Machine Design

Oscillating Bandsaw Cuts the Hardest Alloys

Simonds International,

Edited by Leslie Gordon

A new enhancement on a patented “oscillating” bandsaw design targets aerospace alloys and other tough-to-cut materials. The SineWave technology from Simonds International in Fitchburg, Mass., incorporates a series of engineered “ramps” on the back edge of bandsaw blades. This provides an aggressive broaching action in the cut and also causes a rocking motion in the blade, which forces each tooth to penetrate the work without increasing machine pressure as cutting depth increases. The blade shape basically creates a self-feeding action that delivers faster cutting times.

According to the company, the best way to understand the technology is to first consider what happens to a familiar tool — the hacksaw blade — as cutting pressure is applied. At the onset, the blade comes in contact with a small surface area that is easy to cut. Only light pressure is needed at this point. However, if the saw remains horizontal, the blade contact area gets larger. It takes more downward pressure to make the cut, slowing penetration and increasing tool wear. At the widest point in the cross section of the material, the large contact area makes cutting most difficult, and slow or crooked cutting could result. At this point, the blade is also closest to possible tooth-tip breakage, much like the breaking point of pencil lead under pressure.

Contrast this with a hacksaw that keeps changing its approach from horizontal to slightly downward (a rocking motion). At first, there is no benefit to the rocking motion because the point of contact is small and there are few teeth in contact with the cut. Soon, however, cutting improves for the blade using rocking motion. The rocking motion lets the saw maintain a small contact area with fewer teeth engaged. This facilitates good penetration and only requires a light pressure.

Moving to bandsaws, most industrial materials are cut with devices which cut across stationary material with their teeth continuously engaged. In contrast, bandsaws with SineWave blades allow optimum penetration with minimum feed pressure.

SineWave technology can be applied to any metal-cutting bandsaw blade (bimetal or carbide tipped). Blades are engineered specifically for a machine at the user’s site according to how aggressive or moderate the cutting action must be to get the job done. SineWave technology is suitable for cutting high chrome, tool, die, stainless and nickel-based steels, as well as titanium and other exotic metals. The blades can also cut hard alloys such as Inconel and Waspalloy that are seldom cut with traditional bandsaws due to their extremely low machinability. In addition, when compared to traditional abrasive wheels, SineWave blades cut a significantly thinner kerf; consume a fraction of the electricity; often eliminate the need to trim the face pieces after the initial cut; and produce significantly less heat in the cut process, all of which cut costs while having less impact on the environment.

© 2011 Penton Media, Inc.

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