Extend Tool Life and Increase Your Profit Margin
CNC machining is a complicated and expensive business, as the effectiveness of any given machining process heavily relies on every tool to work properly. As a result, it is important to keep tools in perfect shape and replace any broken ones.
This is certainly the case for carbide end mills, which need to be sharp to be suitable for optimal performance. Below, you will find out your options when an end mill begins to dull and what you can do in advance to delay that process for as long as possible.
Speed and Feed Rates
To get the most out of your end mills, make sure to use the right speed and feed rate. Setting the machining speed too fast or too slow may impede performance and result in incorrect chip size, poor finish, or tool failure.
Length of Cut
It is also worth minimizing the length of cut (LOC) to only as long as necessary. A tool becomes more prone to deflection as its LOC becomes longer, increasing the chance of fracture and thereby decreasing expected tool life.
Using an appropriate coating is also an effective way to extend tool life. Selecting a proper coating for the material to be machined and the intended performance can vastly boost tool performance. Titanium Aluminum Nitride (TiAlN) and Aluminum Chromium Nitrite (AlCrN) are arguably the two most popular options for use with carbide end mills.
Proper Flute Count
Finally, make sure you choose the right flute count for your end mills based on your intended application. There is a tradeoff between flute valleys and core size however, with a higher flute count correlating with smaller flute valleys and consequently, a larger core. Lower flute counts are usually superior when used with aluminum or non-ferrous materials. Low flute counts help reduce material chipping, while higher flute counts provide increased strength in cutting ferrous materials, which tend to yield smaller chips.
Benefits of Resharpening Tools
The truth is, no tool can last forever and even those who take the best possible precautions can still face situations where the end mill is no longer sharp enough to be effective in metalworking.
Your first instinct may be to buy an entirely new tool to serve as a replacement. Carbide tooling can be expensive, however, making that a costly default position to take. For those open to alternatives, resharpening an old end mill is a great way to save money while restoring its original operational functionality.
FYI it is essential to resharpen a tool before its cutting edge is totally worn and ineffective otherwise it may not be possible to restore it to its full performance capacity and the costs of resharpening may exceed the benefits. Therefore, it is worthwhile to develop a resharpening schedule well in advance of the expected end of a tool’s life to send it for regrinding at the optimum time, minimizing downtime, and the chance for complete tool failure.
In need of a carbide cutting tool manufacturer? Visit Epic Tool today to learn more about how we can help your business by providing you with the most epic tooling solutions on the market.