Solutions for Cutting Adhesive Surfaces

Solutions for Cutting Adhesive Surfaces

When cutting adhesive surfaces, residual adhesive can quickly build up on the blade, leading to increased friction forces during the cutting operation and rapid degeneration of the blade’s sharpness. The damage to the blade can result in needing to replace your industrial knives sooner and can even damage your cutting equipment, leading to costly repairs and replacements.

If your processes include industrial cutting of surfaces with layers of adhesive, you’ll want to protect your blade from adhesive buildup. Below, you’ll learn more about what happens to blades when cutting adhesive surfaces and solutions for cutting adhesives using a coated blade.

What Can Happen to Blades When Cutting Adhesive Surfaces

When cutting adhesive surfaces, the residual adhesive can build up on the blade, whether cutting food, taped products or plastics. Too much buildup on the blade can cause drag, which can damage your products or cause quality issues that may affect your reputation as a high-quality manufacturer. In some cases, blades with too much buildup can get stuck in the melting material, even when the knife is sharp enough to cut through the material.

Cutting adhesive surfaces can also reduce the life span of the knife, which reduces efficiency. If enough adhesive gets built up on the blade’s surface and is not properly managed, damage can occur to the blade.

Additionally, the adhesive buildup can cause the quality of the cutting surface to deteriorate. This deterioration can force you to replace parts and components sooner than expected, resulting in unplanned downtime, productivity losses and revenue reduction until you get the machinery up and running again.

What Are Blade Coatings?

Blade coatings are a thin layer applied to the blade of a cutting knife that help protect it during industrial applications. One of the main reasons people use blade coatings is to increase the blades’ life by reducing adhesive buildup.

Blade coatings can also improve the hardness of the cutting edge and improve surface roughness by filling in any ridges or valleys that formed when the blade was sharpened. As a result, the cutting surface is smoother, which helps reduce the blade’s resistance to wear and extends the tool’s life.

Some blade coatings can also resist corrosion, extreme temperatures and abrasion. These coatings are invaluable to industries using industrial cutting knives since they can help reduce the damage or accelerated wear a blade encounters when exposed to harsh conditions. As a result, industrial knives can increase tool life with blade coatings, help reduce downtime and keep processes moving smoothly.

Benefits of Blade Coatings

Knife blade coatings have numerous benefits and purposes other than preventing adhesive buildup on the knife’s surface. The additional advantages of blade coatings make them a worthy investment for your applications. Some of these benefits include:

  • Preventing corrosion: Corrosion can present a significant problem, especially for steel blades. While you can purchase stainless steel industrial blades, only using blades from this material can be limiting. High-quality and adequately designed coatings can significantly reduce maintenance requirements and the risk of corrosion, which damages your blades and forces you to replace them sooner rather than later.
  • Improving scratch resistance: Some coatings can help make blades scratch resistant, which is essential to reducing drag. Depending on their depth, scratches can catch on the materials you are cutting, ruining their quality and overall integrity. Scratches can also make blades less appealing, which can impact the professionalism of your business.
  • Reducing drag: While scratches can cause drag, it’s not the only cause of drag with knives. Coatings can also reduce drag when working with specific types of blades, such as serrated knives. Minimizing drag in your processes is essential to reduce the risk of product damage affecting quality and revenue.
  • Extending product life: The suitable blade coating can help extend the life of your industrial knives, which is essential to help reduce downtime and improve efficiency. Blade coatings can improve durability, resistance against damage and overall blade function. You can make the most of your industrial knives by applying a blade coating to help them last longer and continue serving your operations.
  • Improving aesthetic appeal and safety: If clients ever tour your facilities, having an appealing worksite can help contribute to your professionalism, even when working with different types of machinery. Some knife coatings can help elevate the aesthetic appeal of your cutting operations, creating a more sleek look. Blade coatings also help eliminate the shine from blades, which can distract workers operating machinery, especially when the light catches the surface just right.

