Best Practices to Carry Out when Machining Hard Materials

01 December 2022

Most manufacturers utilise tools and equipment that can cut, shape, distort, and conduct other processes with many materials. But when it comes to hard materials, only a few of them can process them flawlessly.

Hard materials are materials that cannot be processed by ordinary equipment pieces. Even with the best tools out there, they can be significantly hard to cut, distort, or shape conveniently. Some examples of hard materials that may be processed by select manufacturers are quartz, tempered steel, granite, boron carbide, and diamond.

These materials are known not only for manufacturing difficulties, but also for their resistance to wear, tear, abrasion, and tears. These qualities are some reasons why they are still utilised and processed by manufacturers in creating different types of products.

Acquiring the Correct Tools

When machining hard materials, manufacturing companies have to invest in and acquire the correct tools. Three tools that can be used in processing hard materials are ball end mills, bull nose tools, and square end mills.

The ball end mill is often reserved for roughing and finishing operations. It has a large radius, enabling the tool to dissipate heat and force as well as allow high-speed and feed operations. This tool ensures that the materials can be cut closer to the net shape.

As for products with large, flat floors, manufacturers can utilise a bull nose tool. A square end mill, ultimately, is recommended for parts that need sharp corners where the wall and the floor meet. When dry machining the workpieces, they must be paired with air or oil to effectively maintain smaller chips and sustain higher spindle speeds.

Carrying Out Key Processes

Obtaining the right tools is not enough in machining hard materials. Several processes should be done to carry out hard machining.

Roughing, for instance, must be done in hard materials in an annealed, softer state. This machining is crucial to effectively remove materials and relieve some stresses within the die or mould. This process can be done effectively by utilising inserted cutters. Tool path patterns that can move quickly and throw many chips are recommended for roughing.

Heat treatment is another process that can be done with hard materials. When heat treating mould out of hard materials, it would be great to leave around 15 thousandths of an inch. Leaving some stock would also be needed so that the mould can adjust for twisting upon finishing. Skipping the latter process may end up acquiring unwanted tool marks or obscure features on the final mould.

Finishing must then be carried out after heat-treating hard materials. To acquire high-quality, precise surface finishes for hard materials, they should be subjected to raster passes. This technique allows the cutter to intersect with vertical parallel lanes generated during the roughing process early on. Opting for the correct tooling and toolpaths, ultimately, can help process hard materials effectively.

Hiring the best manufacturing expert can help carry out hard machining without any issues. If you need help with hard machining, feel free to contact us at Aero Spec Engineering.

Optimized by: Netwizard SEO