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On High RPM

On High RPM

Andrei Petrilin, Technical Manager of ISCAR discusses the importance of high-speed spindle and the requirements in high-speed machining (HSM). 

High-speed machining (HSM) has not only led to a significant difference between machine tools but has also brought awareness to the high-speed spindle; perhaps, the most important and central component of high-speed machine tools and a key factor for the success of HSM.  

High Speed Machining

Operating a spindle with high rotation speed and gaining the optimal balance between the provided speed and torque is the main task of high spindle engineering.  The spindle’s performance depends on several different factors. One of the main factors relates to the design concept of a single- or combined twin-motor bearing system, seal components, and a tool retention method.

When machining, the spindle is not in direct contact with the workpiece but interacts with it through another technological system – the cutting tool. This connection acts as a conductor and should transform the impressive capabilities of a high-speed spindle into improved machining results. Another element between the cutting tool and the spindle is the toolholder which is fitted into the spindle. The poor performance of this small assembly, the cutting tool and toolholder, may reduce the function of the spindle to zero. Therefore, HSM toughens the accuracy, reliability, and safety requirements for the assembly of the spindle extension.  

High-speed rotation generates centrifugal forces. In HSM, when compared with traditional machining methods, these forces grow exponentially and turn into a significant load on a cutting tool which determines the tool’s durability. In indexable milling, high centrifugal forces may cause insert clamping screws to break, inserts to loosen and a cutter body to fail. Formed fragments can not only damage a machine and a machined part but can be very dangerous to the operator.

In such conditions, cutting tool manufacturers are compelled to consider the design and technological means necessary to ensure appropriate reliability of their products. Hence, the focus on indexable milling cutters should consider secure insert mounting and a robust body structure.

Reliable Milling

Let us start with a clamping screw, the smallest and weakest element of a whole technological system with a great impact on the system’s reliability.  The same can be said about the clamping screw in relation to a high-speed indexable milling cutter.  Applying dynamometric keys controls the tightening of the clamping screw. (Fig. 1). However, ensuring the torque is tightened sufficiently is not enough to reliably operate the cutter. Intelligent design is directed to minimise the dynamic load on the clamping screw.

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Tool Craft For Aircraft

Tool Craft For Aircraft

Andrei Petrilin, Technical Manager of ISCAR showcases its new developments for aircraft machining of tomorrow.  

In machining aerospace components, the main challenges relate to component materials. Titanium, high-temperature superalloys (HTSA), and creep-resisting steel are difficult to cut and machining is a real bottleneck in the whole aircraft supply chain. Poor machinability of these materials results in low cutting speeds, which significantly reduces productivity and shortens tool life. Both these factors are directly connected with cutting tools. 

In fact, when dealing with hard-to-machine typical aerospace materials, cutting tool functionality defines the existing level of productivity. The truth is, cutting tools in their development lag machine tools, and this development gap limits the capabilities of leading-edge machines in the manufacturing of aerospace components.  

Modern aircraft, especially unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), feature a considerably increased share of composite materials. Effective machining composites demand specific cutting tools, which is the focus of a technological leap in the aerospace industry.

Aircraft-grade aluminum continues to be a widely used material for fuselage elements. It may seem that machining aluminum is simple, however, selecting the right cutting tool is a necessary key to success in high-efficiency machining of aluminum.

A complex part shape is a specific feature of the turbine engine technology. Most geometrically complicated parts of aero engines work in highly corrosive environments and are made from hard-to-cut materials, such as titanium and HTSA, to ensure the required life cycle. A combination of complex shape, low material machinability, and high accuracy requirements are the main difficulties in producing these parts. Leading multi-axis machining centers enable various chip removal strategies to provide complex profiles in a more effective way. But a cutting tool, which comes into direct contact with a part, has a strong impact on the success of machining. Intensive tool wear affects surface accuracy, while an unpredictable tool breakage may lead to the discarding of a whole part. 

A cutting tool – the smallest element of a manufacturing system – turns into a key pillar for substantially improved performance. Therefore, aerospace part manufacturers and machine tool builders are waiting for innovative solutions for a new level of chip removal processes from their cutting tool producers. The solution targets are evident: more productivity and more tool life. Machining complex shapes of specific aerospace parts and large-sized fuselage components demand a predictable tool life period for reliable process planning and a well-timed replacement of worn tools or their exchangeable cutting components.

Coolant jet

In machining titanium, HTSA and creep-resisting steel, high pressure cooling (HPC) is an efficient tool for improving performance and increasing productivity. Pinpointed HPC significantly reduces the temperature at the cutting edge, ensures better chip formation and provides small, segmented chips. This contributes to higher cutting data and better tool life when compared with conventional cooling methods. More and more intensive applying HPC to machining difficult-to-cut materials is a clear trend in manufacturing aerospace components. Understandably, cutting tool manufacturers consider HPC tooling an important direction of development.

