Everything You Need to Know about Steel Slitting

Posted on May 14, 2021

Steel Slitting

During the slitting process, a punching blade (a fixed blade required by the users) is used to press the material against the mold. Generally speaking, the gap between the workpiece and the blade should be about 5% to 40% relative to the material thickness but are subject to differ depending on the material specifications.

About Steel Slitting

With the increasing demand for steel coils of finer dimensional parameters, more rigid precision slitting has become an emerging trend, as slitting equipment, software, and fueling practices being more and more technologically advanced.

Steel slitting is a metal precision slitting process in which coils of steel are slit into certain widths and lengths by the end application. As steel rolls are run through the steel slitting machine, they are delivered through extremely sharp circular blades to make the cuts. 

To make the slices using a steel slitting machine, immense compressive forces are applied as the force exceeds the tensile strength of the material it slices. The resulting products are long strips of materials cut based on the buyer's requirement and specification.

A steel slitting machine consists of the major components: the uncoiler, the slitter, and the recoiler. Each component must be aligned precisely during setup to make sure that the quality of the process is optimized.

How Does It Work

During the slitting process, a punching blade (a fixed blade required by the users) is used to press the material against the mold. Generally speaking, the gap between the workpiece and the blade should be about 5% to 40% relative to the material thickness but are subject to differ depending on the material specifications.

Clearance, known as the separation between blades, is measured at a point where cutting takes place and is positioned 90 degrees to the direction of the blade movement. This is associated with the extent of the completion of cutting (to address burr problems) and the power consumption of the steel slitting machine. This process put the material under substantial local shear stress between the die and the punching blade.

:: Read More: The Forming of Metal Coils: Coil Slitting

Why Are Steel Slitting Needed

Precision slitting is a metal slitting process that requires specialized machinery, often referred to as the steel slitting machine. When operated properly, the slitting process can be very fast and precise. In this section, we've addressed the main reasons why having your metal slit by a dedicated slitting machine can make processing a lot easier and more time-saving.

Maintain Tight Tolerance

The steel slitting process is necessary when tight tolerance is required. The thickness of materials is associated with how well the materials can be machined or tooled, its slitting requirement can be determined by your manufacturing process. To illustrate better, those who are looking to use injection molding will benefit from metals with tighter tolerance because they allow adding more ease to the processing.

Use a Consistent Product

Besides adding ease, steel slitting enables more consistent products. This means that materials with consistent measurement can be fed through the slitting machine more easily, eliminating the time that you would have had to spend on machine setup, oversight, and size maintenance.

Reduce Waste and Scrap

Another major reason why steel slitting is preferred is that it reduces the amounts of resulting scraps after you slit the materials close to the finished size. Many in fact use the slit width as the finished width to preserve edge trims that would have otherwise been possible if sheet metals had been sheared instead. As a matter of fact, it is said that your project can run smoother and quicker if the metal materials are slit to the width that fits your application.

Specification to Consider during Selection 

A common issue with slitting machines of any kind is that buyers tend to have a tougher time making the selection decision as it is more complicated than you might have imagined. How you go about choosing the most suitable machine is largely attributed to the requirement of your final products, and there are tons of things you need to take into consideration.

The purchasing factors relative to the finished products that you should consider include minimum slitting width, slitting shaft, slitting number, the material of slitting blade, hardness of slitting blade, the essence of appropriate slitting material, desirable slitting thickness, proper slitting width, proper interior diameter, proper outer diameter, maximum coil weight of end product, the end product of coil interior diameter, the end product of coil outer diameter, running speed, the accuracy of slitting width, power supply, feed direction, dimensional parameters of the machine, as well as net weight.

Selecting Blade Material for Your Slitting Process

The ideal blade material for your slitting machine is largely dependent on the material to be cut and the requirement of your business. For shorter runs, you may get away with lower-grade metals like carbon steel and stainless steel. To minimize machine downtime (including maintenance time), you will be better off with high-grade blade materials that are suited for longer runs, such as tungsten carbide or zirconia ceramic.

Choosing the right blade material can lead to increased wear life, such as using high-grade materials like tungsten carbide or zirconia ceramic. Many have in fact found that switching from a lower grade blade metal (e.g., carbon steel blades) to a higher grade blade metal has actually saved them more money in the long run because of the improved wear life and reduced replacement needs.

In addition to improved wear life, it has also been reported that higher-grade blade materials are able to create more precise cuts. The high hardness level and rigidity allow them to create precise, pristine cuts. Also, with these higher quality blade materials, less sharpening is needed as each sharpening of the blade will decrease the life of the blade, which ultimately incurs more cost for the slitting process.

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