The vast majority of production and manufacturing processes require some kind of cutting. Whether it’s parts, food, or packaging materials, things have to be shaped, sized and cut out to create the perfect product.That’s where machine blades come in.
There’s an art to the creation of top-quality industrial cutting tools, which must be carefully manufactured to give them both long sharp-lives and the excellent cutting edges needed to cut through a myriad of materials cleanly, efficiently, and precisely.What makes an excellent blade?What sets industrial machine blades apart from other blades? What allows them to cut through even the toughest of materials while other knives struggle to cut through the skin of a tomato?
The answer is not just that machine blades are incredibly sharp. The secret is finding the optimal cutting geometries and the ideal balance between hardness, toughness, and strength (and yes, there is actually a difference).
The blade’s hardness
This is the knife’s resistance to indentation, scratching, and wear, measured with the Rockwell scale.
The higher the Rockwell number, the harder the metal is. But hard doesn’t equate to tough or durable, and in fact, if something is too hard it can break or chip easily. Think of a glass chopping board and a wooden chopping board. The wooden board will be easier to scratch than the glass one but if you drop them both the glass board will probably shatter, whilst the wooden board will be fine.
The blade’s toughness
This is how well a knife resists breaking force – the ability to bend and deform rather than crack. Toughness involves some elasticity, which allows the knife to take on the stress of use without breaking.
The blade’s strength
This is the measure of the blade’s resistance to deformation — the ability to maintain its shape when forces are applied to it. For the perfect blade, you need the right blend of hardness, toughness, and strength, and this will vary according to what kind of material is being cut and under what working conditions.
We control this by carefully selecting the best type of steel as well as the hardening and heat-treatment processes that best suit each specific application. All of this is critical to ensure that your blades withstand the demands of a tough production environment.
What kinds of machine blades are there?
Due to the fact that there is an enormous variation in the type of materials that need to be cut in production facilities, there is a huge range of blades types available, in all kinds of shapes and sizes.Depending on what you’re producing and cutting, there’s a knife out there that’s best suited to your industry.
A few types of machine blades include:
Circular knives – a versatile blade used in a number of industries, from food to packaging and print to the automotive and metal working industries.
Straight knives – this encompasses many different types of blades, everything from rubber croppers to apple slicers.
Toothed knives – A common type of knife, this is any blade with a serrated edge, used for cutting meat, plastic, metal and paper, just to name a few.
Tray-form knives – These are shaped blades most often used in the convenience food and packaging industry.
Shear blades – Used in a number of industries, these can function like oversized scissor sets.
Metal cutting saw blades – As the name suggests, these saws are adept at cutting through metal.
Boost your production with quality industrial cutting tools
All industries in production stand to benefit from having well crafted, durable industrial knives. Knives that last longer keep your downtime to a minimum, and sharper knives don’t just cut quickly, they cut precisely, improving the quality of your products and maximizing your efficiency.
To support a number of industries, we offer one of the most comprehensive ranges of machine knives and blade sharpening services in Cape Town. We support the food-processing, poultry, packaging, printing, film, automotive, and converting industries, amongst others.
Renlaw is the leading blade manufacturer in South Africa, supporting an extensive range of businesses with quality knives and industrial sharpening services. Browse our collection of knives to find the perfect industrial cutting implements for you or contact us to discuss your individual blade and production requirements.