Beginner’s Guide to Ultrasonic Cutting

Beginner’s Guide to Ultrasonic Cutting

The industrial cut and sew manufacturing industry is constantly evolving in order to keep up with client needs and competitive markets. The more complex and bigger the projects become, the more cutting-edge technology is needed for precision and satisfaction. 

Ultrasonic cutting is a high-tech process that’s helped advance the textiles industry by reducing timelines and wasted product material. 

This new technology has the potential to overhaul day-to-day cutting techniques for many industries and operations due to its precision and effectiveness. So, how does ultrasonic cutting work and how can you incorporate it into your textiles manufacturing process? 

What is Ultrasonic Cutting? 

Ultrasonic cutting is an industrial textiles cutting process that uses ultrasonic vibrations to slice through materials quickly and accurately, without causing them to fray. It’s used to cut through rubber, non-woven fabric, and composite materials to achieve clean lines and minimize waste. 

Beyond the textiles industry, ultrasonic cutting can be used for food processing, electronics manufacturing, and other manufacturing processes where fast and clean cuts are important.

Though it’s subtle, it’s an extraordinarily powerful process. The blade pulses 20,000 – 40,000 vibrations per second (20 – 40 kHz). Similar to ultrasonic welding processes, ultrasonic cutting for textiles heats up the materials through vibrations, creating a clean seam at either end of the cut. This is what eliminates fraying, and makes the process so sought after.  

Components of Ultrasonic Cutting Technology

Generator

The generator is what powers the ultrasonic transducer. It supplies electronic AC currents that are turned into telescopic motion at ultrasonic frequencies. This motion travels through the cutter in order to heat up and melt materials for a clean cut that doesn’t require a lot of applied pressure. In other words, the blade doesn’t have to push through the materials to cut them; it sinks through like a hot knife through butter. 

Ultrasonic transducer

The ultrasonic transducer is the component that generates oscillation within the ultrasonic cutting machine; it’s what makes the blade move and pulse at such high frequencies. 

The transducer takes electronic energy and directs it into motion that goes back and forth vertically. The frequency of the telescopic motion is the same as the frequency of the high-frequency AC current supplied by the generator. 

Cutter

The cutter is the blade that moves in response to the ultrasonic vibrations created by the transducer. 

The oscillations and vibration frequency sent through the cutter by the transducer help to heat up and soften the materials being cut, and can be adjusted to create more effective cuts. 

How Does Ultrasonic Cutting Work? 

Ultrasonic cutting works by sending vibrations through a blade to create clean, neat cuts without having to apply heavy pressure. The process takes into account the physical and chemical properties of the materials being cut, as they each have their own frequencies that result in the neatest and most efficient cuts. 

The ultrasonic cutter is calibrated to that special frequency, in order to cut using the least amount of energy possible. This phenomenon is called resonance. Essentially, the ultrasonic cutter is “tuned” to the frequency of the materials to “get the most use” out of the vibrations.

Transducers come with a feedback-control system that transmits information about the optimal frequencies from the cutter. The feedback-control system helps to automatically keep the resonance “in-tune” to achieve cuts that are as effective and clean as possible. 

What Is Ultrasonic Cutting Used For? 

Ultrasonic cutting is used in a variety of industries, from textile manufacturing to food processing and electronics manufacturing. The process can be used on soft and hard materials alike, making it suitable for a plethora of industries and materials. 

Some of the most common materials cut by ultrasonic cutting include:

What are the Benefits of Ultrasonic Cutting?

Ultrasonic cutting is common in the manufacturing process of textiles where fraying needs to be avoided, or when a turned-over hem is not acceptable. 

It’s also good for thick fabrics or fabrics with an uneven weave or variation in thickness, where laser cutting can result in a poor edge finish. 

Ultrasonic cutting provides accurate cuts for simple or complex shapes. It also allows single-ply cutting processes to be used straight from the roll, or from fixed sheets of material, with either a conveyor or a static table.

These aspects help manufacturers to use as little energy as possible to carry out precise, clean cutting processes without wasting material through fraying. This has helped separate it as a leading technique in the industrial sector, as manufacturers look to improve lead times and process efficiency.

Fairway Products Can Carry out Ultrasonic Cutting for Your Textile Manufacturing Processes. 

When bringing your textile products to life, it’s important to work with a manufacturer that can deliver exactly what you need. 

You have a specific vision for your product, so you need a manufacturing partner that can make it happen. That’s where we can step in. 

Fairway Products is a cut and sew full-service manufacturer that provides cutting, sewing, and fabric welding services, providing our customers with the tools they need to bring their products to life.

We’ll use our expertise to make sure your products are created on time, on budget, while utilizing the best methods. 

Plus, we have the capacity to meet your needs with rapid shipping and delivery. Along with our ultrasonic fabric cutting services, we provide product development and engineering consultations to ensure that your entire process is providing you with great ROI.

Have a project in mind or need help getting started? Request a Quote from Fairway Products today!