Optimum cutting conditions for new materials

Various parameters affect the quality of a machining operation. These include the cutting conditions, which in turn depend on other factors. Sometimes cutting conditions are not available from suppliers or adjustments are needed. Standardised techniques exist to take the guesswork out of optimal cutting conditions.

The quality of a machining operation such as milling, drilling or turning is affected by various factors. The obvious influencing factors include the stability of the workpiece tension, the cutting tool, the machining strategy and the cutting conditions. The cutting conditions are in turn linked to, among other things, the material from which the workpiece is made, the cutting material used, the type of machining (roughing vs. finishing), the coolant used and protrusion length of the tool.

The tool suppliers provide the cutting conditions for their range of tools for many workpiece materials. These guide values usually form a good starting point, but adjustments will be needed to allow for varying circumstances, such as different protrusion lengths. No optimal cutting conditions are available for some workpiece materials, whether new or unknown. These include, for example, new materials that arise from additive metal technologies such as 'selective laser melting' and 'laser cladding'. But traditional technologies also generate new materials whose machinability is unknown. In that case, the user needs to make an educated guess by selecting a material that comes close to the material to be processed in terms of composition and condition (hardness).

Thanks to standardised methodologies (in the jargon also known as 'COM' or 'Couple Outil Matière') it is possible to determine optimal cutting conditions experimentally for a specific combination of workpiece material, cutting tools and machining type. In addition, it is also possible to use the simplified Taylor equation, which allows the end user to predict the tool life from the cutting speed.

Is this methodology be something that could be useful to you in your production environment? And would you like more detailed information about this approach and its results? Then feel free to contact us without obligation!

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