Zero-clearance cutting systems

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(en)True zero-clearance cutting on a commercial scale is provided via a cutting area including a sacrifice material that is relatively softer than the cutter. One example is a cutting system which is capable of cutting a material such as, for example, tape or paper, into a fiber or powder. The cutting system includes a cutting blade, typically a rotary cutter, and a sacrificial plate or round bar contacting the cutting blade. The contacting portion has a zero clearance during the cutting operation. A metering mechanism is also provided which is capable of metering the material at a predetermined rate to the cutting blade. A mechanism is also provided for incrementally moving the sacrificial blade towards the cutting blade to ensure that the zero clearance is maintained between the cutting blade and the sacrificial plate, even when the sacrificial plate begins to wear down due to usage. Also, destruction of the material is further enhanced by advantageous strategic patterning of cutting edges on a rotary cutter, and further by secondary shredding features. Systems are provided for reducing to-be-destroyed paper and other relatively-thin planar materials to a dust or powder-size.

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