The cutting process of fabrics is generally divided into cold cutting and thermal cutting, both of which have certain limitations. Compared to cold cutting, the edges of the cut edge are fused after the thermoplastic material has been cut using ultrasonic fabric cutting; Compared with the thermal cutting process, the use of ultrasonic cutting can make the edge of the fabric being cut very soft and avoid excessive edge thickening due to melt shrinkage. Since the ultrasonic waves are heated from the inside of the fabric, there is no fabric yellowing. Since the ultrasonic waves are heated from the inside of the material, there is no fabric yellowing.
Table of Contents
- 1 How does ultrasonic fabric cutting work
- 2 The four-part ultrasonic fabric cutting system
- 3 Advantages of ultrasonic fabric cutting
- 4 Products not recommended for cutting
- 5 Ultrasonic cutting application status
How does ultrasonic fabric cutting work
Ultrasonic fabric cutting uses ultrasonic energy to melt the material to be cut by local heating, thus eliminating the need for a sharp edge. It is commonly used to cut difficult-to-cut materials such as thermoplastic resin sheets, sheets, films and laminates, carbon fibre composites, fabrics and rubber.
With 40,000 vibrations per second (40 kHz) and a maximum output of 100 W, ultrasonic fabric cutting can easily cut resin, rubber, nonwovens and composites due to this movement. The fabric cutting knife housing is made of stainless steel, and the blade is made of inert, hard wearing metal – HSS with a thickness of 0.6mm, which does not have a lasting chemical reaction with the cutting material. Users can replace the blades themselves. High-frequency vibration reduces frictional resistance on the cutting surface, extending the blades’ life and saving costs.
The four-part ultrasonic fabric cutting system
An ultrasonic generator (power supply)
The ultrasonic generator converts the 110VAC or 220VAC electrical supply current into a high frequency, high voltage electrical signal.
An ultrasonic converter (transducer)
The ultrasonic converter utilises the high-frequency electrical signal from the generator and converts it into linear, mechanical movement. This conversion occurs using piezoelectric ceramic disks that expand when a voltage is applied.
An ultrasonic booster
The ultrasonic booster is a tuned component that mechanically adjusts the amount of linear vibratory movement from the converter to the required level for the specific application to produce optimal cutting performance. Ultrasonic fabric cutting equipment integrates the transducer and the horn into one, generating less heat, higher efficiency and more robust stability.
An ultrasonic cutting tool (horn/sonotrode)
The ultrasonic cutting horn is a custom made tool that is engineered to vibrate at a specific frequency. These tools are painstakingly designed using computer modelling technology for optimum performance and longevity. Ultrasonic tools must be tuned to match the frequency of the system. This tuning procedure requires considering the horn’s mass, length and geometry.
Advantages of ultrasonic fabric cutting
Soft edges- Fabric cutting edges are smooth, avoiding excessive edge thickening due to melting shrinkage, affecting aesthetics.
No yellowing of the fabric- Since ultrasonic waves are heated by friction from the inside of the material, there is no yellowing of the fabric due to high surface temperatures.
No edge chipping and wear- The bite is sealed while cutting the fabric, and the cutter is elegant, and the warp and weft of the material will not be shifted, nor will it cause chipping and breakage.
No need for a sharp blade- The knife head vibrates and rubs tens of thousands of times per second, causing the fabric to be partially heated and fused, so an incredibly sharp knife head is not required.
No pollution- The maximum temperature of the ultrasonic cutter head during cutting does not exceed 50°C, so it does not produce smoke and odour and is safer to use.
Easy to use- Ultrasonic fabric cutting knives can be used hand-held, installed into existing production lines, or retrofitted to robotic arms.
Wide range of applications- All kinds of textile materials and plastic sheets can be cut by ultrasonic waves, such as natural fibres, synthetic fibres, non-woven fabrics, and knitted fabrics can be carved by ultrasonic waves.
Products not recommended for cutting
Products with high fat and semi-liquid content
Products that are easy to cut
Products with irregular shapes
Products with many solid particles
Products that are not hot melt
Ultrasonic cutting application status
Ultrasonic cutters have been widely used in the textile and food industries in recent years. Ultrasonic cutting equipment can accurately cut textiles, rubber, thermoplastic films, knitted and non-knitted materials, and various foods. These include both handheld devices and multiple systems integrated into automated machines.
The advantages of ultrasonic cutting technology are: precise cutting, pressureless cutting (to avoid deformation of soft cutting objects, such as cakes), welding of specific materials at the same time, fast cutting speed, and significantly reduced cleaning costs.