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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Hypothetical question about "vibroblades" Reply to topic
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Helge B.





Joined: 06 Mar 2008

Posts: 73

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar, 2008 2:45 am    Post subject: Hypothetical question about "vibroblades"         Reply with quote

In sci-fi you often find the idea of vibroblades (blades vibrating with ultrasonic frequency to enhance the cutting ability).

I was quite surprised to find such blades already used in industry and medicine.

What would be the effect on a blade in the dimension of a sword? Would it really increase the cutting/penetration power in terms of a use as a weapon? Or would it just ruin the blade?

This is just a hypothecical question. I wonder if it at all would be possible to cause sufficient vibrations on heavier blade than a scalpel.

I hope to find some competent answers in this forum. So forgive me for posting such a fantasy question in a more history related community.
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Mike Lee




Location: South West
Joined: 06 Mar 2008

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar, 2008 3:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An interesting concept.

My first thoughts are that anyone weilding such a blade would quickly suffer nerve damage similar to the industrial condition of 'white finger'

Of course, any technology sufficient to produce the blade would probably get around this.

I'm not sure of the benefits in cutting ability. By the nature of their use, the sword blade makes only momentary contact lasting a fraction of a second whereas ultrasonic blades used in industry are in contact with the material being cut for much longer making the benefit noticable.

A greater benefit would probably come from learning to expertly sharpen the blade.

I refuse to have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.
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Helge B.





Joined: 06 Mar 2008

Posts: 73

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar, 2008 3:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I also thought that the blade would not be long enough in contact for the vibrations to have any effect at least with the frequency used so far.

But what would happen if you could increase it too a much higher level supposing that the blade will withstand this treatment.
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Mike Lee




Location: South West
Joined: 06 Mar 2008

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar, 2008 3:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Going to extremes with the blade could vibrate it to the extent that it loses molecular cohesion. I'm not sure is 'conventional' steel could ever be refined to the point this is practical.

I'd stick to developing the lightsabre.

I refuse to have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.
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Gordon Clark




Location: Purcellville, VA
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

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PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar, 2008 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vibrating turkey/meat carvers exist as well, don't they? Anyone used one?

How well do they function when vibrating vs when turned off?
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M. Wagner





Joined: 01 Sep 2007

Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar, 2008 9:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just a guess but I'm sure the direction of the vibration is important. A blade swinging to the side would probably not increase the cutting power but a back-and-forth movement combined with an aggressive cutter like wootz-steel would be much like a small scale jigsaw.
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Reading list: 3 books

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Posts: 1,435

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar, 2008 12:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome, Helge and Lee, to the forum.

We had this discussion on SFI about a year or two ago. Not quite sure of all the details but from what I recall, the vibrating blade of a single handed sword size would require quite a bit of power, and in the course of attack, would increase cutting resistance due to the size of the blade. Don't quote me on that, though.

M.

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