ISCAR, one of leaders in cutting tool manufacturing, has a vast product range for machining with HPC. In the last year, ISCAR has expanded its range by introducing new milling cutters carrying “classical” HELI200 and HELIMILL indexable inserts with 2 cutting edges (Fig. 1). This step brings an entire page of history to ISCAR’s product line.

The HELIMILL was modified and underwent changes which led to additional milling families and inserts with more cutting edges. The excellent performance and its close derivatives of the original tools ensured their phenomenal popularity in metalworking. Therefore, by adding a modern HPC tool design to the proven HELIMILL family was a direct response to customer demand and the next logical tool line to develop.

In Turning, ISCAR considerably expanded its line of assembled modular tools comprising of bars and exchangeable heads with indexable inserts. The bars have both traditional and anti-vibration designs and differ by their adaptation: cylindrical or polygonal taper shank. A common feature for the nodular tools is the delivery of internal coolant to be supplied directly to the required insert cutting edge (Fig. 2). The efficient distribution of coolant increases the insert’s tool life by reducing the temperature and improving chip control and chip evacuation; substantially increasing this application line in the aerospace industry.

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Electrification In The Automotive Industry

Electrification in the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is on the brink of colossal changes. Marat Faingertz of ISCAR looks into the impact of this trend on the metalworking industry, and how new machining requirements can be addressed.

Public awareness of global warming, together with a pressing concern to create and maintain a clean environment, has led to a series of legislations worldwide that is forcing automakers to decrease CO2 emissions. Apart from improving fuel consumption, downsizing engines, and making lighter vehicles, automakers must turn to new technologies in order to cope with these emission limitations.

A rapid increase in battery electric vehicle (BEV) development, manufacture, and implementation, shows that electric vehicles are not only the future but are, in fact, the present. The automotive industry is on the brink of colossal changes and soon our perception of cars and transportation may alter completely.

ISCAR, a company with many years of experience in the production of metal cutting tools, offers unique, cutting-edge solutions for the new BEV Industry. As a leader in providing productive and cost-effective machining solutions, ISCAR strives to stay up to date with all the new trends and technologies and be a part of a brighter, greener future.

The following is a list of some of the common component machining processes in the BEV industry and some of the leading possible machining solutions and recommendations for each part.

Stator Housing Machining

One of the most notable trends of the electric vehicle powertrain is its simplicity. There are far fewer moving parts compared to the traditional internal combustion engine (ICE), therefore, manufacturing time and cost dramatically drop when producing BEVs. 

One of the main components of an electric motor is the motor (stator) housing made from aluminium. A special approach is needed to achieve this part’s critical key characteristics of lightweight, durability, ductility, surface finish and precision, including geometrical tolerances. The partially hollow form represents an additional challenge and maintaining low cutting forces is essential for roughness and cylindricity requirements.

ISCAR’s complete machining solution for this process has facilitated the transformation from the standard costly lathe-based process to an economical machining centre. Our aim is to reduce scrapped parts and reach an optimal CPK ratio (Process Capability Index—a producer’s capability to produce parts within the required tolerance).

Main Diameter Reaming

The most challenging operation in machining the aluminium stator housing is the main diameter boring and reaming. Because of the trend to use low power machines, the tool’s large diameter and long overhang require creative thinking to minimise weight and spindle load while maintaining rigidity. Exotic materials such as titanium and carbon fibre are used for the tool body, as well as the welded frame design.

The use of Finite Element Method (FEM) helps resolve the obstacles associated with this challenging application by enabling the consideration of many parameters, such as cutting forces, displacement field during machining, natural frequency, and maximum deformation.

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The Logic Of Development

The Logic of Development

Andrei Petrilin of ISCAR writes about the different directions for the development of cutting tools.

In machining, a cutting tool is an element of a technological system that shapes a part by material removal. The system comprises a machine tool, a workholding fixture and a tool holding device.  Shaping a part is performed by various machining processes that use different cutting strategies. The progress made in machining tools resulted in modern machines that enable combined and whole process operations; processes that were separated in the past.  Moreover, advanced machine tool capabilities assure applying progressive machining strategies to achieve maximum performance.

The metalworking industry must deal with different engineering materials. Progress in material science and metallurgy not only brought in new exotic materials but also provided technologies to create materials with pre-defined properties. Producing components from such materials has significantly improved the working parameters of the parts, but machining has become more difficult. In many cases, the root of successful machining was connected only with cutting tool limitations.

A cutting tool, the smallest element of the technological system, connects the part directly and is the link between the machine and material. For realising advantages of high-tech machine tools and productive machining strategies, the cutting tool must meet appropriate requirements. Finding a decent answer to these requirements to respond to ever-growing demands of modern metalworking is a base for new developments in the cutting tool field.

