Bar peeling may sound like some late night activity that goes on downtown, but it actually refers to a metalworking process. Although the metalworking type of bar peeling may not be as much fun as the downtown type, it’s an important step in the manufacture of precision parts.
Bar peeling occurs relatively early in the metal forming process. When steel blanks are formed from a forging or hot-rolling process, they generally have surface imperfections like microcracks or discontinuous “skins” that are formed during the cooling process. Metal oxide layers can also build up over time. These imperfections have to be removed before the blank can be formed into a sufficient raw material for further processing.
The raw stock can be later machined into finished pieces such as axles, piston rods, or extrusion blanks for manufacturing plastic tube. In all of these cases, it’s important to have a completely smooth, defect-free continuous surface with precise dimensions. That’s where the bar peeling process comes into play. It produces the smooth surfaces and critical dimensions for downstream parts processing.
Conventional turning processes can do the same job, but bar peeling has several advantages. The bar peeling process is generally more precise than conventional turning, thus making it essential for pieces with very tight dimensional tolerances. The process is also faster, giving you shorter throughput times and better productivity at high volumes. Finally, bar peeling produces excellent surface quality that is difficult to match with a turning process.
Combine all of those factors and you get a process that produces high quality at high volumes. It also makes the downstream machining jobs considerably easier, saving even more time and money. With a sufficient product stream, bar peeling equipment becomes a worthwhile investment.
Peeling processes can also be used to remove imperfections from the pipe walls of thicker pieces of pipe, as well as bringing the pipe dimensions into very precise specifications. Thinner pieces of pipe may not be able to stand up to the peeling process and will require different methods of processing.
Peeling processes are suitable for use on all different types of steel. Peeling is more commonly used on various grades of stainless steel, carbon steel, and spring steel. However, they can also be used on tempered steel and high-alloy blends, among others. Each grade is going to pose a different set of challenges in the peeling process. Make sure that the attachments on the peeling tool are adequate for the type of steel you intend to cut and the duration of the job.
Since the peeling process is removing metal pieces in strips, chunks, or fine particles, you need to take the standard safety precautions of eye protection and proper protective clothing. Make sure you follow all of your shop’s safety procedures during the bar peeling process and the handling of processed parts.