In the metal processing industry, an end mill is a type of milling cutter. It is a cutting tool used in industrial milling. It is different from drill tools in terms of application, geometry, and production. Drill bits can only cut, while milling bits can usually cut in all directions, although some cannot cut in the axial direction. End mills are used for profile milling, tracer milling, face milling, etc. Grinding machines for end mills can help improve their performance and productivity. There are many kinds of machining tasks, for example, you can use a variety of tools to create grooves and slots in the work piece. Common types of tool bits are square end cutters, ball end cutters, t-slot cutters, shell mills and other variants.
Moreover, square end cutters can cut square slots, pockets, and edges. Ball end cutters can mill radius slots or fillets. T-slot milling cutters can mill T-shaped slots. Shell end cutters are used for large flat surfaces and angle cuts. These tool types are also different. Each cutting tool has four critical angles, including the end cutting edge angle, axial relief angle, radial relief angle, and radial rake angle.
Depending on the work piece and task to be milled, different tool styles and methods can be used. For example, when milling soft metal materials such as aluminum, it may be advantageous to use a tool with a very deep polishing groove (this is a very sharp cutting edge). On the other hand, when machining hard materials such as stainless steel, shallow grooves and squared-off cutting edge will optimize material removal and maintain tool life. Various materials can be used to produce cutting tools, of which carbide inserts are the most common style, and they are suitable for efficient milling. When special tool shapes are needed, high speed steel is usually used, and such tools are not suitable for mass production tasks.
The grinding process involves many things and technical issues, such as work piece shape, profile, work piece material, grinding wheel material, speed, etc. Factory workers must also understand these conditions before sharpening the end mill. Like other tools and cutters, many technical and safety issues are involved. End mills are usually installed on high speed milling centers. The high speed machining center is a highly developed machine tool that can handle multiple precision machining tasks at one time, so the grinding of its tools is different from ones in other applications.
For further explanation, one must first understand the milling machinery. Initially, the machining center was developed from a milling machine in the middle of the last century. Since then, this particular type of machine tool has developed well in the industry and has been widely used in various industries, making many contributions to the industrial field. Regarding the milling process, a rotary tool is used. It is a machining method that removes the material of the work piece by pushing the tool into one or more work pieces. This processing method can be done in different directions. In addition to turning, milling involves a variety of operations, ranging from single tiny parts to heavy milling tasks.
The grinding and sharpening of all cutters are essential. The technique of how to grind the end mills into the ideal shape is a task that all machine tool users need to understand based on their work experience. The knowledge will become a variable that affects the grinding performance.
In addition to grinding, subsequent surface treatment is also important. Metal burrs are raised edges or small pieces of material that still adhere to the work piece after rough grinding, which will affect the tool performance.
With the invention of the automatic tool change system, the grinding of end mills is not as urgent as before, but the quality control of the work piece is still very important. Therefore, business owners usually train in their manufacturing plants to equip their employees with such technology.
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