The metalworking industry has been through a rough time with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the world economy and has inevitably led to a decline in economic indicators in the industry. Many bright prospects before the coronavirus were replaced by modest hopes, while on the other hand, this has been a time for deeper analysis of industrial trends, a look into tomorrow, forecasts, and future planning. Progress has not stopped. Metalworking is at the door of serious changes, and the manufacturer should be ready to adopt them. The forthcoming changes cannot bypass cutting tool production—one of the more important links in the metalworking chain. Therefore, to have a clear understanding of the direction of industrial progress and the results of new requirements for the cutting tools of tomorrow is a cornerstone to success for a tool manufacturer. This is the key to new tool developments and the demand for a wide range of products.

There are different directions for the development of cutting tools. The “traditional” way is to make the tools stronger, more productive and cost-effective, a reflection on the natural requirement of the customer to a consumed product. Other directions of development are related to advanced manufacturing technologies that have deeply ingrained the metalworking industry; whereby available tooling solutions still leave a broad field for improvement.

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Outlook 2021

Outlook 2021

Experts in the metalworking industry provided their outlook for the coming year and their insights on how manufacturers should navigate whatever challenges the industry might still have along the way to recovery.

The year 2020 had been an extraordinary one, with the COVID-19 pandemic basically putting the global manufacturing industry on a standstill—at least except those essential industries that have scrambled to create medical equipment such as ventilators, and testing kits, as well as personal protective equipment including face masks and face shields.

The pandemic put into spotlight the agility and resiliency needed in every manufacturing industry, as supply chains get stuck and manufacturers are at a loss as to how to obtain their raw materials and parts. 

Nevertheless, the show must go on. And as vaccines are now being developed, it won’t be long until we see light at the end of this tunnel. In this special feature, experts in the metalworking industry provided their outlook for the coming year and their insights on how manufacturers should navigate whatever challenges the industry might still have along our way to recovery.

Creaform

Simon Côté, Product Manager

The metalworking industry will continue to undergo major transformations in 2021. As customers continue to require more complex and sophisticated parts, it is becoming even more crucial for metalworking firms to implement new strategies and technologies to monitor the quality and compliance of final products—all while accelerating throughput due to demanding timelines.

Click here to read Simon’s outlook! 

Faccin Group

Rino Boldrini, Metal Forming Machine Specialist

There is no doubt 2020 will be remembered by most as a year to forget due to the pandemic and the global uncertainty, but it will also be considered as a starting point by those that were able to adapt to the market challenges by implementing or accelerating innovation-focused plans.

Click here to read what Rino expects this year! 

TRUMPF Asia Pacific

Chong Chee Ter, Managing Director

The outlook for the global economy in 2020 deteriorated significantly primarily due to the massive economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, we nevertheless are expecting global GDP growth to return back to the level of 2019.

Click here to read Chee Ter’s insights for 2021! 

igus

Carsten Haecker, Head of Asia Pacific

Metalworking companies across all industries have been facing increasing demands for years now—albeit some levelling was and is still visible in the current pandemic.  To hold their own fortress against international competition, companies need versatile and efficient solutions for a wide variety of production tasks. One solution is the digitalization and networking of production and logistics processes—the basic technologies surrounding Industry 4.0.

Click here to read Carsten’s outlook! 

ISCAR

Eran Salmon, Executive Head of Research and Development

“Business as Usual” is constantly being redefined at ISCAR to meet the varying needs of global metalworking industries. In such a reality, innovative technologies and business opportunities emerge to meet all the challenges ahead. 

Click here to read Eran’s insights for 2021! 

Marposs KK Japan and SEA

Marco Zoli
President

2020 has seen the COVID-19 pandemic act on top of the existing geopolitical factors and on the shift to e-mobility, with the result of accelerating the evolution of the manufacturing environment. The trend of focusing on production resilience is set to continue, resulting in a more localized supply chain and a higher concentration on global players. 

Click here to read what Marco expects for the year! 

Paul Horn GmbH

Lothar Horn, CEO

Despite the restrictions predicted for 2021, most businesses have not stood still. In industries where exhibitions play a major role, it was more a question of how to bring innovations to market—especially with regard to communication. Many of the people I spoke to were initially very excited about the digital possibilities, and certainly rightly so. 

Click here to read Lothar’s outlook for 2021! 

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence

Boon Choon Lim, President, Korea, ASEAN, Pacific, India

The year 2020 was characterized by virtual work and learning, as individuals and businesses reinvented themselves to maintain productivity. Optimising the digital landscape will continue in 2021, as companies embrace innovation to meet their needs. 

Click here to read what Boon Choon expects in 2021! 

Sandvik Coromant

Rolf Olofsson, Global Product Manager

To stay competitive, manufacturers need to rely more on digitized processes and less manual interaction. To meet the new requirements, we need to continue to drive the development and digitalization of the manufacturing industry. Sandvik Coromant have a unique venture with Microsoft, combining Sandvik Coromant’s expertise in machining with Microsoft’s technical solutions. 

Click here to read Rolf’s insights for 2021! 

