Insight From a Chicago Stainless Steel Slitting Company: How Quality Stainless Steel Slits Are Produced



High-quality stainless steel and other specialty metals are essential to various products within the US and around the world. In fact, as new materials are developed or existing alloys are upgraded suppliers are asked to slit more and more varieties of stainless steel.  In order to efficiently slit most varieties of stainless steel and obtain high quality products, manufacturers need to understand the characteristics of stainless steel grades. With that being said, how do you, as a customer, know if you’re ordering a high quality batch of Chicago slit stainless steel?

The tools used during the slitting process for stainless steel in Chicago

The main difference between slitting stainless steel is found in the setup and the composition of slitter knives used during the process. If the knives are not of the correct tool grade and type, the slitting will be flawed. Furthermore, if the slitting machine is set up for a certain volume of steel, and the usage exceeds this initial set up, the resulting roll may feature burrs and cambers, which are imperfections that can arise during the process. The tooling also needs to be set up with the proper clearances in order to slit stainless steel. Since stainless steel has a higher tensile strength, the clearances must be higher than for other alloy types.

The properties of different materials

Given that there are different grades and quality levels of stainless steel coils on the market, the manufacturer will need additional information about the properties of the steel in order to set up the machine and the slitting process accurately.

The first piece of information that is analyzed is related to the tensile strength and the yield strength of the material. This information is available from the steel producer.  Most stainless steel coils have a listing of chemical and mechanical properties on the test report.  Some manufacturers will conduct extra tests to analyze the work hardening characteristics of the material.  The resulting values are then used to calculate the knife clearance through various tooling software. Nevertheless, the manufacturer may still double check the computer-generated clearance numbers to ensure that they are adequate.

Slitting for stainless steel in Chicago

 On top of the elevated mechanical properties, the slitting may be performed on an oil-free surface, which means that the frictional forces generated are higher, and the knife’s edge is dulled much faster. This results in an increased cost of production for stainless steel coils.

Furthermore, the stainless steel slitting process is also set apart by the number of cuts that have to be assessed, as well as additional manufacturing techniques that need to be used to ensure a quality finished product.

During slitting, the stainless steel is inspected for various imperfections that may occur.  Finally, the slit coils need to be packaged, handled, and stored correctly — otherwise, all of the previous work could be lost, as damage can still occur at this point.

Are you interested in stainless steel slitting in Chicago?

Due to its composition, stainless steel has to go through a more complex slitting process in order to ensure that quality standards are met. As such, it’s important to buy from manufacturers that have a proven track record and solid accreditation. NKS has been in business for over 30 years, and we are certified to ISO 9001-2015 quality standard. If you would like to know more about our products and services, contact us today!