As razor manufacturers strive to meet the ever-increasing demands of consumers, the choice of razor blade metal plays a pivotal role in ensuring superior performance and durability.
One of the key characteristics consumers look for in a razor blade is its sharpness and cutting efficiency. Stainless steel, renowned for its hardness and ability to maintain a sharp edge, has consistently been a popular choice for razor blade manufacturing. Stainless steel also has inherent resistance to rust and corrosion, which is particularly important for razors as they are exposed to water and moisture.
Coatings play a crucial role in further enhancing the performance and durability of razor blade metals. Various types of coatings, such as platinum, PTFE, and chromium, are utilised to provide a range of benefits, from reducing friction and corrosion to improving the overall shaving experience.
In an era of increasing environmental awareness, razor manufacturers must also consider the ecological impact of their products. Some metals may have a higher carbon footprint due to the extraction and manufacturing processes involved. Exploring sustainable alternatives or adopting recycling initiatives can contribute to reducing the environmental impact associated with razor blade production.
Finding a material that meets all of these requirements can be tricky, and many manufacturers do not have the in-house expertise for treatment processes that enhance a metal’s performance.
Alleima: Experts in martensitic stainless steel
Martensitic stainless steel is a stainless steel alloy that can be hardened to a martensite crystal structure, (around 780HV) and the process involves deep freezing and light tempering. This type of alloy is the most widely used material in razor blades today, of which a grade corresponding to Alleima 13C26 is the most dominating. Alleima 10C28Mo2 is a newer alternative grade present on the market designed with a very fine microstructure to meet certain requirements, such as hardness, ductility, corrosion resistance, and edge retention.
With a tensile strength of 1070 +/- 100 MPa (155 +/- 14.5 ksi), Alleima 13C26 undergoes a slitting process to give it a very high edge quality. After slitting, a corrosion-preventive oil is applied. It can be provided as pancake coils on plastic cores or welded into a long, continuous length wound on a paper core.
Alleima razor blade steels feature low content of non-metallic inclusions, smooth dull surfaces, and close dimensional tolerances. As a one-stop-shop manufacturer, Alleima has in-house capabilities for everything from melting, hot rolling, cold rolling, hardening, tempering and slitting. However, manufacturers can also buy material in an annealed or cold-rolled condition in order to carry out the stamping and hardening processes themselves.
In line with its commitment to the Science-Based Targets initiative, Alleima bases its production on 82% recycled steel and uses an electric arc furnace run on fossil-free electricity.
To find out more about how Alleima can support your project with the optimal strip steel, download the whitepaper below.