Do you remember when you were in grade school and had to use a hole punch to make holes in your papers so you could put them in your binder? Well, that’s pretty much how metal hole punching works.
We use a hydraulic cylinder press to push a punch into the metal, which “tears” the material in the shape of the die. Our metal processing punch press applies up to 180 tons of pressure, giving us the ability to hole punch through steel plate up to 1” thick. The majority of our punches and dies are for round holes and are primarily used when making base plates.
There are two minor drawbacks to metal punching. First, because of the force involved, you cannot make a hole smaller than the thickness of the material. In other words, if you need to punch a hole in 1/2” thick material, the smallest hole you can punch will be 1/2” in diameter. You may be able to punch a 3/8” hole in 1/2” material, but you risk damaging the punch and this is, therefore, not recommended. Second, when punching holes, the force of the punch tends to bend the material. As such, hole punching may not be the most suitable metal processing method for all applications.