Aspects determining quality of industrial knives

Industrial knives are used for many processes. Their service life highly depends on the application they are used for. At the request of and with the necessary input from companies, the QualiKnife COOCK project, which aims to improve the quality and service life of industrial knives, was launched this year. This fourth part examines various aspects of knives that were not included in previous parts, such as edge retention.

In the technology industry, industrial knives are used in many different processes. Knives can be found in cutting, trimming and punching tools, and are usually made of high-quality steels, which are heat-treated to increase the strength and resistance to wear. The service life of these blades is highly dependent on the application and the material to be cut. The field of application of industrial knives is undoubtedly very broad. Knives for plastics and paper are subject to different loads than knives for cutting sheet steel. For example, plastics and composites often contain hard particles or fibres, which badly affect the cutting blades because they increase wear. Therefore, early resharpening or replacement of the blades may be required. In metal products, high-strength steels pose a similar problem.

The COOCK ('Collectief Onderzoek & Ontwikkeling en Collectieve Kennisverspreiding' - Collective Research & Development and Collective Knowledge Dissemination) project QualiKnife aims to provide a solution by addressing three important parameters for knives: the material, the heat treatment of the surface and the core. In recent months, we have highlighted one aspect of knife quality in three comprehensive articles. After starting with materials in the first article, heat treatments in the second article and surface heat treatments in the third we now go deeper into the different aspects determining the quality of industrial knives, which have not been discussed before. Concepts such as 'edge retention' and effects such as the knife tip geometry and grinding operations on knife steel are being discussed.

In this article the following topics will be discussed:

  • Geometry of the knife tip
  • Sharpening of knives
  • Edge retention
  • Bimetal blades
  • Shot peening of knives
  • Texturing knives

Read the in-depth article on other aspects influencing the quality of industrial knives in Techniline, or download it here!

The cutting process remains a complex issue, influenced by several parameters. Today, new methods are developed that have a positive impact on tool life, such as texturing. Sirris has two projects in this area looking for such improvements: the COOCK projects QualiKnife and SURFACESCRIPT, financially supported by VLAIO. Both projects offer opportunities to companies active in the world of knives and cutting materials.