Process for cleaning rotating cutters of resin for woodcutting

KEMET INTERNATIONAL Ltd, one of the world's leading companies in precision surface finishing, is occasionally approached to investigate applications outside its normal sphere of operation. Interestingly, Kemet's founding product back in 1938 was the Sanderhead, which was used in wood fabrication, so it was a bizarre quirk of history, therefore, when one such request arrived from the industry of the company's origins.

This was in the form of some large spindle moulding cutters where the build-up of resin and wood particles was causing them to run out of balance. Not only did this cause deterioration of the finish of the mouldings but the vibration was also resulting in premature wear of the machine bearings. Chip/particle flow was also being disturbed and the carefully designed top-rake and flow channels were becoming obstructed.

Kemet's investigations into the problem uncovered that it can also be frustrating and time consuming when the cutters are serviced as the cap head screws are frequently blocked and the insert seatings obstructed. At present most of these cutters are soaked in solvent, such as kerosene, and then manually cleaned - a process which can result in mechanical damage and shorten the life of the tool.

cleaning cutters

As a result, the team of engineers and chemists at Kemet developed a process, which incorporates a combination of ultrasonic action and specialist detergents. Ultrasonic cleaning forms a major part of the Kemet product range. Using high frequency sound waves to create cavitation bubbles, which adhere to the item being cleaned before imploding to remove all traces of contamination, the action also penetrates blind holes, cracks and recesses - ideal for searching and cleaning out all the nooks and crannies in a typical cutter box.

On a typical steel spindle moulder cutter the process can be as short as ten minutes to make the cutter resin and particle free. The results are typically better than that obtained through manual cleaning and apart from loading/unloading into the ultrasonic tank the process is labour free.

Being aqueous, the process uses only water and detergents, there are also significant environmental and H&S benefits over solvents such as kerosene. The process is exceptionally flexible, being suitable for a Wide range of cutter. Routers, drills and circular saws can all use this Process with a wide variety of tank sizes being available to accommodate most sizes of tooling. Aluminium cutter bodies can also be cleaned by a variation of the process.

Kemet welcomes companies who have these challenges to contact us for a demonstration of the process on their own tooling.