Siemens Digital Industries Software

Alex Teo, Managing Director and Vice President for South East Asia

2020 underscored two important pillars of manufacturing: adaptability and resiliency. With COVID-19 disrupting global supply chains, manufacturers need to inject their production chain with the agility to pivot and adapt to constantly changing market conditions. 

Click here to read what Alex expects in 2021! 

SLM Solutions Singapore

Gary Tang, Sales Director, Southeast Asia

“Change is the only constant in life” and this is characteristically so for 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Though businesses were disrupted, but in the same fast pace, opportunities arose for additive manufacturing (AM) in the medical frontline, responding quickly to severe restrictions in supply chains and traditional manufacturing bases.

Click here to read Gary’s outlook for 2021! 

Renishaw ASEAN

Steve Bell, General Manager

Unusual times in 2020 have brough significant difficulties in all walks of life, and manufacturing is no exception. The downturn in industrial activity has been evident during these COVID-19 times—mandatory closures, disruptions to the supply chain, and the stringent social distancing regulations imposed a devastating impact worldwide including the ASEAN region.   

Click here to read what Steve expects this year! 

VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association)

Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Managing Director

The coronavirus pandemic is leaving deep scars in the German and international machine tool industry. For 2020, the VDW expects a decline in production of 30 percent. After economic data and economic indicators showed an upward trend in the third quarter, uncertainty in the economy is currently increasing in view of the second wave of the pandemic.

Click here to read Dr. Wilfried’s outlook for this year! 

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Barrel Cutter Shapes A New Milling Trend

Barrel Cutter Shapes a New Milling Trend

Advanced workpiece manufacturing technologies—such as metal injection moulding, 3D printing, investment casting and close-tolerance forging—innovative machine tools, and a quantum leap in digitizing of manufacturing will increase the needs for finishing complex surfaces with minimum machining stock. Article by Andrei Petrilin, ISCAR.

Endmills featuring a cutting edge that is actually the segment of a large-diameter arc were introduced approximately 25 years ago. As the cutting-edge shape of these endmills is reminiscent of a barrel profile, terms such as ‘barrel milling cutters’, ‘barrel endmills’ or, in shop talk, often simply ‘barrels’ soon became common when referring to these types of endmills.

At first, the use of these barrel-shape mills was limited more or less to a few specific applications, such as machining 3D surfaces of complex dies and turbomachinery components. However, advances in 5-axis machining and in CAM systems have significantly expanded the boundaries of barrel endmill applications.

At the same time, the design principle of a cutting edge as the segment of a large-diameter arc has been realized successfully in other types of milling cutter—the tools for high feed milling (HFM), also referred to as ‘fast feed’ (FF) milling. The concept provides a toroidal cutting geometry that ensures productive rough machining at extremely high feed rates due to a chip thinning effect. Unlike high feed milling tools, barrel endmills are intended not for roughing but for finish and semi-finish machining of 3D surfaces with low stock removal.

Traditionally, ball-nose and toroidal cutters perform these machining operations. However, the large-diameter arc of the endmill cutting edge results in a substantial reduction of the cusp height generated between passes machined by a ball-nose or toroidal cutter. Another advantage of this type of cutting edge versus ball-nose and toroidal cutters is a significant increase in the distance between passes (a stepover or a stepdown, depending on the direction of a cutter displacement after every pass)—at least five times more without degradation of the surface finish parameters! (Figure 1) This means that the number of passes and, subsequently, machining time can be noticeably reduced. Increasing the distance between passes also improves tool life and, therefore, diminishes tool cost per part.

The classical barrel shape in endmills has undergone some changes to make these cutters more versatile. Combining a ball-nose tip with peripheral large-arc cutting edges creates a multi-purpose ‘cutting oval,’ which facilitates the use of a barrel endmill as a ball-nose milling tool. 

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Grade Upgrade

Grade Upgrade

Has the development of new tool materials already reached its peak and is experiencing stagnation? Find out more from Andrei Petrilin and Marcel Elkouby, ISCAR.

Grade Upgrade

Fig 1: CBN grade IB20H insert for hard part turning.‎

Building a house begins with laying the foundation. The strength and the reliability of the whole house depends on how strong the foundation is. In cutting tool engineering, this foundation is a cutting material.

There are various types of cutting materials: cemented carbide, polycrystalline diamond, high speed steel, and ceramics, to name a few. Each type contains different grades. At various stages in metal cutting history, the introduction of each cutting material and its use has led to a significant change in the level of cutting speeds and, consequently, productivity. However, if the previous century, especially its second half, was marked by the rapid progress of tool materials, today we do not see any significant new solutions in this field. Does this mean that the development of new tool materials has already reached its peak and is experiencing stagnation?

Of course not. It is simply that the new developments are deep within the cutting material and are focused on its structure, and can be observed only with the help of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), electron backscatter diffraction (EBCD), and other sophisticated methods. They cover a tremendously complicated world of coatings that is extremely diverse despite its very small thickness, measured only by microns. 

