Deep drawing in small series

Rubber pad forming is a sheet metal forming process in which a rubber pad is used to form sheet metal. Due to the material properties of the rubber, the pad will regain its original shape when retracted from the tool. The main advantage is that only one tool is needed, the rubber takes over the function of the counter die and the blank holder. This results in low tooling costs (5 to 10% of those of deep drawing), a short time to market and minimal damage of the material surface. An important additional operation within the process is 3D cutting of the product with a CNC driven 3D laser cutting machine.

 

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Blank positioned on die

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A rubber pad presses the sheet metal over or in underlying tooling

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The rubber pad regains its original shape after the metal is formed

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Positive pressing: sheet metal is pressed over tooling

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Negative pressing: sheet metal is pressed inside tooling

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Combining positive and negative pressing: more demanding designs can be created

The advantages

  • Unique combination in shape, price and lead time
  • Low tooling costs
  • Smart and efficient design by integrating functionalities
  • Lightweight constructions
  • Hygienic design: no welding seams, no residue
  • No sharp edges and little to no surface damages.
  • Appealing specific design with flowing shapes