, Volume 39, Issue 8, pp 2761-2766

Cutting, by ‘pressing and slicing,’ of thin floppy slices of materials illustrated by experiments on cheddar cheese and salami

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Why it is easier to cut with even the sharpest knife when ‘pressing down and sliding’ than when merely ‘pressing down alone’ is explained. A variety of cases of cutting where the blade and workpiece have different relative motions is analysed and it is shown that the greater the ‘slice/push ratio’ ξ given by (blade speed parallel to the cutting edge/blade speed perpendicular to the cutting edge), the lower the cutting forces. However, friction limits the reductions attainable at the highest ξ. The analysis is applied to the geometry of a wheel cutting device (delicatessan slicer) and experiments with a cheddar cheese and a salami using such an instrumented device confirm the general predictions.