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Materials Variables

One of the variables to a quality cutting process is materials. The quality of cut can vary depending on a variety of factors, but materials and quality output are something to consider. Blades are built for the type of the materials being cut, the dimension of the materials, and the materials characteristics.

Type of material may refer to ferrous or non-ferrous, with ferrous metals being harder since alloys are added during the steel making process. As the cut process completes, alloys become harder with the saw continuously cutting through. These types of materials require stronger blade teeth with smaller tooth gullets if a productive cut is to be achieved.

Non-ferrous metals like aluminium, brass, and bronze produce larger chips that quickly clog the blade’s tooth gullets, resulting in tooth wear and eventual breakage. For these materials, a large tooth gullet will help to minimize clogging.

Dimension refers to the geometrical shape of the material being cut. Tube, pipe, and sheet are thin-walled materials and best cut using a fine pitch blade. On large, solid shapes, a coarse-pitch blade works best. The large tooth gullet of coarse pitch blades will help to minimize clogging and evenly distribute feed force using fewer teeth, improving penetration.

Characteristics refers to the materials properties. Some metals become harder if heat is applied and others will react to the friction, which causes the chips to stick to the blade gullets. A lesser experienced operator may believe the material is hard to cut due to a dull blade, but that is not always the case. The blade experiences friction, and the embedded chips force the blade to run slower than the given speed rate.

The three material factors mentioned above are only a few of the aspects to consider when determining how to achieve a positive cut result. The higher the alloy composition, the lower the machine-ability rate. Complex material shapes will lower the machine-ability due to increased shock. The higher the material hardness, the lower the machine-ability.

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