Metal shavings are small fragments of metals that are produced during machining. They are generated by the cutting, molding and milling of metal or plastic parts.
These metal chips play a key role in the machining market because of their influence on surface quality and plant health and safety. It is therefore important to learn more about them.
What are metal shavings?
Metal shavings are materials in granular form that occur when metal parts are machined.
They can be produced by various methods such as grinding , drilling, sawing , threading as well as turning and milling metal or plastic parts.
Metal shavings are composed of metals such as aluminum , steel, and copper , but can also include alloy metals.
Why are they important for machining?
Metal shavings have a considerable influence on the quality of machined parts. The production of metal shavings in an optimal way guarantees high precision parts.
Metal shavings can also shape and form machined parts to provide a smoother surface quality.
Using quality metal shavings also helps minimize the risk of breakdowns and failures and ensures that machining runs smoothly.
How are they created?
Metal shavings are created when the machine tool machines metal parts with cutting tools. Cutting tools move at high speeds and are constantly in contact with the workpiece.
Every time the cutting tools come into contact with the metal part, metal shavings are created. These chips are then rejected by the machining machine.
The different types of metal shavings
Metal shavings can be categorized into three types: continuous , broken , and shield. Continuous chips are created by high-speed machining operations such as milling and turning.
These chips are linear in shape and are created when the depth of cut is greater than the thickness of the chip.
Broken chips are created when a cutting operation takes place at a slower speed , allowing the chips to break into smaller pieces. These chips are irregular in shape and are often created when drilling or grooving.
Shield chips are created when a very ductile material is machined, which creates long, bent chips that tend to wrap around themselves rather than separate completely. These shield chips are often created when turning at high speed.
How do metal shavings affect the machining process?
Metal shavings have a significant influence on the machining process .
First of all, they affect the quality of the machined surface: continuous chips are often considered beneficial because they help carry heat away from the cutting area, which reduces the chances of deformation of the machined material.
However, broken chips can tend to get stuck between the workpiece and the cutting tool, which can lead to unwanted scratches on the machined surface.
Additionally, shield chips can slow down the machining process by wrapping around the workpiece, resulting in decreased productivity.
In addition, metal shavings pose a health and safety hazard to workers, both due to their high temperature and the potential flying shavings when they are ejected from the part being machined.
It is therefore essential to have the right management measures in place to avoid accidents in the workplace.
How do metal shavings affect the machining process?
Metal shavings have a major impact on the quality of machining. In this section, we will explore how metal shavings directly affect the machining process and how this can impact the quality of the final surface and worker safety.
Influence on surface quality
Metal shavings have a direct effect on the surface quality of machined parts.
Broken chips can cause scratches or marks on the surface, which can compromise the aesthetics and functionality of the manufactured parts.
Continuous chips can also cause surface defects , including waviness or vibration.
To minimize these problems, chip management must be integrated from the start of the machining process. Chips must be evacuated regularly to prevent them from concentrating on the part and creating damage.
The cutting parameters must also be adjusted according to the characteristics of the chips, such as their length or their thickness.
Health and safety issues related to metal shavings
Metal shavings can also pose health and safety issues for workers. Chips can cause injuries , including cuts or splinters, if workers do not wear the proper protective equipment.
Additionally, fine metal particles created during the machining process can be inhaled by workers , which can lead to long-term respiratory problems.
To minimize these risks, workers must wear adequate protective equipment , such as safety glasses, protective gloves and respiratory masks.
The workstations must also be arranged in such a way as to prevent the chips from being thrown onto the workers.
Metal chip management
Metal chip management is essential to ensure worker safety and machining quality.
Chips should be removed from the cutting area regularly to avoid the risk of accumulation, and workers should wear appropriate protective clothing to avoid contact with the chips.
In addition, the chips must be stored in such a way as to avoid the risk of fire, since they can reach very high temperatures due to the heat generated during machining.
Finally, the management of metal shavings can contribute to improving the productivity of the workshop by making it possible to recycle the machined materials.
Chips can be reused for the manufacture of new materials or sold to companies specializing in metal recovery, which can generate additional income for the company.
How to optimize metal shavings to improve machining?
Metal chip optimization is key to ensuring efficient, high quality cutting . Here are some expert tips to help you improve machining by optimizing metal chips.
Choice of cutting tools
The choice of cutting tools is crucial for the quality of the cut and the production of metal shavings under optimal conditions.
Cutting tools must be selected according to the characteristics of the materials to be machined. Choosing the right cutting tool is essential to ensure optimum cutting and good quality metal shavings.
Cutting tools should be sharpened regularly to maintain consistent performance.
Choice of cutting parameters
The choice of cutting parameters is also very important to ensure efficient and high quality cutting, as well as the production of optimum metal chips.
Cutting parameters include cutting speed , feed rate, depth of cut, and lead angle. The cutting parameters must be adjusted according to the materials to be machined.
Cutting speed should be adjusted to optimize metal chip production, while avoiding cutter breakage and overheating.
Feed rate should be selected to optimize metal chip production and control cutting forces . The depth of cut must be adapted according to the rigidity of the machine tool and the power of the cutting tool.
The lead angle should be chosen based on the geometry of the cutting tool and the properties of the material.
Choice of cutting fluid
The cutting fluid is used to cool and lubricate the cutting tool, reduce friction and facilitate the evacuation of metal chips.
The cutting fluid should be selected according to the materials to be machined and the types of machining operations. Cutting fluids can be in the form of an emulsion , a concentrated solution or a paste.
Regular maintenance and replacement of cutting fluid is important to ensure efficient and quality cutting, as well as to protect workers from fume emissions and metal particles.
By following these expert tips, you can optimize metal chips for high quality cutting and improve the efficiency of your machining process.
Follow these tips to improve the performance of your machining, while ensuring the safety and health of workers. In the next section, we will discuss the importance of metal chips for machining.