Accurate cutting of the toughest nickel-based alloys is an everyday occurrence for the MEGA 330HAS automatic bandsaw installed at Special Quality Alloys (SQA) in Sheffield. Supplied by sawing technology specialist, Prosaw, the MEGA saw is a key process in SQA's preparation of both proof-machined billets and forging blanks in materials ranging from stainless steel at the 'easy' end to Inconel 718.
Special Quality Alloys are a member of the 75-year old Special Steel Group of Companies, market leaders in heat treatment and testing services. They custom manufactures nickel-based super alloys and stainless steels, supplying finished and semi-finished forged products to the oil and gas industry worldwide.
The MEGA bandsaw range is proving extremely popular to manufacturers and stockists alike. The Special Steel Group have 14 MEGA machines, all supplied by Prosaw over the past 10 years, including 10 at Special Testing Works, the group's NAMAS-accredited testing service company.
The S.Q.A. warehouse supplies cut-to-length super alloy round and square bar in section sizes from 8mm to 530mm. These are cut from black bar for conversion into rings, rounds and other forged forms, and from bright bar for direct supply to the end customer. The MEGA 330 is used to cut all materials up to 250mm diameter, the most common size being 150mm.
Jonathan Gillot , the warehouse manager, says, "The most difficult material to cut is A718, which has a 50-55٪ nickel content, but the MEGA is more than adequate for the job and able to cut the tough material at a speed of at least 25m/minute".
One of the major benefits of the MEGA 330 is its 1 quater inch blade. "The deeper blade is good for cutting hard material due to the high pressure that can be applied", says Mr Gillot.
Another is the automatic operation that enables SQA to run the 300 unmanned. The warehouse operates a single shift, but once the cut-length is set the machine will continue to complete the batch through end-of-shift operation and overnight if needed. "Recently we cut 70 pieces of A718 overnight on the MEGA with no problem", says Mr Gillot. "The MEGA is an excellent machine that is competitively priced and well able to undertake the tough nature of our work. In its two years of operation we have had virtually no problems and it has proved to be an extremely reliable machine", concludes Mr Gillot.