Saw blades are a type of metal cutting tool. They are used to cut materials such as wood and metal. Most saw blades are made up of high-carbon steel or a tool steel. Most of the time, blades that are made of tool steel will have a harder metal body than blades that are made of high-carbon steel. There are also blades that are made up of plastic. These types of blades are usually for cutting metal. The purpose of the high-carbon steel is that it is harder and stronger than most other types of steel used for saw blades. The higher the carbon content of the steel the harder the steel is. High-carbon steels also have a better edge retention than the lower carbon steels. Another type of steel that is not as popular for use of saw blades is alloy steel. Alloy steel is not as hard as high-carbon steel but is easier to break. Alloy steel is also stronger than high-carbon steel. Since it’s easier to break, alloy steel tends to be used for tougher applications that don’t require a sharp edge.
There are several types of abrasive discs. Smaller discs are made from aluminum oxide (metallic bonds) and larger discs are made from silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, or diamond grit.
For those discs where it’s important to protect the cutting edge from contamination, discs are made from ultra-fine silicon carbide or diamond. In metalworking applications, silicon carbide is common because its at the higher end of the hardness scale, which provides for excellent wear resistance and good resistance to heat.
For cutting, carbide and ceramics are used because they provide good chip control, which is important with higher speeds. Diamond disc cutting applications include ceramic cutting, automotive, and woodworking. Diamond discs cut slowly, so they’re used with a slurry, and their ability to be re-sharpened makes them inexpensive.
Diamond disc cutting has a big advantage in metals such as aluminum since it can get into tight areas and remove material by abrasion. This works well with ferrous metals, which aren’t as hard, and will allow you to cut heavier gauge metal without losing tool life.
Here you have it, a quick guide to a few metals and what the main uses for each one is. You may not use them a lot, but knowing how to identify them is something that is always helpful. Hopefully some of what was discussed can also be applied to your life outside of everyday trivia.