End mills are a type of cutting tools that are used to remove parts from a work piece. The end mills can work with either a power hand tool or a machining center in order to remove parts from a work piece. The working processes that involve the end mills are referred to as end milling. End milling distinguishes from other types of milling or drilling because of the tools it uses. The end mills have cutting teeth on both the sides and end of the mill. There are various types of end mills such as keyway end mills, ball end mills, rough end mills and drill end mills, etc for particular operations.
The rough end mills are also known as the roughing end mills. They are used especially for removing large amounts of material from a workpiece in a heavy duty milling process. In such a process, it is the speed instead of precision that is required during the operation. Therefore, the tooth design of rough end mills aims at quickly removing parts from work pieces with rougher finishes of the surfaces of the given material. The application of rough end mills allows little to no vibration during the end milling process.
Roughing and finishing end mills are a subtype of rough end mill that is also used to remove large amounts of material within a short period of time in heavy duty milling operations. However, the roughing and finishing end mills are distinctively different from typical rough end mills because they are able to perform a quick and large amount of removal of material while leaving a smooth finish to the given work pieces. The specific characteristics of the rough end mills as well as other types of end mills come from the tooth design. The teeth of the mills are typically referred to as the flutes.
The flutes are the grooves or say the cutting edges on the side of the end mills. The number of flutes on an end mill determines the cutting rate of the tool and the chip evacuation capability of it. The space between flutes allows the chips to evacuate from the milling site. With more space, the chip evacuates more efficiently; with less space, the chip evacuation may be a concern in an operation. The chips are the parts removed from the given material.
Typically speaking, having more flutes usually indicates more productivity in end milling. However, it is not always true when it comes to milling certain materials. End mills with fewer flutes have more space for the chips to evacuate. When milling softer materials such as aluminum, it is recommended to choose the end mills with fewer flutes because larger chips are generated when milling aluminum. That way, more space is needed for the chips. It is not rare that the single flute end mill is used to mill soft materials. Also, a single-flute end mill is ideal for high-speed machining.
The two-flute end mills are best applicable for high-volume material removal since they have the largest flute space. The two-flute end mills allow for more chip evacuation capability. Most rough end mills are the two-flute end mills or three-flute end mills since they have to carry away as much material from a workpiece as possible. The two-flute end mills are used mostly in processes such as slotting, pocketing or grooving.
The multiple-flute end mills, usually referred to as four or more than four flutes, allow faster feed rates, but with less flute space. The feed rate of an end mill is the speed at which the end mill is advanced into the workpiece. The feed rate and cutting speed are determined primarily by the material that is being cut. Though higher feed rate indicates faster removal of material, the speed is limited by the chip evacuation. If the chip evacuation is slower than the removal speed, a chip jam may take place. With more flutes, finer finishes can be created by the end mill.
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