Manufacturing with computer numerical control is a great way to produce parts quickly and efficiently. While this process has helped to revolutionize modern machining, the efficiency of a milling machine depends on two things: the material being cut and the cutting tools being used. If you want to get the most out of your milling machine then you need to be using carbide cutting tools.
Milling cutters have to deal with extreme amounts of fatigue. As high speed tools, end mills have to deal with a lot of friction. This extreme friction can eventually cause the tool to reach extreme temperatures. For tools made of metal, this can quickly become a problem. Steel tools are hardened through a process known as tempering. When metal is tempered, it is cycled through specific temperatures that lock the internal structure of the tool into its strongest form. This process results in tools with strong cutting edges that will not wear as quickly as an untempered tool.
Because tempering is a heat based process, it is possible to undo a tool’s temper by overheating it. Even tools made from high speed steel can still reach operating temperatures that would jeopardize their tempered strength. In order to avoid this issue entirely you need tools made from materials that are not affected by heat tempering. That is where carbide cutting tools come into play.
A carbide tool may look metallic and it does contain metal, but the carbide itself is a powdered ceramic material. Ceramics like tungsten carbide, the most common tool carbide, are extremely hard and dense. They are also extremely resistant to heat, maintaining their strength even at extreme temperatures. Carbide tool stock is made by cementing grains of tungsten carbide together using cobalt metal in a process known as sintering.
One of the biggest advantages to using carbide cutting tools is their longer lifespan. Carbide tools last several times longer than their steel counterparts. They also need to be sharpened and maintained less often than steel tools. In order to get the most out of your carbide tools, many come coated with special materials like titanium aluminum nitride or TiAlN. This material is extremely hard and lowers the coefficient of friction along the tool’s cutting edges. It also forms a layer of insulating aluminum nitride that helps to protect the tool from heat and extend its working life.
If you are looking for high quality carbide cutting tools for your milling machine, then you need to visit www.onlinecarbide.com. Online Carbide specializes in manufacturing high performance milling cutters right here in the US. All of their tools are manufactured using extremely precise computer controlled grinding machines and many are treated with coating like TiAlN to extend their lifespan even further. If you need any additional information about any of the tools that they carry, you can always reach out to a member of their team by sending an email to [email protected].