Cemented Carbide

Grade Upgrade

Fig 2: Parting tool carrying IC1010 grade insert‎.

The most commonly available cutting material today is cemented carbide (primarily coated), also known as ‘hard metal’, ‘tungsten carbide’ or simply, carbide. In terms of performance, it represents a reasonable balance between efficiency, tool life and cost. A combination of cemented carbide, coating, and post-coating treatment produces a carbide grade. Only one of these components—the cemented carbide—is an essential element in the grade. The others are optional.

Cemented carbide is a composite material comprising hard carbide particles that are cemented together by binding metal (mainly cobalt). Most cemented carbides used for producing cutting tools integrate wear-resistant coatings. There are also various treatment processes that are applied to already coated cemented carbide (for example, the rake surface of an indexable insert). New developments in cemented carbide, as a tool material, are concentrated in three directions: carbide production technologies, advanced coating methods, and innovative post-coating techniques. Considerable success has been achieved in each of these directions; this is reflected in the wealth of new products introduced to the market by leading cutting tool manufacturers.

Cutting tool customers might analyze the grades using parameters such as productivity, tool life, and performance. Indeed, the question of how a new product was created to meet customer requirements fades into the background as applicability and efficiency form the main measure of progress from the customer’s  point of view. 

Upgrading Carbide Grades

In upgrading carbide grades, ISCAR is very sensitive to a challenge faced by the metalworking industries. In this context, ISCAR’s tool material solutions—developed considering the trends of modern metalworking—can be quite indicative. Take, for example, difficult-to-cut materials such as titanium and heat-resistant steels and exotic superalloys. Recently, the share of their application in industry has increased significantly. Along with the aircraft industry, a traditional consumer of these materials, they may be increasingly found in power engineering, automotive, and oil and gas branches. The growing usage of the materials demands technological solutions, including machinery and cutting tools. The new tools require an appropriate foundation, made of advanced cutting tool materials,  to achieve the desired cutting geometry. And for the construction of this foundation, ISCAR offers its new effective ‘bricks’—upgraded carbide grades. 

 

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ISCAR Upgrades ISCARMILL F75 Face Mills

ISCAR Upgrades ISCARMILL F75 Face Mills

ISCAR is upgrading the ISCARMILL F75 family of 75 deg indexable face milling cutters, which carry single-sided square inserts SP , by introducing new milling cutters that are intended for mounting the same inserts

The new cutters, designated as F75…-M, are available in a shell mill configuration and feature an advanced design for better productivity. In accordance with the new design, the inserts that are mounted in the cutters F75…-M are clamped with the use of a wedge system, providing high clamping reliability and high repeatability for positioning an insert active cutting edge. In addition, the wedge clamping principle enables quick and easy mounting of the inserts and their indexing.

The main features of the new cutters are as follows:

  • 50 – 125 mm cutter diameter range
  • Shell mill design configuration
  • Clamping inserts by wedge for reliable, quick and easy securing of the inserts and their indexing
  • Coolant holes directed to each active cutting edge of the mounted inserts for effective coolant supply through the cutter body
  • Silver-grayish protective plating is applied to the cutter bodies, ensuring increased body tool life due to improved anti-scratch and abrasive-resistance properties and high anti-corrosion protection

Applications

  • Machining main engineering materials such as carbon and alloy steel, cast iron and stainless steel
  • Wide range of face milling operations
  • Broad range of usage in various industrial branches

 

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Cutting Tools That Cut Out Vibrations

Cutting Tools That Cut Out Vibrations

How to say no to vibrations in machining? Find out more in this article by Andrei Petrilin, Technical Manager at ISCAR.

Figure 2: The FINISHRED series of solid carbide endmills features chip-splitting geometry coupled with variable pitch flutes.

Vibrations in machining are generally an unavoidable part of the metal cutting process. They have a forced or self-excited nature and always accompany a cutting action. Machining vibrations are referred to as “chatter,” highlighting their specific nature, which inheres in every processing where chips are formed. Even if cutting is considered as stable, it does not mean that vibrations do not take place. In this case, the vibrations simply remain on a level that provides the required machining results, and is considered as a “no vibration” operation.

READ: Machining for the Aerospace Industry

In fact, vibrations in cutting are a damaging factor that reduces performance. Manufacturers make every effort to diminish vibration and, ideally, bring them to a level that does not affect machining results. Chatter is a subject of serious research that has already provided manufacturers with ways to model vibrations in machining which, despite their complexity, can be very effective in finding a way to reduce chatter. However, this modelling takes time and requires various input data, including sometimes additional measurements. In most cases, when manufacturers face vibrations during machining, they only have a few tools at their disposal for a real-time response to decrease the chatter. The most common practice is to vary cutting speed and feed, which usually leads to productivity reduction. Therefore, any effective method of diminishing vibrations that does not adversely affect machining operation productivity will be attractive to manufacturers.

