Five tips to help you solve difficult-to-machine materials

The selection of high quality tools for difficult-to-machine(DTM) materials must have ultra fine grain tool substrate, sharp cutting angle, strong cutting edge, heat-resistant surface coatings and so on. According to the past application experience of processing DTM materials, the rational choice of processing methods and parameters is very important for the processing of such DTM materials, and the use of special machining techniques is very effective in improving machining efficiency and prolonging tool life.

Regardless of which machining method is used, the purpose is to minimize the cutting part of the tip of the tool and the temperature of the machined area of the part, to prevent hardening of the surface of the machined part and the tip of the tool temperature is too high, to increase the heat dissipation area, and to control the cutting force. Such as the use of oscillating line walking tool and large feed milling and other methods can improve its machining efficiency and extend tool life.

1.  Adequate cooling
Adequate cooling, appropriate machining line speed, effective chip breaking, reasonable tool angle is very effective in controlling the tip temperature.


For both CNC machine tools and tools with internal cooling, should try to use the most conducive to the cooling of the internal cooling function in order to make a strong high-pressure water flow to take away a large amount of cutting heat, to ensure that the machining area to remain within a certain temperature range. Even for machining equipment that does not have internal cooling, it is recommended to use an outwardly internally cooled toolholder with enhanced cooling pressure to improve cooling.

2. Mastering the rhythm of machining
Appropriate control of the cutting force and cutting speed of the tool is also one of the most effective ways to reduce the temperature of the machining area and extend tool life.

Usually processing difficult-to-machine materials are generally used to sharpen the cutting edge of the tool, smaller depth of cut and cutting width. According to different difficult-to-machine materials, part structure and processing equipment and other factors, the selection of reasonable cutting line speed is very important. In the usual processing, nickel-based alloys should be controlled at 20~50m/min, titanium alloys should be controlled at 30~110m/min, PH stainless steel should be controlled at 50~120m/min.

3. Pendulum cutting method
The pendulum cutting method can minimize the cutting zone, so that the actual cutting angle of the tool is minimized, and the heat dissipation time of the tool per tooth is extended.

Pendulum cutting method

Whether using pendulum machining, helical interpolation and large feed milling methods, the purpose is to reduce the cutting force and reduce the temperature of the cutting zone. Pendulum cutting method can minimize the cutting zone, so that the actual cutting angle of the tool is the smallest, to extend the heat dissipation time of each tooth of the tool; helical interpolation makes the cutting amount of each tooth is relatively uniform, especially in the corners of the most obvious; large feed cutting method, with a small depth of cut, a large feed effectively reduces the cutting force, so that the processing produces the smallest cutting heat, the minimum temperature of the machining area.

4. Ensure reasonable chip breakage
To ensure the processing of broken chips is also an effective way to control the temperature rise.

chip breakage

Generally in metal processing a large number of cutting heat generated in the chip, effective chip breaking will make the processing of a large number of cutting heat generated by the chip away. Usually, we do not want to have long chips in the processing. For the processing of difficult-to-machine materials should pay more attention to, especially for the roughing process, in the case of the rigidity of the entire machining system allows, should try to make it in the whole process of chip breaking, try to use the reverse milling method, so that the formation of the chip from thick to thin, and the shape of the chip for the “9” zigzag, “6” or “C” shape.

5. Maintain an effective tool angle
Maintaining a proper effective tool angle during machining maximizes the maximum cooling time for each effective tooth of the tool.

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Processing to maintain appropriate, reasonable tool angle, very conducive to improving the cutting efficiency of difficult-to-machine materials, extend tool life, for processing difficult-to-machine material parts is extremely important. Tool effective angle, reflected in the cutting parameters and cutting depth Ap and cutting width Ae and tool diameter Dc has a direct relationship. Especially in the machining of difficult to machine materials, should try to avoid full cutter cutting. In practice, the cutting angle of the cutting tool doubles every time, the tool life will be reduced by about 30%.

In short, difficult-to-machine material parts have high hardness, high strength, high toughness and high wear resistance, and for new difficult-to-machine materials with these characteristics, their machining performance is poor, machining difficulty, low machining efficiency and high tool cost. In this way, difficult-to-machine material parts put forward higher requirements for machining tools.


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