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ASTM Cutting Dies for Sample Preparation

ASTM Sample Cutting Dies

Products > Accessories >  Dies + Press > ASTM Cutting Dies


The Universal Grip Company offers a large variety of ASTM, ISO, DIN, EN, GOST and JIS Cutting dies that are used in conjunction with an arbor press to fabricate standard sample specimens. There are three types of dies based on the thickness and shear strength of the base material. Along with shear strength, shore hardness is also a good indicator of how resistant a material is to being cut with a die and press. 


Ribbon Steel cutting dies are used for thinner, weaker materials such as elastomers, rubber, and soft plastics. Hardened Steel dies are more robust and are used for thicker and stronger materials such as reinforced plastics and thin metal sheet.


Heavy duty steel dies are also available for cutting thicker, higher strength materials. If the material is too strong to be cut with a die and press, it can be machined into the appropriate dimensions. UGC offers Routing Jigs and Machining Guides which can aid in the machining process on thicker materials and metal samples.

How to Use a Cutting Die on an Arbor Press













The cutting die is mounted onto a benchtop arbor press using a simple lateral screw. Different cutting dies are used depending on the sample type. Many of the more popular ASTM tests such as D638, D412, and D624 can have up to 6 different sample types. Once the die is mounted, the press handle is pushed down onto the material. A hard nylon back plate supports the material and allows it to be cut evenly and cleanly. 


Cutting Dies for ASTM Tensile Testing

Use your testing machine to cut molds!

ASTM cutting dies can be attached to adapters and connected to virtually any universal testing machine. This is a great solution to use if your laboratory does not already have an arbor press. A nylon counter plate is placed on the bottom arm and the cutting die is placed on the top. By switching your machine to load control, you can be sure to not overload your system. Universal Grip also offers universal testing machines with both position and load control options. 

ASTM specimen cutting die
ASTM specimen cutting die

Hardened Steel vs. Ribbon Steel Cutting Dies

Ribbon Steel Cutting dies are manufactured by means of a wire EDM process and then hand sharpened to a fine edge. The die is embedded inside foam to help with even loading and cutting. Hardened Steel cutting dies are more robust and are used for cutting harder sheet materials from 0-5mm thick. A spring loaded backstop ensures even loading and prevents the sample from getting stuck inside the die after the cut is made. The video to the left shows both types of dies and explains them in more detail.

Trays and Molds for making Sample Sheets

Universal Grip offers chrome plated steel molds and casting trays for preparing sheets of elastomers and soft plastics. Our casting trays are built according to ASTM D3182 and can be used for curing and vulcanizing rubber used for ASTM D412 (Elastomer Tensile Testing), ASTM D624 (Elastomer Tear Testing), and other similar tests. 


Most rubber or plastic sheets are about 2mm thick (~0.1 inches) and are square with sizes of 150mm x 150mm or 6x6". Universal Grip can also create custom trays and molds including larger, deeper, or with a hinged top door. 

Please see the data sheet below for more information on our standard trays or Contact Us with your inquiry. 

Cutting Dies

(Click Highlighted Picture for Cut Sheet)



ASTM D412 Sample Die Alpha Type I
ASTM D412 Sample Die Beta Type II
ASTM D412 Sample Die Gamma Type III
ASTM D412 Sample Die Delta Type IV


ASTM D638 Sample Cutting Die Type Alpha I
ASTM D638 Sample Cutting Die Type Beta II
ASTM D638 Sample Cutting Die Type Gamma III
ASTM D638 Sample Cutting Die Type Delta IV
ASTM D638 Sample Cutting Die Type Epsilon V
Anchor 4


ASTM D624 Sample Cutting Die Type B
ASTM D624 Sample Cutting Die Type C
ASTM D624 Sample Cutting Die Type C


ASTM D1004 Sample Cutting Die.jpg


Other ASTM cutting dies available: 





































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