Vibration reduction in machining requires consideration of a manufacturing unit as a system comprising the following interrelated elements: a machine, a workpiece, a work-holding device, and a cutting tool. While the influence of each element on total vibration reduction is different, improving a vibration characteristic of one element may have a significant impact on the system’s overall dynamic behaviour. Most efforts to protect against vibrations focus on developing more rigid machines with intelligent sensors and computer control, and advanced vibration-dampening tooling. Can a cutting tool, the smallest – and probably the simplest – system component, dramatically change the vibration strength of a manufacturing unit? Even though producers might not have great hopes for the role of cutting tools in decreasing chatter, in certain cases a correctly selected tool can simply stop vibration without any adverse effect on productivity.

Cutting Geometry

Figure 3: The SUMOCHAM-IQ family of HCP exchangeable carbide heads.

The right tool geometry makes cutting action smooth and stable. The geometry strongly influences cutting force fluctuations, chip evacuation and other factors, which are connected directly with vibration modes. ISCAR’s tool design engineers believe that the cutting geometry can considerably strengthen vibration dampening of a tool and have developed interesting solutions accordingly.

READ: Five Stars for Effective Chamfering

ISCAR’s various indexable inserts, exchangeable heads, and solid carbide tools feature chip-splitting cutting edges. Such an edge may be serrated or have chip-splitting grooves. The chip splitting action causes a wide chip to be divided into small segments, resulting in better dynamic behaviour of a tool during machining, and vibration is stabilised. In rough machining, extended flute milling cutters remove a large material stock and work in heavy conditions. Significant cutting forces acting cyclically generate vibration problems. When using chip-splitting indexable inserts, it is possible to tackle these difficulties. Mills with round inserts, a real workhorse in machining cavities and pockets, particularly in die and mold making, are often operated at high overhang that affects rigidity and vibration resistance of a tool. Problems with cutting stability occur when the overhang already exceeds 3 tool diameters. Applying serrated round inserts with a chip-splitting effect redresses this situation and substantially improves robustness (Figure 1).

A skilfully defined tooth pitch is an effective way of taking the dynamic behaviour of a cutting tool to the next level. ISCAR’s CHATTERFREE family of solid carbide endmills (SCEM) was designed on the basis of a pitch control method. The family features a variable angle pitch in combination with a different helix angle. This concept ensures chatter free milling in a broad range of applications.

The FINISHRED series of solid carbide endmills features chip-splitting geometry coupled with variable pitch flutes (Figure 2) that provide surface finish when machined according to rough machining data.

The principles of vibration-proof cutting geometry, which demonstrated their effectiveness in solid carbide endmills , have been applied to the design of exchangeable multi-flute milling heads made from cemented carbides in the MULTI-MASTER family.

Chatter-Free Drilling

Figure 4: ISCAR’s ISOTURN WHISPERLINE family of anti-vibration cylindrical bars.

Chatter in drilling leads to poor surface finish and accuracy problems. In ISCAR’s SUMOCHAM family of assembled drills with exchangeable carbide heads, the double margin design of QCP/ICP-2M heads substantially increases tool dynamic stability. 

READ: Iscar F3S Chipformer For Finish Turning On Superalloys And Exotic Materials

If vibration occurs when a drill enters material, it may cause serious damage and even breakage of the drill. The SUMOCHAM-IQ family of HCP exchangeable carbide heads (Figure 3), intended for mounting in the bodies of standard SUMOCHAM tools, can ensure reliable self-centring capabilities. The key is an unusual concave profile for the head cutting edge reminiscent of a pagoda shape. This original cutting geometry enables high-quality drilling holes of depths of up to twelve hole diameters, directly into solid material without pre-drilling a pilot hole.

The “magic pagoda” features another ISCAR innovation: the LOGIQ3CHAM family of latest-generation drills carrying exchangeable carbide heads with 3 teeth to ensure higher productivity. The steel drill bodies have 3 helical flute that weaken the body structure when compared with a 2-flute assembled drill of the same diameter. In order to improve the dynamic rigidity, the flute helix angle is variable. This design principle in combination with the pagoda-shaped cutting edge provides a durable chatter-proof solution for stable high-efficiency drilling.

Tool Body Material

An assembled cutting tool comprises a body with mounted cutting elements such as indexable inserts or exchangeable heads. Choosing the right body material presents an additional option for forming a chatter-free tool structure. Most tool bodies are made from high-quality tool steel grades, for which the material stress-strain behavior is similar. However, in some cases tool design engineers have identified successful material alternatives to improve vibration strength.

READ: ISCAR CTO Stresses On Productivity Improvement

The MULTI-MASTER, an ISCAR family of rotating tools with exchangeable heads, provides a range of tool bodies, referred to as shanks, produced from steel, tungsten carbide or heavy metal. A steel shank is the most versatile. Tungsten carbide with its substantial Young’s modulus provides an extremely rigid design, so carbide shanks are used mainly when milling at high overhang and machining internal circumferential grooves. Heavy metal, an alloy containing around 90 percent tungsten, is characterised by its vibration-absorbing properties, and heavy metal shanks are most advantageous for light to medium cutting operations in unstable conditions.

