The fabrication of glass demands precision. The glass cutting tool must cut through the glass accurately so that the required glass shape has the correct dimensions and design. This machinery must deliver outstanding performance in speed, precision, and silent operation. Poor glass cutting experience can cause edge failure of the glass, surface scratches, decreased edge strength, and increased rework. It can lead to higher time and costs, which can put the business at a loss.
Glass is a non-crystalline amorphous solid and finds wide usages in different industries. There are various kinds of glass cutting tools available, including wheel cutting or glass cutter and CO2 laser cutting tools. Choosing the correct type of machinery is essential to ensure quality, and reduce cutting loss, glass nesting time loss, and grinding of glasses. The engineers can cut glass manually or automate the process. Automated machines use an automatic glass cutting table to cut the float glass. It has a compact design, which enables it to occupy a minimum area and ensure maximum precision and minimum cutting tolerances. Based on your objectives and requirements, you can use purchase glass cutting tools in your business workflow.
Here are a few essential things you should know about glass cutting tools.
Wheel Cutting or Glass Cutter
When humans had limited access to tools and processes, they used sharp, heated, and pointed iron rods to cut the glass. However, glass cutting tools have evolved significantly in the present times. Typically it consists of three main parts. It includes the wheel, holders or grips, and the ball. The wheel cuts the glass plate by the defined dimensions. It renders the cut sharp and pointy and must be handled with precaution. The small cutting wheel generally consists of hardened steel or Tungsten Carbide of 4–6 mm in diameter. It is in a V-shape, also known as “hone angle.” The V-shape angle’s sharpness increases with the increase of the hone angle. The maximum honing angle limit is 120°. Once you mark the glass with the cutting wheel, you need to insert the tool into the glass corners and tilt it with accuracy to reduce the risk of breaking the glass. The glass cutter also consists of a ball for tapping on the glass piece to remove irregularities from the cut glass. Hence, the glass cutter uses the method of scribe and break.
CO2 Laser Cutting Process
Cutting the glass with a wheel cutting machine has various limitations. It demands more time to perform multiple processes like grinding, masking, and etching. Laser cutting machines can help to overcome these limitations. The Co2 laser is one of the earliest gas lasers. Co2 laser cutters are exact and help create designs and decorations. When electricity runs through a gas-filled tube with mirrors at both ends, it produces light in the CO2 laser cutter. One mirror reflects light, while the other one allows some light to pass through. These mirrors help in guiding the laser beam into the glass, which needs to be cut. The focused laser beam helps to cut through the material. It helps in producing straight, angled, curved, and chamfered contours. These machines also have computer-controlled programming to achieve better precision.
Variables That Affect the Glass Cutting Process
The cutting force depends on the cutting wheel diameter and angle. Hence, it would help if you defined these variables to apply the right cutting force that creates a proper fissure depth. You also need to consider the glass thickness and if you want to make straight or radii cuts. Thin glass requires fissure of minimal depth, whereas thicker glass requires an aperture of great depth. These factors also help to select the appropriate cutting wheel angle. Speed acts like cutting force. If you increase the cutting wheel speed, the fissure depth will increase. Before you begin the glass cutting process, you need to ensure that the surface is clean. An unclean surface may cause the cutting wheel to skip, which can affect the edge quality. It would help if you also considered additional factors like glass temperature, the importance of the annealing process, cutting fluid to improve scoreline and more.
Types Of Wheels
Selecting the right wheel type for your glass cutting machine is essential. Steel glass cutting wheels are economical, but they dull faster. A tungsten carbide wheel is also a popular option. It is twice as dense as steel and has better durability than steel wheels. It also offers more significant and more reproducible penetration in scoring and does not dull as quickly as steel. Moreover, it helps to achieve better precision, has a longer service life, provides greater output, reduces the production of heat and safety, and offers improved surface finishes.
Hence, choosing the right tool for cutting glass is essential to reduce manufacturing costs and improve product quality. Define your cutting objectives, budget, set the force, angle, diameter, and speed of the cutting wheel, and other parameters at the outset, to get the desired result from the glass cutting process and achieve ease of break-out, scoreline quality, edge quality, and fissure depth.