Milling tools have to undergo a lot of wear and tear, especially when you are cutting harder materials like cast iron and steel. There are a lot of different types of milling cutters that vary in terms of both function and quality. No matter what kind of milling work that your shop is working on, having reliable tools that are built to last is essential. The bust option is almost always carbide cutting tools because they can handle the high temperatures that can result during high speed machining.
Most machinists have worked with carbide tools, but not all of them actually know what goes into the construction of carbide tools. While carbide tool stock may look metallic, it is actually a composite material of both ceramic tungsten carbide and a metal binder(typically cobalt). The granules of carbide act as an aggregate while the metal holds the entire tool together. The properties of the ceramic carbide provides the resulting tools with incredible cutting power.
By itself tungsten is roughly twice as strong and twice as rigid as steel. This makes it ideal for producing cutting tools, with one pretty huge exception. In its raw form, carbide is just a grade powder. It can be used as an abrasive in this form, but it cannot be used to make cutting tools. Mixing powdered carbide with a more stable binding material likes cobalt creates a material that has the advantages of both materials. The cutting power and rigidity of carbide and the strength and flexibility of cobalt.
One huge advantage that comes with using carbide cutting tools is the fact that they are stable at high temperatures. Metal tools will begin to soften at high temperatures, which can lead to cutting edges eroding quickly. The ceramic that strengthens the cutting edges of carbide tools remains stable even at high temperatures, meaning that these tools can operate at even higher speeds than tools constructed from high speed steel alloys. If you are using your milling machines for metal cutting, the use of solid carbide tools can help speed up your production times significantly.
Carbide is used to make end mills and drill bits because of its ability to handle the heat that comes with these kinds of cutting tools. For drill bits in particular, carbide’s rigidity is also a major factor. All spinning tools have some kind of oscillating vibration that is caused by a combination of three factors: the amount of angular force on the tool, the tool’s length, and the tool’s inherent flexibility. Long drill bits at high speeds can start to oscillate at high speeds, which is why the material matters. Carbide, which is less flexible than other tool materials used in end mills and drill bits, can spin quickly without stuffing from the effects of tool oscillation. This will help ensure that you can drill holes accurately. Carbide tools also made ideal spot or stub drills because they are so accurate.
If you are looking to find some new carbide cutting tools for your milling machine, it’s important to purchase your tools from a reputable manufacturer. Buying tools from overseas can help you save, but low quality carbide can cause unexpected tool failures and other issues. One American manufacturer of high quality solid carbide tools is Online Carbide. They make a wide range of end mills and drill bits that can be found at manufacturer direct prices on their online store. To see their complete inventory, just visit www.onlinecarbide.com.