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This article focuses on the mechanical and nonmechanical cutting methods used in metal fabrication industries. The most prevalent equipment used for mechanical cutting includes shears, iron workers, nibblers, and band saws. Nonmechanical methods of cutting include gas cutting, electric arc cutting, and laser cutting. The article concludes with information on the advantages of abrasive waterjet cutting, which is an alternative to laser cutting, gas cutting, and plasma cutting.

Many shearing, blanking, and piercing operations are based on the same underlying principles of shear mechanisms. This article provides information on the various operations associated with die cutting and describes three phases involved in the shear cutting or punching action. These phases include deformation, penetration and fracture. The article also explains the effect of clearance on tool life and force and power requirements. It reviews the forces involved in the punching process and describes the diameter of a hole or blank in relation to material thickness. The limitations of punching are also discussed. The article describes the relationship of the die clearance to stress-strain curves and explains the procedure of interpreting the stress-strain curves. The article concludes with information on the dynamic stripping forces in blanking.

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