Success Tips

Mate has developed numerous piercing and forming solutions since 1962. The following best practices are designed to help you improve the effectiveness of your sheet metal fabrication operations. Please be sure to check back regularly for updates.

Cantilever Die

A cantilever is an unsupported section of the die. Think of a “U” shape. The tongue is unsupported, which may lead to a line of weakness in the die. (See illustration.) As a guideline, the die shape is said to include a cantilever when the periphery around the feature is more than 2.5x the width of the feature.


There are several alternate ways to produce this shape, including:


Cluster Hole Spacing – Round Insert Style

Round Hole Spacing

The spacing between holes in an insert style cluster tool is limited by the space required by the punch head. Each hole is produced with an insert. Each insert has a tapered head. These heads can not overlap. In some circumstances, Mate  recommends double spacing a cluster tool.

Cluster Double Space


Cluster Hole Spacing – Shaped Insert Style

shaped cluster inserts

The spacing between holes in an insert style cluster tool is limited by the space required by the hardware used to retain the insert. Each hole is produced with an insert. Each insert requires a fastening screw. Insert screw heads can not overlap. In some circumstances, we would recommend double spacing a cluster tool.

shaped cluster double


Cluster Hole Spacing – Die Web Width

Cluster double space

The spacing between holes in an insert style cluster tool is limited by the width of the web in the die.  When the spacing of the holes in the requested cluster pattern are tool close, they would result in webs that will decrease the strength of the die.  In those circumstances, Mate might recommend double spacing this cluster tool.


Cold Forged Emboss Minimum Width

Cold Forged Emboss Min Width

The minimum recommended width of any element or space between elements should be no less than the material thickness.


Continuous Louver – Cosmetic Appearance


Louver inside end

Continuous louver tools require the material to be advanced in short increments.  During the incremental move the material is stretched and subsequently compressed. This may work harden the material and will leave noticeable overlap marks.


Countersink Depth

Countersink Depth

The minor diameter requested would require a depth of penetration that exceeds our recommendation for this material type and thickness. In order to maintain the major diameter, and the angle, we suggest you increase the minor diameter to reduce the required depth of penetration.  If changing the minor diameter is unacceptable, then we would be pleased to quote a pilot nose design countersink.


Draft Angle

Mate recommends including a draft angle with a minimum of 5-degrees.  The draft angle will assist the material to strip from the upper assembly.  Benefits include: improved form quality, improved piece part quality, and improved stripping.

Draft Angle


Extrusion Diameter

Extrusion height

The diameter of the pre-pierce that would be required for this extrusion is smaller than we recommend for the material type and thickness specified. This may result in punch and/or insert breakage. We suggest you either increase the diameter, or reduce the material thickness.


Extrusion Height

Extrusion Height

The maximum suggested height is 2-2.5x the material thickness, while ensuring the required pre-pierce is at least 1x the material thickness. If the height of the form exceeds this recommendation, the form may burst. For optimal results, we suggest either reducing the height or the material thickness.


Maximum Form Height – Closed Forms



Side Wall Angle– Closed Forms