Blade Coating Options to Help Cut Adhesive Surfaces

You want to use the proper blade coating to protect your cutting and sealing knives from damage when cutting adhesive surfaces. You have multiple options when it comes to blade coatings, including the following:

1. Titanium Nitride Coating

Titanium nitride coating, or TiN coating, is a hard ceramic powder that can be applied directly to the substrate of the product to create a thin coating layer. Titanium and nitrogen are combined to create a tough ceramic material that can coat industrial blades. TiN coating is often used on blades made from aluminum, steel, titanium alloys and carbide. Since TiN coating is already a rigid material, it improves the blade’s hardness, which increases its durability. TiN coating also resists wear and friction.

TiN is applied as a Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) and is most commonly used to increase the protection and hardness of cutting materials. TiN is also sometimes used on surgical cutting devices since it’s a nontoxic coating. Industries that use this coating strengthen the cutting edge to protect against wear and decrease the blade’s friction as it cuts a surface.

TiN typically costs less, depending on the size and quality of blades, which is ideal for manufacturers looking for a cost-friendly solution. This coating provides an economical method for the cost-conscious end user to improve the tool life of their cutting edges.

2. Teflon Black Nonstick Coating

You’ve likely heard of Teflon black nonstick coating in frying pans and other cooking materials. However, the Teflon coating created for industrial knives is designed to be stronger and more durable than what’s found in consumer cooking products. Teflon black nonstick coating is often used on industrial blades to reduce buildup from adhesive surfaces, food and plastics. This type of coating has many benefits, including exceptional wear and corrosion resistance.

Teflon black nonstick coating is also FDA-approved, making it an ideal option for working in the food processing industry. However, this coating typically has a high curing temperature, affecting the capability to heat treat a knife. If the knife material cannot be heat treated due to elevated temperatures, then a different coating method may be necessary. This coating can sometimes be thicker than other coatings, affecting machine fit and blade sharpness.

3. Titanium Carbon Nitride (TiCN)

TiCN combines titanium, carbon and nitrogen to create a coating that helps reinforce industrial blades. TiCN is a blade coating with many of the same applications as TiN coating. However, TiCN coating can perform better in specific applications with higher surface hardness. TiCN is often chosen when forming or cutting harder materials. This coating can significantly extend the blade’s useful life and thus increase productivity.

TiCN is an environmentally-friendly coating that’s nontoxic and FDA-compliant. This coating offers strong adhesion and a uniform coating that can be applied to various materials. Industrial blades coated with TiCN can help improve corrosion resistance and abrasion while withstanding lower temperatures. TiCN coating can help improve your industrial blade’s resistance to damage that occurs during normal operations, such as chipping, which helps your blades last longer. Since it’s a nontoxic and FDA-compliant coating, it can also be used in food processing industries.

4. Hard Chrome

Hard chrome is a commonly used coating in finishing processes. Hard chrome coatings can resist corrosion, abrasion and wear, making them one of the most effective coatings in various industries. Industrial hard chrome can also improve the wear of a blade, helping extend its useful life and reducing the risk of blade failures.

Hard chrome is ideal for materials such as steel since it can help resist corrosion and oxidation while still helping retain surface hardness. If you want to improve your industrial blade’s wear life, hard chrome coatings are an ideal option.

5. Diamond-Like Carbon Coating (DLC)

DLC is an artificial material with properties similar to natural diamonds, meaning it can help improve resistance against corrosion, wear and abrasion and has incredible durability. DLC coatings are applied to blades in vapor or gas form, which solidifies to help improve the protective functions of the industrial knife. DLC coatings also help industrial knives combat surface degradation as a result of various elements, such as humidity, oils and salt water.

DLC can have thermal stability up to around 570 degrees Fahrenheit, making it an ideal option when working in extreme temperatures and conditions.

