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VIDEO: Could Glues Sticks, Packing Tape, and Sharpies Solve Problems in Cutting Ductile Metals?

Posted on 8/24/2018 9:31:51 AM By ASC
  

Short Answer: YES, according to a new study from Purdue University.

Ductile or “gummy” metals are notoriously difficult to cut, but Purdue University researchers have found a low-tech solution to the problem. It’s not the chemical content of the glue sticks, packing tape, or sharpie ink that solves this problem. Instead, it’s the bond these products make with the metal.

With the adhesive in place, it becomes possible to cut ductile metals cleanly, smoothly, and quickly, and this discovery will help high-tech industries to manufacture products ranging from orthopedic implants to aerospace components and surgical instruments more efficiently. The researchers suggest that the improved machinability of the metals will cut manufacturing costs and allow manufacturers to get innovative with new designs.

Without the adhesive, the deformation of the metal when machined creates “wiggles” which make the metal harder to work than certain non-ductile metals. By getting a cleaner cut, energy use in the machining process can be reduced.

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The principle is not new, but in the past, the materials used made the ductile metal altogether too brittle or proved to be too toxic for safety. Regular sharpie ink, or any adhesive product, reduces the amount of force needed to cut ductile metals without harming the metal substrate, and the resulting cut is neat and clean.

The research team says that it will carry its work further. It plans to determine the optimum level of stickiness needed for easing metal cutting processes and hopes to examine ways its discovery can be used in commercial ventures.

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