In the vinyl and film industries, products are manufactured in large and bulk material rolls. Since the rolls are significantly too large to utilize as the end product, industrial manufacturers convert the material into a smaller roll for final production. The process is known as slitting and knife conversion. Subsequently, the material mounted on the roll is unwound and then cut into a specific width, often, through slitter blades.
Optimizing a slitting and converting process to acquire maximum uptime begins with choosing the best blade for your project. Converting blades and slitting them come in different configurations.
Selecting the perfect blade for your application is one of the ways to ensure that you achieve optimum blade life while minimizing maintenance induced by downtime.
How to Choose the Best Blade for Your Conversion Process
1. Considering the best material for the job
When a slitting blade is dull, your slitting operation definitely stops. The bar set up will then be removed before a replacement occurs. You may experience downtime for several hours.
In that case, production losses will be compounded when a metal slitting blade dulls in the process of the roll, resulting in scrapping the remaining parts of the materials. Thus, choosing a perfect material for slitting blade used in any application prevents downtime coupled with material loss.
2. 52100 Steel
52100 slitting blade has a short wear life. For that reason, it is rarely recommended for various sheer applications. Shear machines, which employ this slitting blade, have to replace dull blades all too often. They also need to undergo rigorous maintenance.
Circular slitter blades designed and manufactured from 52100 are not just low cost but also blunt. Because they are dull, they are discarded and then replaced with new ones. But, the 52100 material is needed in the shear slitting of certain plastic materials because it generates lower amounts of heat in the cutting process.
M2 steel is useful in top and bottom slitting blades. It also provides a higher wear life, given that it is harder in nature. M2 steel blading is highly recommended in different shear slitting applications that involve nonwoven materials coupled with paper. This is appended to the fact that the materials are abrasive. They can cause blade wear.
Other than that, switching from the prominent D2 steel to the well known M2 steel blade allows you as an operator to increase your runtimes in between the blade changes that can result in little maintenance prompted downtime.
4. Consider the size of the splitting blades
As with any sector in the business world, the slitting blade industry has a rule of thumb, and it involves buying a round cutter, usually between 3 and 5 times as thick as the material you intended to split. This is because the rotary slitter blade should withstand rigorous and challenging jobs.
If, for instance, you are slitting a material that is about 0.18 inch thick, you should work with a blade that ranges from (0.56 to 0.93 inches) thick. The rule of thumb has been bantered for decades. What to use highly depends on your choice of manufacturer.
A knife that is three times thicker than the material you want slit is adequate for rather light slit gauges.
5. Get a professional blade manufacturer
When choosing a slitter blade designer and manufacturer, look for an individual with extensive experience. The person should evaluate your slitting process project and make recommendations to enhance the lifetime of your blade. Expert slitting blade manufacturers know how to analyze the material that needs to be cut too.
Are you wondering how to choose the right materail to use in making the slitting blade for your knife conversion project? Finding the best slitting blades together with choosing a suitable slitting machine can be daunting. This blog post makes it easy for you.