Anti-vibration Tools for Deep Turning

A typical tool for internal turning or boring operations comprises a boring bar with a mounted insert or a cartridge carrying an insert. The bar is the main factor in the dynamic behaviour of a tool. Stiffness of a bar is the function of the bar overhang to diameter ratio, and large ratios may be a reason of tool deflection and vibrations, affecting dimensional accuracy and surface finish during machining.

ISCAR has developed three types of boring bar to cover a wide range of boring applications: two integral (from steel and solid carbide) and one assembled, having a vibration dampening system inside.

READ: Limitless Shoulder Grooving

The steel bars enable stable machining with the overhang up to four diameters. Exceeding this value can induce vibrations due to steel’s elasticity characteristics. Changing the bar material from steel to a more rigid solid carbide ensures efficient vibration-free boring with the overhang of up to seven diameters. However, further increasing the boring depth is also limited by the material stress-strain behaviour. In order to clear this overhang barrier, ISCAR developed the ISOTURN WHISPERLINE family of anti-vibration cylindrical bars. The bars carry interchangeable boring heads for indexable inserts of different geometries and have inner coolant supply capability. The main element of the bar design is a built-in vibration-dampening mechanism to provide “live” vibration damping during machining. This enables effective boring with the overhang from seven to 14 diameters (Figure 4).

A vibration-dampening unit is used also in ISCAR deep grooving and parting tools. The unit is in a tool blade under the insert pocket. Each blade is pre-calibrated by ISCAR for optimal performance for a wide range of overhangs, but end-users can complete fine tuning calibration themselves if needed.

Cutting tool manufacturers have a limited choice of means in the abatement of machining vibrations, with only tool cutting geometry, tool body material, and maybe a cutting tool with built-in vibration-damping device at their disposition. Considerable skill and ingenuity are required to make a chatter-free tool with these limited resources. It is feasible, however, and ISCAR’s solutions highlighted in the above examples affirm the possibilities.

 

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Machining For The Aerospace Industry

Machining for the Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry is one of the most important driving factors for cutting tool development. Here are the recent tool developments to address the challenges in aerospace parts manufacturing. Article by Andrei Petrilin, ISCAR.

The aerospace industry is not only one of the largest consumers of cutting tools but also one of the most important driving factors for cutting tool development. The aerospace industry features continuous efforts aimed at improving aircraft component manufacturing efficiency, increasing flight safety, and reducing potential environmental damage.

To achieve these goals, the aerospace industry must constantly improve the design of aircraft engines and airframe structural elements, to increase the protection of the aircraft from the damaging action of such dangerous factors as lightening and icing. This, in turn, has resulted in a series of  industry demands, including the introduction of engineering materials that require new production technologies, developing appropriate machinery and cutting tools. The aircraft manufacturer has to deal with complex parts, which are produced from various materials with the use of different machining strategies. This is why the aerospace industry is considered as a powerful and leading force for progress in cutting tool development.

Many materials used for manufacturing aircraft components have poor machinability. Titanium with its impressive strength-to-weight ratio, high-temperature superalloys (HTSA) that do not lose their strength under high thermal load, and composites, are difficult-to-cut materials. In order to increase output rate and improve productivity, aerospace component manufacturers must use machine tools capable of implementing advanced machining operations. In such conditions, the role of cutting tools is significantly increased; however, cutting tools can represent the weakest link in the whole manufacturing system due to their low durability as a system element, which can decrease productivity. Customers from the aerospace sector expect higher levels of performance and reliability from cutting tools. Tool manufacturers now are being challenged and inspired, in terms of developing and integrating sometimes unconventional solutions into their products, to meet these expectations.

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READ: ISCAR CTO Stresses On Productivity Improvement

Basic Materials

Figure 2: ISCAR’s F3S chipformer was designed specifically for finish turning high-temperature nickel-based alloys and exotic materials.

Most cutting tools continue to be manufactured from cemented carbide. Over recent years, ISCAR has introduced several carbide grades designed specifically for aerospace materials, including
IC 5820. The grade combines the advantages of a new submicron substrate, a progressive hard CVD coating, and a post-coating treatment to substantially increase impact strength and heat resistance. The inserts from this grade are intended mostly for milling titanium. Pinpointed wet cooling and especially high-pressure coolant (HPC) significantly improve grade performance.

Ceramics, another tool material, possess considerably higher hot hardness and chemical inertness than cemented carbides. This means that ceramics ensure much greater cutting speeds and eliminate diffusion wear. One of ISCAR’s recent developments, a family of solid ceramic endmills, is intended for machining HTSA. These endmills are made from SiAlON, a type of silicon-nitride-based ceramic comprising silicon (Si), aluminium (Al), oxygen (O) and nitrogen (N). When compared with solid carbide tools, these endmills enable up to 50 times increase in cutting speed, which can drastically save machining hours.

