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Posted on Sep 10, 2020
Carbide cutting tools, also known as cemented carbide cutting tools, are a type of cutting tools that are used as cutting tools for a wide variety of materials on CNC lathes, turret lathes, certified turret lathes, motor lathes, and chucks. The edges of the carbide cutting tools are made of cemented carbide which is soldered to the steel bodies. This means they have a higher level of wear resistance and can have a long service life. They are also effective for longer production runs. These tools have a robust design and are mainly used for rough turning and finishing.
Carbide is a steel used for blades, bits, and other tools used to cut metals and other materials. The carbide material, also known as tungsten carbide, has a half-tungsten and half-carbide composition, and is three times stiffer than widely used steel, making it suitable for carbide tools and holders. Cemented carbide cutting tools and their holders have distinct advantages over standard tools. Let's take a closer look!
Carbide is industrial steel used for blades, bits, tool holders, and other devices used to cut metals and other materials. Carbide, sometimes referred to as tungsten carbide, has a half-tungsten and half-carbide composition, and is three times more durable than steel typically used in many cutting devices. Tungsten carbide tip cutting tools provide a distinct advantage over regular equipment.
The carbide remains sharper than regular steel, making the carbide cutting tool more efficient. The carbide enables faster cutting without jamming, which reduces the burden on woodworking machines. Mild steel cutting tools become dull quickly. When the blades dull, they burn the wood, cause it to chip, break the grain and blow the grain out. Sharp carbide-tipped tools are much more effective, cut quicker, and require less regular sharpening than ordinary steel blades.
Carbide tools make the cleanest, simplest cuts of any metalworking tool, and cause little or no grain damage. When cuts are clean and straight joints fit better and bond joints are stronger. A clean-cut of the carbide tool decreases recoil and is a significant source of workshop accidents.
Carbide blades and carbide tool holders are sturdy enough to remove any debris without doing damage to the blade or handle.
If they wear or break, the carbide tips can be replaced and most blade sharpening shops will add new tips to the cutting tool. The initial cost of the carbide-tipped tools is higher but the tips are interchangeable, making the device longer-term more affordable. Carbide-tipped devices last for almost indefinitely long if the body of the blade or cutter shank is in good shape. For carbide cutting tools it is not unusual to last for at least 20 years if properly cared for and periodically updated.
There are many deciding factors to choose between high-speed steel cutting tools, carbide cutting tools, and carbide tool holders. In general, the main feature of all high-speed steels is high working hardness with excellent. HSS tools are less costly than carbide tools and are always a good choice in applications with "high mix, low volume." Let's look at three specific machining operations-drilling, tapping, and milling-to understand better when to use high-speed steel or carbide tools and carbide holders.
Carbide drill bits and tool holders are typically used to produce large-volume holes where the higher tool cost can be justified by the unit cost. Often they are available with internal coolant channels for longer tool life and reliable output for high-volume deep holes. The use of coolant through the spindle and high-pressure coolant provides excellent evacuation of chips, particularly in deeper holes, and is the most effective method of cooling the edge during cutting. Owing to potentially higher cutting speeds and feeds, carbide drilling is also the quickest way to create holes in a large range of metals. However, it is important to know that in some higher Ni-Cr steels, although the hole can be made at high speeds, the condition of the hole wall can harden quickly. This can lead to other problems in the machining process, especially if the hole is to have an internal thread; the life of the tap will be significantly reduced as it tries to cut through the hardened skin or surface.
High-speed steel tools and their holders are usually the first choices for threading. They are by far the most common in internal thread manufacturing, and recently there are many high-speed steel and PM versions available for a variety of CNC machine threading applications, different thread types, and material groups. High-Speed Steel Taps are used even in high volume applications as well as in difficult-to-machine applications, particularly high-speed PM steel taps. Where they are still the first choice due to the offered process stability. Carbide taps are not as popular because of the brittleness of the carbide. It tends to chip off in most threading applications, especially blind holes. The carbide cracks in full depth steel applications as the tap rotates and breaks the chips produced during downward cutting to back out of the hole. As mentioned earlier, high-speed steel has higher ductility than carbide, this is the most important thing in the threading process.
Carbide end mills are by far the most popular as they offer the best metal removal rates (MRR). Solid carbide end mills became the first choice considering various spiral designs combined with CAM packages that provide tool paths to dampen vibrations caused by the natural vibrations generated during milling. Milling strategies, such as trochoidal methods, are quite common these days. High-speed steel end mills still exist, for example for handheld milling machines, smaller volumes, less rigid setups, and the like. However, their use has declined recently due to many advances in the industry.
Selecting the correct chuck begins with identifying the spindle tip of the machine on which the chuck will be mounted. All CNC lathe spindle nose pieces comply with international standards which clearly define the mounting interface dimensions. Common spindle nose configurations in the North American market are A2-6, A2-8, and 140mm. The next step is to determine the required load capacity of the holder based on the size of the parts to be held. In bar feeding applications, it is customary to match or slightly exceed the size of the machine draw tube bore. When properly matched to the machine, bar feeder, and application, CNC collet chucks provide an economical and effective way to clamp material smaller than 4" in diameter. As collet holders are typically matched with a bar feeder, some of which have a magazine, and are designed to maintain a constant gripping force at high speeds, they are the choice for mounting during light-off operations.
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