Art Hedrick

Art Hedrick

Contributing Writer
Dieology LLC
8730 10 Mile Rd. SE.
Rockford, MI 49341


Phone: 616-894-6855
www.dieology.com
Contact via email
Author of the "Die Science" column in STAMPING Journal®, Art also has written technical articles on stamping die design and build for a number of trade publications. A recipient of many training awards, he is active in metal stamping training and consulting worldwide.

Stamping | Articles | STAMPING Journal

Die Science: 7 ways that part material affects die design and the forming process

March 16, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

I recently had an opportunity to train some young product designers. During this training session, one of the product designers brought me a print of a project he was working on. It was a contoured, deep-drawn part with many intricate features, and he had a lot of questions about the...

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Stamping | Articles | STAMPING Journal

Die Science: Finding the true cause of poor-quality parts

March 13, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

As a professional consultant, I find it both amusing and frustrating how many times dies are accused of being “bad.” Certainly, poor-quality dies exist. In my career I’ve seen dies that are well-engineered, precision tools, and I’ve seen dies that might as well have been made from sawdust...

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Die Science: Open wall angles versus vertical walls

March 10, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

All too often designers employ open wall angles simply because they’ve been told that they are easier to form than vertical walls. Although this statement may be true for many part geometries, it is certainly not true for all. Sometimes a draft angle can be desirable; other times it can be...

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Die Science: Maximizing tool steel life

March 9, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is “What is the best tool steel?”To me, that’s like asking, “How long is a piece of string?”There is no “best” tool steel. To choose the appropriate tool steel for a given application, you need to consider all of the situations and...

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Die Science: Fitting the drawing pad for optimal metal flow

March 9, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

Production stampers and die builders understand that the process of designing, building, troubleshooting, and maintaining a drawing die can be very difficult. Unlike metal cutting tools, drawing dies can take a great deal of time to develop, especially if the final part will be very deep and...

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Die Science: Choosing the right blank type for your stamping application

March 7, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

Selecting the proper blank size and profile often is critical to achieving a successful stamping process. Attempting to form a part’s geometry with the incorrect blank size or shape can result in splitting or excessive thinning. The blank shape also affects the consistency of the trim line...

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Stamping | Articles | STAMPING Journal

Die Science: Finding the right method for die shoe guidance

March 7, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

Choosing the proper guidance and heeling method is critical to the success of any stamping operation. Improperly guided and heeled die shoes may result in cutting and forming sections interfacing with the wrong clearances, severe deflection, and die damage. Guide Pin and Bushing BasicsGuide pins,...

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Die Science: Under pressure to find the best pressure pad

March 7, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

Pressure pads are critical to the success of a stamping operation. These pressure-loaded plates, either contoured or flat, perform the function of holding, stripping, or controlling metal during cutting or forming. Three Basic TypesAlthough there are many specialty pressure pads, they can be broken...

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Die Science: The time and place for die polishing

March 7, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

As a young apprentice tool- and diemaker, I was taught that when building a forming die for a drawing, stretching, or bending operation, all forming sections had to be polished to a mirror-like surface finish in the direction of metal flow. Not doing so would result in poor material flow, premature...

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Die Science: 4 causes of poor strip feeding in progressive dies

March 6, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

Most stamping plants have experienced poor strip feeding in a progressive die. Not only can this problem cause great frustration, but it also can lead to die and press damage, poor quality, scrap, safety hazards, and downtime. Four potential causes usually are to blame. 1. Die Alignment The...

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Die Science: Drawing pad basics

March 6, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

The drawing pad, otherwise known as the binder, blank holder, or pressure ring, is one of the most important components of a drawing and stretching operation. Its shape, thickness, deflection, and surface quality are critical features. In addition, the material it’s made from is crucial....

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Die Science: Choosing between pressure pads and stripper plates

March 6, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

Many problems result from a poorly designed or completely absent pressure pad. In the May/June 2013 issue of STAMPING Journal, I discussed the characteristics of the three kinds of pressure pads. Now it’s time to review the pressure pad styles and see how they compare to stripper plates. Stripper...

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Stamping | Articles | STAMPING Journal

Die Science: Bridge strippers versus spring strippers

March 6, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

A recent consultation job reminded me of the importance of selecting the best method for stripping cutting punches. It’s not that I haven’t seen similar problems in the past; rather it’s the simple fact that using the wrong type of stripper can result in catastrophic tool failure, as well as...

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Die Science: Understanding interactivity for difficult stampings

February 28, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

It’s no secret that the quality of a stamped part is influenced by numerous variables, including the mechanical ability of the material being stamped, the condition of the tooling and the press, the number of process steps being used, and the geometry of the dies. To truly solve a...

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Stamping | Articles | STAMPING Journal

Die Science: Thinking like sheet metal

February 28, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

If you have ever attended one of my public or custom on-site training courses, you’ve heard me emphasize the importance of understanding your sheet metal’s behavior before you try to cut or form it. Chances are that sometime during the course, I said, “You must think like the sheet metal or...

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