Cutting Sharpness

An investigation of the measurement of cutting sharpness of Instruments cutting Isotropic materials.


The aim of the research programme is to establish a non-contact procedure for the measurement of cutting sharpness as it relates to ISOMAT and to establish a relationship between cutting edge profile or wedge angle and an established ISOMAT (this will be a biomaterial substitute) during cutting.

The Research Team Mr. Ger O’Reilly Principal Researcher Department of Engineering, IT, Sligo.

Dr. Brendan McCormack Joint Researcher Department of Engineering, IT, Sligo.

Mr. Eamon Price Research Student Department of Engineering, IT, Sligo.


From existing research literature it is clear that there is no well-defined system for cutting sharpness measurement. Clearly the cutting process is influenced by many parameters all of which have an affect on the ability of an instrument to cut a material such as blade parameters, material parameters, and cutting force systems. This research program will focus on three aspects of the process, the blade profile, the cutting forces and the material.

Due to the complex nature of the interaction of all of these parameters it is proposed to limit the analysis to the orthogonal cutting process which is a two dimensional analysis and to limit the material parameters to isotropic materials (ISOMAT) which have similar properties in all directions. The last variable proposed for study is the parameter of blade profile and here also there is much variability. It is proposed to allow variation of this profile in the research and much of the focus of the research will relate to establishing the effect of variation of this profile on the cutting process and development of a procedure for measuring the blade profile.

Project Details

Review of current literature on cutting of isotropic materials using orthogonal cutting processes.

Investigation on the variation in the cutting forces during cutting if ISOMAT when wedge angle is varied or becomes asymmetric.

Development if a system for measurement and quantification of cutting edge profile.

Integration of the blade profile data with established cutting forces for characterisation of the cutting process during cutting of ISOMAT.

Investigation of the effect of cutting processes on materials cut surfaces with variation in wedge angle.

Data analysis and presentation of system for relationship of cutting edge profile to sharpness.

Preparation of at least one appropriate research paper for peer review journal.