QualiKnife | Improved quality for industrial blades

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The Qualiknife project aims to help Flemish companies to improve their production process and prevent wear and fractures of industrial knives. This by means of making existing technologies that extend the service life accessible to Flemish industry. An infrastructure will be set up to share knowledge, set up demonstrators and guide companies in their business cases and field trials.


A lot of processes in the technology industry use industrial blades. These include cutting, shearing and punching tools, usually manufactured from high-quality steels and heat treated, in order to increase strength and wear resistance.

The service life of industrial blades varies, as it is highly dependent on the application and the material used to cut. Cutting blades for plastics and paper undergo different stresses than knives that cut steel sheet. For example, hard particles or fibres are often processed into plastic and composites. These additives are detrimental for blades, because they increase wear. As a result, early regrinding or replacement of the blades is necessary. High strength steels pose a similar problem with metal products.

This 'Collective R&D and Collective Knowledge Dissemination Project' (COOCK) aims to provide a solution to various cutting problems by responding to three key parameters for blades: the material, the surface treatment and the core. There are already several innovative solutions in existence that extend the life of industrial cutting tools, such as:

  • the use of alloyed powder metallurgical steels with a purer and more homogeneous structure,
  • special heat treatments, based on deep cooling after hardening, with an increase in wear and corrosion resistance as a consequence of a lower residual austenite content, finely divided carbides and a low internal residual stress,
  • laser hardening with a very precise edge hardening, without deformation and high hardness,
  • laser texturing with better roughness control, low frictional resistance and better removal of chips and heat dissipation,
  • coatings that have a higher abrasive and adhesive wear resistance with a low frictional resistance.



QUALIKNIFE wants to evaluate the available technologies to increase the service life and performance of blades and make them accessible to Flemish industry.

An infrastructure will be set up to share knowledge, set up demonstrators and guide companies in their business cases and field trials. The intention is to find a solution, case by case, based on one or more (combinations) of the five aforementioned technologies.

With this we want:

  • to compile a general case book, available now in Dutch, using inspiring examples and guidelines for the production and use of industrial blades,
  • to organise regional seminars, demonstrating challenges and solutions in the field of cutting blades,
  • to guide companies in taking the first steps within a business environment.


By means of six typical demonstrators at companies that already use certain methods, Sirris will present a number of innovative techniques to the broad target group of interested companies. Given the diversity of the materials to be cut, ranging from soft materials such as paper and food, to tough and hard and abrasive materials, such as glass-fibre reinforced plastics and steel, typical examples will be demonstrated per material group and cutting method (free cutting, scissor cutting and pressure cutting).

Target group

We are targeting manufacturers and users of industrial cutting, shearing and punching tools for processing steel, plastic, rubber, wood, paper, composite, food, etc. Many companies use cutting blades and shears in their processes and have every interest in increasing uptime and avoiding downtime.


VLAIO COOCK QualiKnife, HBC.2020.2569


Jan 2021 - Dec 2022

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Project deliverables


How to optimize the lifespan of your industrial knives?

Explore insights and practical cases in the free Qualiknife casebook, curated by Sirris and available in Dutch.

Download le recueil de cas