency. Magnetic Die Mounting Blocks dramatically reduce set up time and improve accuracy. Magnetic die blocks mount to your machine, allowing dies to be easily affixed, eliminating the need for screws to secure the hot stamp die. This allows for up to 90 x faster die changeover speeds, simplified, tool-less die changeovers, and as much as a 50% improvement in mounting accuracy.
United Silicone’s market-leading die capacity allows us to provide quick turnaround on many die orders. In addition to standard dies, we are market-leaders in the creation of custom die solutions.
A completed finished die needs to be ready to use. To this end, United Silicone’s die finishing services include hole drilling, matching dovetail and special trims. We can save you time by providing a completely “ready-to-use” die.
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