The term busbar machine refers to how easily a material can be machined in machining centres. The process of machining something involves removing pieces of it with a series of different machine tools like power saws on an assembly line in a factory. Materials are machined in order to put them into a particular shape.
Various factors go into quantifying machinability. For example, a material may be easy to cut, but might be rough on the machines used to cut it. This would make for poor machinability because it’s not worth it to use a material over the long term if it continually bends or chips the power tools used in the process.
Even materials that can be broken down easily in machining centres may not make for good machinability. An example is thermoplastics, since they tend to melt and then flow around the blades of saws instead of being cut and then easily removed.
Quantifying machinability is a classically difficult process and it’s usually focused on one particular process in machining centres. The first and most obvious way to quantify machinability is the “tool life method.” This method focuses directly on how long machine tools last when they work on the material. This method is best when it’s necessary to compare the machinability of one substance against another substance of very similar quality.
It’s useful to know which material will damage the equipment of machining centres. The downside is that this approach could give false readings if the testers don’t carefully account for other factors that could increase damage, like the geometry of the cutting tool, the speed of the machines, and so on.
Tool forces and power consumption is another way to evaluate a substance’s machinability. The amount of energy it costs to cut through a material with machining tools will give a good idea for how suitable the substance is for machining in general. This gives a measurable number that will let machinists compare substances against each other.
The surface finish method for machinability measures how much of a troublesome edge materials build up during the machining process. This edge makes it more difficult to machine the material. Stainless steel is an example of a material that tends to produce built-up edges in machining centres, and so is unsuitable for the machining process. This makes materials like aluminum alloys and cold worked steels, that don’t tend to get that edge, more suitable for use with machine tools.