Cutting metal hypotubes requires precision cutting equipment that maintains a high surface quality. Popular processes used for this application are laser cutting and electrochemical cutting or grinding. Lasers cut the tube by melting it, which results in time-consuming deburring of the tubes. When cutting, beams can cause damage, and the tubes and parts are typically cut one at a time.
Electrochemical cutting (ECC) and Electrochemical grinding (ECG) processes generate an electrochemical reaction that dissolves the metal surface in conjunction with mechanical abrasive grinding. ECC and ECG processes provide fast, accurate, and burr-free results with no heat-affected zones, no debris after rinsing, no metallurgical damage, and no distortion.
Using the CS1-E Burr-Free ECC machine from Glebar (Ramsey, NJ), multiple tubes can be cut to length at the same time. Its precise feeding system can be accurately positioned to 0.00040 inch (0.01 mm).
The machines can also cut off and grind notches in the same operation. In a typical example, ECC can cut 89 25 G (0.020 inch diameter) hypotubes per cycle. The cycle time is 20 seconds or 0.23 seconds per piece. Comparatively, laser cutting would take approximately 2 seconds per piece or 3 minutes for all 89 hypotubes.
The ECG surface grinders are well suited for notching, bevel grinding and multi-facet pointing. They come with an optional pallet index table.
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