6. PolyTetraFluoroEthylene (PTFE)

PTFE is a coating that boasts high flexibility and impressive resistance against most elements. PTFE has a melting point just above the 600-degree Fahrenheit range and can perform at a wide range of temperatures. PTFE is also resistant to chemicals and has low electrical conductivity, allowing it to be used as a blade coating for various applications.

7. Electroless Nickel Plating

This type of coating differs from electroplating since it doesn’t require an electrical current to pass through the substrate and bath. Instead, this coating involves depositing a nickel alloy coating through chemical reduction. The electroless nickel plating is applied to the blade’s surface and reduces nickel ions into metallic nickel through reducing agents.

Electroless nickel plating creates an even coating, regardless of the surface type of the blade. This process differs from electroplating since the underlying shape of the blade can affect the coating’s density. Electroless nickel plating has many benefits, including wear resistance and corrosion resistance.

This type of coating is often chosen to improve the smoothness of the blade and prevent material buildup, which is essential when cutting adhesive surfaces. However, electroless nickel plating doesn’t offer the benefit of increased surface hardness, so it is not commonly used when an improvement of surface hardness is desired.

How to Choose the Right Blade Coating

Many blade coatings are available, and each has distinct benefits, so how do you know which one to choose? Various factors influence which blade coating you’ll want for your industrial knives, even if you’re just looking for a coating that can help prevent adhesive buildup. Consider these factors below to help you make the best decision for your processes:

  • Consider your industry: Depending on your industry, some blade coatings will be better than others. For example, if you’re working in the food processing industry, you’ll want to ensure that your blade coatings are FDA-compliant and nontoxic. TiCN and Teflon are excellent blade coatings that are nontoxic and FDA-compliant or approved, allowing you to use them for food processing without risking harmful chemicals or materials contaminating your products. If you’re working in an industry that requires a resilient blade, DLC coating and hard chrome are excellent options.
  • Find a quality manufacturer: Regardless of the blade coating you need for your applications, you’ll want to find a quality manufacturer who can coat your blades with quality options. A quality manufacturer will have a good reputation with their clients. You can look for testimonials and quality ratings on their website and see how long they’ve worked in the industry to understand a manufacturer’s quality better.
  • Ensure the blade is high-quality: On top of looking for a manufacturer’s quality, you’ll also want to ensure your knives are high-quality before applying a coating. Even with a quality coating, a low-quality blade won’t last long, which will also impact the effectiveness of the coating. If you want to make the most of your blade coating, you’ll want to ensure you start with high-quality industrial knives. Working with high-quality industrial knives will help your coating last longer, improving the efficiency of your operations.
  • Consider your ideal properties: Another factor you’ll want to consider is the performance properties you need from your blade coating. Blade coatings can help reduce adhesive buildup, but you’ll also want to consider your working conditions. For example, if you work in extreme temperatures, you’ll want a blade coating that can withstand these temperatures, such as PTFE or TiCN. If you need a blade with impressive hardness, consider DLC or hard chrome since each has remarkable durability and resistance against specific elements. Once you determine your operations’ needs, you can choose the best blade coating.

Considering all factors when choosing a blade coating is essential to ensure you get the best one for your applications. Each blade coating has distinct properties and advantages, so it’s vital to choose the right one to prevent adhesive buildup while serving the other applications of your operations.

Choose York Saw & Knife for Industrial Blades and Coatings

If you’re looking for high-quality industrial blades and coatings, York Saw can help. We have years of experience and serve various markets, including automated packaging and food processing, where adhesive substances can build up on your blades. We can design and custom-make your industrial blades, ensuring they meet the specifications of your applications and have coatings applied before they arrive.

We also don’t have any minimum orders, allowing you to purchase as many blades as you need to suit your processes. We also offer free cutting testing and fast lead times, ensuring you get a high-quality product as soon as possible, helping reduce downtime and improving efficiency. Call us today to learn more about our products or request a quote.