Slicing of soft, flexible solids with industrial applications
Atkins, A.G. and Xu, X. (2005) Slicing of soft, flexible solids with industrial applications. International Journal of Mechanical Science, 47 (4-5). pp. 479-492. ISSN 0020-7403
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.ijmecsci.2005.01.013
Thin slices of soft flexible solids have negligible bending resistance and hence store negligible elastic strain energy; furthermore such offcuts are rarely permanently deformed after slicing. Cutting forces thus depend only on work of separation (toughness work) and friction. These simplifying assumptions are not as restrictive as it might seem, and the mechanics are found to apply to a wide variety of foodstuffs and biological materials. The fracture toughness of such materials may be determined from cutting experiments: the use of scissors instrumented for load and displacement is a popular method where toughness is obtained from the work areas beneath load–displacement plots. Surprisingly, there is no analysis for the variation of forces with scissor blade opening and this paper provides the theory. Comparison is made with experimental results in cutting with scissors. The analysis is generalised to cutting with blades of variable curvature and applied to a commercial food cutting device having a rotating spiral plan form blade. The strong influence of the ‘slice/push ratio’ (blade tangential speed to blade edge normal speed) on the cutting forces is revealed. Small cutting forces are important in food cutting machinery as damage to slices is minimised. How high slice/push ratios may be achieved by choice of blade profile is discussed.