52100 Alternatives for blades
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    Post 52100 Alternatives for blades

    Hello all,
    I'm looking for a good alternative to 52100. We turn near-net blanks into wire-cutters/snips. Blades/heads are heat treated to 63-65 Rockwell C. We are having trouble sourcing and have never really considered alt. materials. Ideal material would be, you guessed it, economical, available, and (very) harden-able.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Kyle

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    What are you cutting? What's the shape of the cutter and the material (and hardness) being cut? What type of machine do the cutters go into, or are they used manually?

    What's the actual shape of stock the cutters are made from? I'd have thought 52100 was pretty available...

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    These cutters are diagonal shaped cutters, for the most part, and they are designed to cut copper wire, soft stainless steel wire, etc. These cutters are used manually, for the most part, as well. Unfortunately we are having trouble getting it in our height requirement and are forced to go a size up and remove more in double disc grinding.

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    Kyle

    I think perhpas us inmates here on the forum are missing some of the salient details of your process. Are these forgings, castings, blades inserted or integral.... etc.

    For manually cutting soft wire, could you use carbon steel and induction harden the cutting edges to say 56Rc the balance left annealed?

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    Hey Cyclotronguy,
    Cool name by the way...But the 52100 makes up the entirety of the diagonal cutter. We take 2 near-net shaped blanks (like a banana with a bulbous shape at the end), grind the blades to a rough finish, induction harden the heads/blades to 63-65 HRC and then finish grind/sharpen them. The issue is the 52100 itself. It's a great steel, just don't know if its the best for the application and we've been having trouble sourcing the plates in the right dimension. We have always used 52100 and have never considered there might be something better suited.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle.Lapioli View Post
    ... the 52100 makes up the entirety of the diagonal cutter. We take 2 near-net shaped blanks (like a banana with a bulbous shape at the end), grind the blades to a rough finish, induction harden the heads/blades to 63-65 HRC and then finish grind/sharpen them. The issue is the 52100 itself ... we've been having trouble sourcing the plates in the right dimension.
    Excuse me, but you're confusing me all to heck. First you say "near-net" then you complain you can't get the steel in the size you want and have to have bigger material double-disc ground. Umm, could you make up your mind ?

    If you are talking volume, I believe 52100 can be investment cast. If it's not that big a volume, then you're wasting your time because no specialty steel is going to come in 1/64" increments. And if you expect to replace 52100 with 1018, you're nuts !

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    Look up the European spec for 52100, perhaps there's a metric thickness of plate available that's a better match for your needs. Of other steels, D2 might be a good choice, if more difficult to work to shape. But it should last longer than 52100, I believe.

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    If I'm understanding correctly, they're getting the steel as plate, then cutting blanks (laser, waterjet, plasma?), then making wire cutters / diagonal cutters from the blanks.

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    Kyle

    A2, D2, 1080, 1095 all come to mind suitabally hardened and tempered; of course,
    How bout you talk to your heat treater, quite a few have a personal affinity for some steels and some they'd rather not process.
    I suspect there exists some opportunity for economy here without sacraficing quality.

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    52100 is a bearing steel for thru hardening - replace it with a bearing steel designed for carburizing.

    Investment cast your pieces in 8630, deep carburize the cutting faces, HT to desired hardness and sharpen

    If you want to stick with bearing grades look at ASTM A485 for some ideas


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