There are a number of ways to cut materials and in this section we will consider some of the most popular. The first to be considered, and the most widely used in manufacturing industry, is machining. This generally involves using a cutting tool that removes material by chip formation. Another method is thermal cutting, this involves separating metal by localised heat using for example gas, electric arc or laser. Both of these methods are considered here in relation to metal cutting although machining by chip formation is also used for a wide variety of other materials. Finally, water jet cutting will be considered; this is popular for cutting polymers and composite materials when using industrial robots.
9.2 Sawing and Filing
Both sawing and filing involve cutting the material by chip formation. In sawing, a narrow strip of metal called the blade has a series of cutting teeth arranged along its edge. Although hand saws of various types have been used in woodworking for hundreds of years, modern industrial power saws used for cutting metal in the manufacturing industry are normally of three types. First, the hacksaw has a blade of limited length and is only slightly flexible; it is often used for cutting rods and bars to specified lengths. Second, the bandsaw has a flexible blade formed into a continuous band. The blade is usually made mainly of flexible high tensile strength alloy steel with tungsten carbide or high speed steel teeth bonded ...