3Figure 2 presents schematic cross sectional views of knife edges. The upper sketches in (A) have superimposeddashed lines coming to a sharp point at the edge. If onecould sharpen a knife perfectly, with no burs or rounding atthe edge, it would have this shape. The edge views of theSEM provide a picture of the edge looking in the downwarddirection of Fig. 2, and they allow one to measure the edgewidth, labeled EW on Fig. 2. The edge view of Fig. 1 showsthat the value of EW varies along the length of the edge of this blade and its value near the center of the picture isidentified by the arrows labeled EW.It seems likely to this author that two mechanismsgive rise to bur formation along the edge during sharpening.(1) Debris Deposit The polishing and grinding on themetal faces of a knife blade during sharpening produces anabrasive polishing action. One may think of this action aslike having thousands of little ploughs (abrasive particles)that move along the surface pushing scraped up metal, debris,in front of them. If the abrasion direction is away-from theedge, direction A of Fig. 3, then the debris will be depositedalong the edge on the face opposite the face being abraded. If the abrasion direction isinto the edge, direction I of Fig. 3, one would not expect debris pile-up along the edge asnow it is being pushed away from the edge. However, as will be shown later, debris doescollect at the edge for abrasion in the I direction, although to a reduced extent. Theremust be a subtle mechanism of debris deposit along the edge, perhaps involving sometype of back eddies at the edge.(2) Bending The width of the blade at the edge and just behind it is extremely thin.Hence the force against the edge from the abrasive media will result in large stresses,force per area, at the edge, which can lead to plastic flow (bending) of the edge region.
(Note: The small bumps running parallel to the edge, such as the two labeled bending flow in the Up faceof Fig. 1, result from a small bending flow of the edge region away from your view.)
The combination of the bent edge and the collected debris forms a bur on the side of theedge located away from the abrading media.
(Some authors  call this deformed edge andaccumulated metal debris a "wire", but the term bur will be used here.)
Bursthat fold around the edge can be called fold-over burs and theyhave a variety of shapes with two examples shown in Fig. 2(B).The edge burs of Fig. 2(A) show little bur material and appear tobe edges that have simply been rounded during sharpening.However, such edges will be termed "edge burs" here to indicatea type of edge formed in sharpening that differs from a fold-overbur.Books that discuss sharpening of steel blades [1-3, seepage 46] consistently recommend the detection of fold-over burs
EWEW(A) Edge bursEWEW
(B) Fold-over burs
Figure 2 Some possible cross sectionsof knife edges after sharpening.
Figure 3 Two directions of abrasion.
A: Away-from cuttingedgeI: Into cutting edge