There are important similarities and differences between silicone hot stamp dies and metal hot stamp dies. To better understand which is best-suited to your decoration project it is helpful to start with a basic definition.
Hot stamp dies carry graphics which are transferred via pressure to the surface of a product or component. Hot stamping dies can be made of silicone or metal. The choice of which type of stamping die to use will be dictated by requirements of your specific decoration project.
Stamping dies are frequently made of silicone (various formulations available) or metal (steel, brass or magnesium options available). Each option comes with its own set of benefits and considerations.
Silicone hot stamp dies are available in single or dual durometer formats. Metal hot stamp dies can be made of steel, brass or magnesium. Both silicone hot stamp dies and metal hot stamp dies can be flat or contoured. Additionally, silicone dies can be crowned or multi-level. Both silicone and metal hot stamp dies are avaiable in traditional or magnetic mounting formats with complete die finishing services.
This is a question that can be answered with a short answer, a medium answer or a long answer. Let’s start here with a short answer.
When selecting a die material, a good simple rule to use the following guideline:
Rigid substrate →Flexible, silicone die
Flexible substrate→ Rigid, metal die
This simple rule-of-thumb will guide you to the right general category of die. From there, a trusted die expert can help you identify the precise type of silicone or metal die that is best suited to the unique requirements of your project.
A slightly longer answer to this question requires a look at the similarities and differences between silicone and metal hot stamp dies. Both silicone and metal dies provide high impact decoration with metalic, holographic or prismatic foils.
There are some key differences as well however:
Do you need an even more detailed answer? If so, please check out this table. Here you will find detailed comparitive information about silicone rubber and metal stamping dies. This information includes – available materials, average die life, sinks, set up time, pressure and temperature requirements, decorative finishes, price guidelines and compatible substrates for both silicone rubber and metal stamping dies.
|Rubber Dies||Metal Dies|
|Materials Available||Various for specific applications – high temperatures, quick heat recovery, & high strength||Magnesium
|Average Die Life||Contoured – X
Flat – 2X
|Magnesium – Y
Copper – 4Y
Brass – 18Y
Steel – 20Y+
|Surface Variations (sinks)||Will Compensate||No Compensation for Sinks|
|Variation in Material Thickness||Will Compensate||No Compensation|
|Set-up Time||Quick Process||Lengthy Process|
|Pressure Requirements||350 lbs. Per sq. inch (HS)
500 lbs. Per sq. inch (HT)
|1000 lbs. Per sq. inch|
|Temperature Requirements||100F > Metal
|100F < Rubber
|Dwell Time||50% > Metal||30% < Rubber|
|Decorative Finish||Foil/Transfer lays on top of substrate||Imbeds foil/transfer into surface|
|Price||Initial Set-up/Mold Charge
Die Cost < Metal
|No Set-up/Mold Charge
Magnesium – $
Copper – 2X $
Brass – 8X $
Steel – 10X $
*indicates preferred material
PVC – Plasticized
PVC – Rigid*
Epoxy / Epoxy Coating
PVC – Plasticized
PVC – Rigid
Epoxy / Epoxy Coating
In addition to being able to provide you with expert advice on the type of silicone or metal die best-suited to your unique application, United Silicone can provide:
Magnetic Quick-Change Dies
Time saving magnetic quick change dies can lead to up to 90x faster changeover speeds with up to 50% improvement in mounting accuracy
Top die manufacturers should provide CNC machine engraved molds with crown or contoured surfaces to perfectly match part shapes/configurations.
Large Capacity for Quick Die Turn Around
For example, United Silicone´s market-leading die capacity allows us to provide 1 to 3 day service on many die orders.
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