The introduction of tougher and harder workpiece materials, composite and bi-metal components have improved the properties of the finished part. These new materials however require new cutting tools such as super-abrasives pcd and polycrystalline cbn tooling inserts that are capable of forming and shaping them into finished parts with excellent surface finish in a more economical manner.
Polycrystalline diamond PCD insert is composed of a layer of tiny diamonds bonded in a carbide substrate. They are suitable for machining non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and copper as well as non-metals like rubber, plastics, laminates, synthetics, and modern composite materials. Similarly, polycrystalline CBN inserts are produced like pcd’s except that the diamonds are substituted with a layer of cubic boron nitride cbn crystals. pcbn tools are used to machine ferrous materials like cast iron, steel, and steel alloys. Here are some of the features you should know and understand when you are selecting super-abrasive cutting tools.
Super-abrasive tool inserts are produced with different shapes to meet various operational challenges. Examples of the insert shapes include: square, rectangle, round (circular), triangle, diamond, parallelogram, hexagon, octagon and pentagon. The round, rectangle and square-shaped pcd and pcbn inserts are used for roughing operations. They are commonly used for turning and milling workpieces at a relatively high cutting speed and feed rate. On the other hand, triangle, diamond, and hexagonal-shaped inserts are more suitable for medium and finishing operations.
The cutting edge is the part of the tool that comes in contact with the workpiece and removes unwanted material with a shearing force. Super-abrasives pcd and pcbn tooling inserts are designed to suit the dimensions of the workpiece and provide the most economical operation under specific cutting conditions. The cutting edge should always be longer than the cutting depth to be used for each operation.
This is the angle formed by the end flank at the cutting edge of the insert and the surface of the workpiece. It may also be described as the angle measured between the plane containing the end surface of the cutting tool and the plane that passes through the cutting edge when viewed from the direction of the cutting motion. Based on the clearance angle, negative and positive inserts may be defined. A negative cutting insert has a clearance angle of 0 (zero) degrees while a positive insert has a clearance angle that is more than zero.
Positive inserts are single sided, they require low cutting forces, and are the best choice for most internal turning operations and external turning of components with small diameter. In contrast, a negative insert may be either single or double sided, with great edge strength that may be used to withstand heavy cutting conditions. Negative inserts are the best choice heavy cutting conditions such as roughing milling or turning operations.
The nose radius is measured on top of the insert, from the center of the arc at the cutting edge to the tip that touches the workpiece. It is a vital factor in turning operations. The selection of the nose radius depends on the feed rate and the depth of cut. It affects the insert strength, chip breaking and final surface finish. Choose a small nose radius when you require less cutting strength, with low vibration, and a small cutting depth. A larger nose radius will be ideal for a large cutting depth and heavy feed rate.
To select the most appropriate super-abrasives pcd and pcbn tooling inserts and solid cbn inserts for turning, milling, boring, reaming or any other machining operation, you need to understand the basic features and characteristics of these tool inserts. This will make it easier to choose an insert that will produce the desired surface finish at the most economical price.
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