Sawing Of One-Metre Diameter Nickel Alloy

Sawing Of One-Metre Diameter Nickel Alloy

Southampton, UK – A call for help to Howco Metals Management, experts in steel stockholding, engineering and heat treatment processing, resulted in the Sheffield company sawing 1,092 mm diameter nickel alloy ingots into smaller pieces. It is believed that this is the largest section of such alloy ever cut, for which purpose a Wikus carbide blade was used on Howco’s KASTO bandsaw.

A supplier’s melting furnaces had gone down, leaving it with three huge ingots of unusable 718 nickel alloy whose annealing had not been controlled, rendering it potentially extremely hard and virtually impossible to cut.

However, there was no realistic way of recycling the high-value material without cutting the ingots into several smaller parts so that they could be returned to the furnace for remelting. Each ingot needed to be sawn first across its diameter. The halves were then placed flat on the table and sawn again into two D-shaped pieces.

As nobody had ever sawn such a large section of this notoriously tough metal, Howco approached its supplier of Wikus bandsaw blades, Harrison Saw and Tool, who supplied a tungsten carbide tipped blade especially made for the application.

The alloy was successfully sawn on Howco’s 17-year-old KASTO HBA 1060×1260 bandsaw, despite uncontrolled cooling having resulted in a large internal blow hole in one of the ingots.

The effect of this was to impose intermittent cutting conditions on the tips, which had the potential to shatter the carbide, added to which swarf trapped in the hole could have wedged itself between the blade and the material, resulting in tooth loss. A slow rate of infeed was therefore chosen, resulting in a 24-hour cycle time for cutting across the full diameter.


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