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Sawing/Cutting

Solid backup

By Colin Linneweber

Above: Bi-Metal Unique blades cut 20 percent faster and lasted 22 percent longer than five competing blades.

Proprietary bonding technique used to build a better blade

January 2018 - “Life is about growing and improving and getting better,” says Irish mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor, the first Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor to concurrently hold belts in two different divisions. Employees at The L.S. Starrett Co. are likely to agree with that philosophy.

Founded in 1880 by a businessman and inventor named Laroy Sunderland Starrett, The L.S. Starrett Co. manufactures saw blades and precision tools and instruments that are used by fabricators, metalworkers, machinists, tool and die makers and many other craftsmen in a diverse array of trades and industries. The company also makes optical measuring projectors, vision systems, multi-sensor measuring systems and more custom gaging products.

FFJ 0118 sawing image1

Grooved tooth geometry produces dual chips that are easily removed from the cut.

Starrett has offered saw blades for more than a century. Always seeking to innovate and enhance its technology and products, Starrett has introduced proprietary Starrett Bi-Metal Unique saw technology for its bi-metal saw blades, which is especially effective at combating heat and abrasion, and providing superior shock resistance.

Tim O’Loughlin, product manager, saws and hand tools at Starrett, claims that its Bi-Metal Unique saw blade bonding technology is a significant upgrade over blade manufacturing methods that use either an electron beam welding or lasers to weld the high-speed wire to the alloy backing material.

“Our exclusive technology joins two strips of high-speed steel wires to the fatigue-resistant alloy steel backing using solid-state diffusion bonding. After initial use, the teeth develop a groove in the softer backing material, altering the blade area engaged in the cut,” he says. This process effectively creates four cutting edges and, as a result, two chips are generated that are easily removed from the cut. In addition, more coolant flows to the cutting area.

Bi-Metal Unique technology gives the saw blade a multi-edge cutting feature that increases cutting speed, provides longer blade life and reduces fractures and breakage at the high-speed steel backing material interface.

FFJ 0118 sawing image2

Bi-Metal Unique technology produces 170 percent more weld contact area, reducing breakage at the HSS/backing material interface.

Wire joining

O’Loughlin says tests conducted by Starrett, which were monitored by an independent testing service, indicate that Bi-Metal Unique blades cut 20 percent faster and lasted 22 percent longer than five competing blades.

He explains the differences between this technology and that of competitors. “Instead of a single wire welded to the outside of a steel backer, using intense heat and pressure, the Bi-Metal Unique process bonds two strips of high-speed steel to each side of the top edge of the steel backer,” O’Loughlin explains.

The bonding area between the backer and the high-speed steel is increased by 170 percent compared with the fusing achieved with a conventional electron beam or laser-welding device. “This innovative process of altering the blade area engaged in a cut creates a stronger, longer lasting blade.”

Stripping resistance

The ability to help saw operators reduce blade changes and thereby boost productivity is the result of Bi-Metal Unique’s cobalt high-speed steel teeth stripping resistance component. The tooth geometry and increased bond area promotes an extremely strong tooth profile.

“In a very competitive marketplace, being able to offer customers a better saw blade is our focus,” O’Loughlin says. Bi-metal Unique saw technology produces blades that are stronger and longer lasting, “while also greatly reducing problems with tooth stripping.”

Bi-Metal Unique is available on all 1-in. and narrower Starrett bi-metal blades, including band saw blades as well as jig, reciprocating and hacksaw blades.

FFJ 0118 sawing image3

Versatix band saw blades have Bi-Metal Unique technology and special tooth geometry for cutting structural sections.

Team support

“Bi-metal band saw blades are widely used in metal fabrication,” says O’Loughlin. “Customers can find local distributors on our website. Also, Starrett has a team of product specialists that work directly with customers to help address their challenges and maximize their productivity. Our team of experts can help select the right blade, set up band saw machines, and help customers get the most out of their band saw blades.”

Starrett has over 1,600 employees worldwide and annual sales exceeding $200 million. The company has six factories in the United States, in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Minnesota and California; plants in Brazil, Scotland and China; and distribution centers and offices located worldwide.

Recognized for saw blade technologies at home and abroad, Starrett’s engineers will continue to pursue ways to strengthen product performance. FFJ

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