Introducing Metal Band Saw Blades

Posted on Dec 15, 2020

Metal Band Saw Blades

A band saw blade, or simply known as a band saw, is a powerful saw with a long sharp blade that consists of a continuous band of toothed metal through the length between multiple wheels to cut material.

What Are Metal Band Saw Blades? 

A band saw blade, or simply known as a band saw, is a powerful saw with a long sharp blade that consists of a continuous band of toothed metal through the length between multiple wheels to cut material.

Metal band saw blades are typically used for metalworking but are also capable of cutting a variety of materials. The design of band saw blades allows materials to be cut in uniformly distributed tooth load. It is also able to cut curved or irregular shapes like a jigsaw.

The minimum radius of a curve of a metal band saw blade is determined by the width of the band and the kerf. Most metal bands saw blades have two rotating wheels in the same plan, one of which is powered and the other isn't. You may also find a band saw blade with more than two wheels to distribute the load.

The blades can come in various sizes and tooth pitches (i.e. teeth per inch), which allows the blade itself to be able to cut a wide variety of metal materials. This is why band saws today are known for being powerful and versatile, powered by an electric motor.

:: Read More: The Powerful Metal Cutting Band Saw

Configuration of Metal Band Saw Blade

We'll break this down by addressing the three main components of the metal saw blades: the feed mechanism, fall mechanism, and tooth forms.

● Feed Mechanism
Some metal saw blades adopt the gravity feed design which enables the cutting force to be adjusted, such as a coil spring with a screw thread adjustment, pneumatic or hydraulic damper, or a counterbalancing weight feature. Gravity designs are more common in smaller blades. Furthermore, a metal band saw blade that adopts hydraulic feed utilizes a positive pressure hydraulic piston to operate the saw at varying pressure and rate; these are commonly known as the production saws.

● Fall Mechanism
The fall mechanism of a metal band saw blade could be a pivot, single column, or dual column. Pivot saws use a movable arc to cut through the metal piece. Single column saws have a column with a relatively larger diameter that allows the entire saw to ride up and down; they work very similarly to a drill press. Dual column saws, as the name implies, have a pair of large columns. The dual column setup is very rigid and precise, and maybe the largest band saw you'll ever encounter in the bandsaw family. They are also widely used for complex cutting, utilizing a rotary table and X-axis.

● Tooth Forms
Some of the common tooth forms of band saw blades include precision blades, buttress blades, and claw tooth blades. Precision blades offer accurate and precise cuts with a smooth surface finish. Buttress blade gives faster cutting and larger chip loads. Claw tooth blade provides extra clearance for faster cuts and softer materials. At least two teeth must be contacted against one another with the metal piece at all times to prevent the teeth from stripping off.

Types of Metal Band Saw Blade

Metal band saw blades can be divided into two categories: horizontal band saws and vertical band saws.

Horizontal band saw blades hold the workpiece in place while the blade advances through the cut. Such design specifically excels at cutting long material, such as pips or bar stocks, which is why it is very common to see horizontal metal band saw in most machine shops.

Horizontal band saws however are not ideal for cutting irregularly or curve-shaped metals. Smaller horizontal band saw blades generally adopt a gravity feed mechanism alone, rendered adjustable by a coil spring. It is usually controlled by a hydraulic cylinder for industrial models.

A vertical band saw blade, on the contrary, allows the workpiece to be movable while keeping the blades' path stationery. This type of metal band saw blade is perfect for cutting out complex and irregular shapes and angles. A vertical band saw blade is usually equipped with a built-in welder, not only allowing the operator to repair broken blades or fabricate new blades promptly, but also allowing interior cuts by routing through the center of a part and re-weld.

Vertical band saw blades are often equipped with a built-in air blower to cool the blade off and blow metal chips away from the cut site, allowing a clearer view of the work for the operator.

Application of Metal Band Saw Blade

Metal band saws are made for industrial metal-cutting, such as structural steel in fabrication shops and bar stock in machine shops. The typical metal band saw blade varies from 40 ft/min to 5,000 ft/min, but some specialized units are able to reach a speed of 15,000 ft/min with friction cutting design for harder metals.

Other than the above, metal saw blades have many other uses as well. They excel at continual sawing, making them capable of sawing all types of metal such as structural steel, weathering steel, alloy steel, bearing steel, stainless steel, heat-resistant steel, aluminum alloy, molds steel, and so on. They are normally equipped with brushes to prevent metal chips from being stuck in between the blade teeth.

The advancement of the band saw blades have equipped the saw blades with high-speed steel teeth, with cobalt grades being the norm even. Along with the new tooth pitches and advanced tooth geometries, they are able to cut newer metal materials which were otherwise impossible a few years ago. New machines have been developed in a way that the welding process of band saw can be automated as well.

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