When cutting stainless steel, choosing the right saw blade as well as the appropriate speed and feed rates are vital in order for the bandsaw operator to achieve positive output.
Stainless steel is a medium range steel and is also known as Inox steel. This low carbon steel alloy contains a minimum of 10% chromium by weight. The increased chromium content and the addition of molybdenum, nickel, and nitrogen work together to enhance the corrosion resistance of stainless steel.
When cutting Stainless steel, it is recommended that either a Carbon or bi-metal saw blade be installed.
Carbon saw blades are an economical choice and used to cut different types of non-ferrous materials. This type of blade cuts soft materials like wood, plastics, and brass. Also low-alloy and mild steels.
Carbon blades used at the correct speed, preferably 200 feet per minute, will work with Stainless using a coolant.
Bi-metal saw blades are production setting blades — a workhorse.
Bi-Metal saw blades cost more than carbon blades but last longer depending on the types of materials being cut.
Bi-Metal blades are able to cut hard materials like Stainless, D-2, and dye’s.
A bi-metal saw blade won’t easily fail due to its high-speed edge performance.
Using the right saw blade does not always mean a successful cutting process. Speed and feed rates need to be taken into consideration.
The appropriate blade speed should be set to 200 surface feet per minute — medium speed — not too fast or too slow. The feed rate should be steady and at the recommended rate in order to achieve longer blade life and desirable results.
Correct band speed and feed rates can be determined by examination of the chips produced during the cutting process.
The chips should be curled and warm, not hot. Stainless steel chips are short curls with a yellow wheat color. If not, then too much heat is being generated. Extreme heat will produce blue chips and result in premature saw blade failure. Reduce the speed and feed rates in order to help normalize the cutting process.
Adjustment of feed and speed rates and recognizing the subtle changes in chip shape, color, and feel along with the utilization of the proper saw blade for the materials being cut will guarantee a successful and effective production process and desirable output.