For turning applications, the company expanded its line of indexable SiAlON inserts for machining HTSA materials. The new products (Figure 1) have already proven their effectiveness in turning aero engine parts from super alloys such as Waspaloy and different Inconel and Rene grades. In contrast to other silicon nitride ceramics, SiAlON possesses higher oxidation resistance but less toughness. Therefore, a key of a SiAlON insert reliability is additional edge preparation. ISCAR’s new TE edge geometry has been developed to increase tool life in heavy load conditions during rough operations and interrupted cuts.

Advanced Geometry

Figure 3: The recently launched modular drills for multi-spindle and Swiss-type machines combine the SUMOCHAM design with a FLEXFIT threaded connection.

Improving a cutting geometry is an important direction in the development of cutting tools. Cutting geometry is a subject of theoretical and experimental researches, and advances in science and technology have brought a new powerful instrument to aid in tool design: 3D computer modelling of chip formation. ISCAR’s R&D team actively uses modelling to find optimal cutting geometries and form the rake face of indexable inserts and exchangeable heads.

READ: Not A Small Challenge: Cutting Tools for Miniature Dental and Medical Parts

The F3S chipformer for the most popular ISO inserts, such as CNMG, WNMG and SNMG, was designed specifically for finish turning high-temperature nickel-based alloys and exotic materials (Figure 2). It ensures a smooth and easy cut with notable chip breaking results. The remarkable working capability of the designed cutting geometry is a direct result of chip flow modelling.

In hole making, applying modelling to the design process significantly contributed to creating a chip splitting geometry of SUMOCHAM exchangeable carbide heads for drilling holes with depth up to 12-hole diameters in hard-to-cut austenitic and duplex stainless steel.

Flexible Customisation

Figure 4: The need to increase productivity and boost metal removal rates for milling aluminium workpieces, especially large parts of aerospace structural components, has led machine tool builders to develop milling machines with a powerful main drive—up to 150 kW—with high spindle speeds of up to 33,000 rpm.

Aerospace products can vary immensely in material, dimensions, shape , complexity, and more. To make such a diverse range of products, the product manufacturer needs dozens of machine tools and technological processes. Not every standard cutting tool is optimal for performing certain machining operations with maximum productivity and, consequently, the aerospace industry is a leading consumer of customized tools.

READ: Addressing Temperature Effects In Turning

READ: High Speed Accurate Machining

A customer producing titanium parts might be interested in solutions comprising indexable shell mills and arbors from the standard line; while another customer producing similar parts might prefer special milling cutters with an integral body, for direct mounting in a machine spindle.

ISCAR developed the  MULTI-MASTER and SUMOCHAM families of rotating tools with exchangeable heads and different body configurations to ensure various tool assembly options that simplify customization and decrease the need for costly tailormade products.

A further example of simplified customisation can be found in ISCAR’s recently-launched modular drills for multi-spindle and Swiss-type machines. The drills combine the SUMOCHAM design with a FLEXFIT threaded connection (Figure 3). Multi-spindle and Swiss-type machines typically have a limited space for tooling, which means that the tools in operation need to be as short as possible to avoid collisions and facilitate easy set up. A wide range of FLEXFIT threaded adaptors and flatted shanks has been designed precisely to fit the drills and maximally shorten an overhang.

Responding to demands from the aerospace sector, the company also expanded the MULTI-MASTER family by introducing a new thread connection to increase the diameter range for the exchangeable endmill heads to 32 mm (1.25″).

Aluminium Machining

Although machining aluminium might appear to be an extremely simple process, effective cutting of aluminium actually represents a whole field of technology with its own laws and challenges.

The need to increase productivity and boost metal removal rates for milling aluminium workpieces, especially large parts of aerospace structural components, has led machine tool builders to develop milling machines with a powerful main drive—up to 150 kW—with high spindle speeds of up to 33,000 rpm. To meet this demand, ISCAR has expanded its family of 90° indexable milling cutters by introducing new tools carrying large-size inserts that enable up to 22 mm (.870″) depth of cut (Figure 4). The tools have been designed to eliminate insert radial displacement, which might occur due to high centrifugal forces during very high rotational speed. This concept facilitates reliable milling in a rotational speed range of up to 31,000 rpm.

In hole making, the company developed new inserts for drilling aluminium with indexable drills from the DR-TWIST drilling tool range. The inserts are peripherally ground and feature sharp cutting edges and polished rake face for light cut, preventing adhesion.

ISCAR’s cutting tool program for the aerospace sector is based on several principles: the complex needs of this industry, taking into consideration trends in metalworking, and the drive to strengthen partnerships with tool consumers. ISCAR believes that such a tri-pronged approach ensures the successful realization of innovative ideas for efficient machining of the difficult-to-cut materials that characterize this challenging and dynamic field.

 

Increase Your Productivity Through Knowledge

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