Category Archive: Services

Stamped Parts for Electrical Insulation

At ESPE Manufacturing Co., we provide high-quality electrical insulation materials and fabricated plastic parts. In addition to stocking and distributing a large inventory of non-metallic materials, we offer custom fabrication capabilities ranging from prototype to full production runs.

Stamping is one of our fabrication specialties. We produce a wide range of stamped products made from electrical insulation and barrier materials—including ITW Formex®, ITW Statex®, and Nomex®—as well as from other non-metallic materials such as plastics and aramid papers.

Stamping Process for Non-Metal and Plastic Parts

Stamping is a manufacturing technique that involves using a custom-designed punch and die block set to punch out parts from the workpiece. The stock material—typically in strip or coil form—sits in-between the punch and the die block. Once the material is in position, the punch forces through it into the die block, stamping out the part.

ESPE’s stamping operations include slitting the material down, then feeding it into the presses where the stamping takes place at 50-200 strokes per minute. In a single press stroke we can produce up to 5 blanked parts.

When selecting a plastic or other non-metal material for a stamping operation, it is important to keep in mind a few factors to ensure optimal part performance and production. These considerations include the material’s:

  • Mechanical, electrical, magnetic, and thermal properties
  • Performance characteristics, including durability and performance under normal and high-stress operating conditions

Careful consideration should also be taken for other design elements, including ensuring the design fulfills the absorption, compression, and alignment requirements of the application.

A wide range of insulation materials are used in non-metal stamping operations, including:

  • ITW Formex® and ITW Statex®. These materials are suitable for applications with a high electrostatic discharge (ESD) profile. They are effective barriers to static electricity since they prevent its build-up and dissipate it. They are a good choice for parts used in computers, consumer electronic devices, medical equipment, solar energy components, and telecom appliances.
  • Nomex® paper. This material is used in flat-panel TVs, tablets, and mobile phones due to its excellent electrical and thermal insulation properties.
  • Fishpaper/vulcanized fiber. This material is lightweight and performs well in environments with alternating high and low temperatures. Some of the items commonly made using fishpaper include circuit breakers, gaskets, and bushings for motors.

Two Advantages of Plastic Stamping for Electrical Barriers and Insulators

There are a couple of advantages to using stamping for manufacturing non-metallic parts and products, such as electrical barriers and insulators. These advantages include:

  • Higher accuracy and tighter tolerances. Depending on the state of the die, the stamping process can produce high volumes of identical parts with very strict tolerances.
  • Greater reusability and flexibility. Although the initial process of producing a custom die set is time-consuming, once a die is ready, it can be used for multiple production runs or swapped out quickly for different parts. At ESPE, these process qualities allow us to offer our customers a typical lead time of 5–15 days with emergency and rush options on a case-by-case basis.

Applications of Stamped Electrical Barriers and Insulators

Due to its numerous advantages, stamping finds application in a wide range of industries. Industries that utilize stamped electrical barriers and insulators include:

  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Automotive
  • Defense and military
  • Dental and medical
  • Electronics
  • Food and beverage
  • Machine tools
  • Marine
  • Oil and gas
  • Packaging
  • Renewable energy

Stamped Insulation Solutions From ESPE Manufacturing

Stamping is a quick and cost-effective method of manufacturing high volumes of high-quality non-metallic parts, including electrical barriers and insulators.

As an industry-leading supplier of electrical insulation and barrier materials, ESPE has the knowledge and experience to fabricate custom parts from these substrates. Our stamping capabilities allow us to form parts from these and other non-metallic substrates.

To learn more about our stamping capabilities or to partner with us on your next project, contact us or request a quote today. We typically respond to quote requests in 24 hours or less.

Is There a Difference Between Blanking & Punching?

At ESPE Manufacturing Co., Inc., we provide a wide range of high quality stamping services for a broad spectrum of materials, including nylon, vulcanized fibre, and neoprene. Our robust, quality-driven stamping capabilities include:

  • Forming: This process utilizes forces such as compression, shear, and tension to deform and ultimately transform materials into desired shapes or forms.
  • Scoring: Scoring employs a machine tool to cut a groove into the substrate. The groove is then utilized to facilitate other processes, such as acting as a breakage point, decorative flourish, or guideline for a finishing operation.
  • Impression stamping
  • Blanking
  • Punching

The similarities between the two latter processes often lead many to wonder: “Is there a difference between blanking and punching non-metals?” The following information will answer that question.

Blanking vs. Punching

Both blanking and punching are material forming processes that involve the precise removal of material from a workpiece. The main difference between the two processes lies in the end product produced.

In blanking operations, the final part or product is removed or “punched-out” out of the larger sheet material, with the remaining material being discarded as scrap. On the other hand, in punching operations, the material removed is discarded, and the final product is the remaining material which then undergoes further processing.

Delineating between blanking and punching is analogous to the following:

  • If you punch a hole out of a piece of paper and keep the circular piece, then you have blanked the paper.
  • If you keep the sheet of paper and throw away the punched-out piece, then you have punched the paper.

Another difference between the two processes is how manufacturers approach processing the initial sheet material. In a punching operation, they typically remove the smallest amount of material necessary from the original workpiece to minimize material waste. In contrast, blanking operations are most efficient when the maximum amount of material is removed from the workpiece.

Punching and blanking are both highly cost-effective production methods for medium to high volume orders. While the punched out slug in a punching process may not be part of further operations, in many cases it can be recycled or otherwise reused, resulting in significant cost savings.

Which Blanking and Punching Materials for Manufacturing Do We Provide?

At ESPE, we use several materials in our blanking and punching operations. The three primary materials that we work with are:

  • Formex:This is a highly versatile, flame-retardant electrical insulating material.
  • NomexThis material’s meta-aramid polymers provide excellent electrical insulation, as well as chemical, thermal, and radiation resistance. Nomex also offers enhanced strength and durability.
  • Vulcanized Fibre/FishpaperElectrical grade vulcanized fibre, or fishpaper, has many unique properties, including a lightweight design, ease of forming and punching, and resistance to heat or cold. ESPE’s fishpaper is comparable to other brands of vulcanized fibre, such as NVF’s Forbon brand, or Spaulding Composites’ Armite brand.

Partnering with Blanking and Punching Experts

While at first glance, blanking and punching may seem like identical processes, there are subtle but significant differences between the two, both in intent and in operation.

As an industry leader in electrical insulation materials and fabricated plastic parts, ESPE Manufacturing Co., Inc. has the experience and expertise to provide both blanking and punching services to each of our customers. Family owned and operated since 1948, ESPE is here to serve all of your fabrication needs. Our commitment to providing excellent service and delivering premium products has made us the top choice for many companies in need of customized non-metallic parts.

If you’d like to learn more, contact us, or request a quote today.

Blanking vs. Punching | ESPE Manufacturing