Machining Hard and Exotic Materials: What Is It All About?

20 March 2020

Manufacturers use a variety of materials today to make their products. While some fit into the soft category, many others fit into the hard or exotic category. You may picture exotic as meaning that the material is from far off land, but it is a term used to describe materials that wear durably in conditions of extreme cold, high heat or corrosiveness. The process of forming these materials into products is called hard machining. It is specially designed to cut materials with a hardness range of 45 HRC to 68 HRC efficiently. We will briefly cover these materials and the machining process for them in a bit more detail in the following.

Examples of Hard or Exotic Materials

• Titanium
• Machinable glass
• Certain carbides
• H13 and other grades of steel
• Stainless steel
• High-temperature alloys, such as Stellite, Inconel, Hastelloy and Waspalloy

Cutting Tools That are Necessary for Hard Machining

Due to the fact that the above materials are much more difficult to shape efficiently that soft ones are, special tools are used to cut them. Examples of these tools include mixed ceramics or AI2O3-TiC, polycrystalline cubic boron nitride or PCBN, and at times, cermets. Professionals will choose the tools that best suit their projects, production methods and budgetary constraints.

Information about the Cutting Forces

With the cutting conditions of hard machining being more complex than soft machining, the right amount of cutting force is crucial to receiving swift, clean results. Even the radius of the tool corner and the larger negative rake angle greatly influence the passive force during the process for hard machining. As a result, the process must be highly rigid and stable just for one example of this topic.

SCE Also Is Important in Hard Machining

Energy consumption is a major concern today. Due to this fact, the specific cutting energy or SCE many have a bearing on the overall cost of a project involving hard machining since the company will need to pass the energy costs onto its clients. The damping and the stiffness of the tool system needs to be highly stable to produce reasonable cutting rates.

The Influence of Lubricant Amounts on Hard Machining

One thing that helps the tools last longer in this type of machining is proper lubrication. Research shows that the minimum quantity of lubricant or the MQL method for hard machining projects at a high speed is the best for not only improving the integrity of the material surface, but also for lessening the tool wear and possible pollution issues.

There is much more to learn about machining hard and exotic materials, but we have you off to a great start. Remember to deal with only a reputable company when placing your orders to ensure quality results.

Optimized by: Netwizard SEO