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dry milling or with cutting fluid - sandvik coromant

Part of global industrial engineering group Sandvik, Sandvik Coromant is at the forefront of manufacturing tools, machining solutions and knowledge that drive industry standards and innovations demanded by the metalworking industry now and into the next industrial era. Educational support, extensive R&D investment and strong customer partnerships ensure the development of machining technologies that change, lead and drive the future of manufacturing. Sandvik Coromant owns over 1,800 patents worldwide, employs over 7,600 staff, and is represented in 150 countries.

machining dry is worth a try | modern machine shop

In turning, the tool should break chips to prevent the tangles that are more common when cutting dry. The insert shown here, for steel turning, features a cobalt-enriched zone substrate and a 20-micron thick multi-layer coating that provides a thermal barrier.

At a plant we visited recently, the jump in performance that came from removing the cutting fluid took the personnel by surprise. The discovery came by accident. A shortage of cutting fluid forced one shift to machine part of its production quota dry. Necessity being the mother of invention, employees experimented to determine whether they could still produce effectively. What they discovered is that investing in cutting fluids does not necessarily return a dividend

machining dry is worth a try | modern machine shop

The economics of using cutting fluids have changed dramatically over the past two decades. In the early ’80s, buying, managing, and disposing of cutting fluids accounted for less than 3 percent of the cost of most machining jobs. Today, fluids—including their management and disposal—account for 16 percent of the cost of the average job. Because cutting tools account for only about 4 percent of the total cost of a machining project, accepting a slightly shorter tool life for the chance to eliminate the cost and headaches of maintaining cutting fluids could be the less expensive choice

And tool life may not even go down. Because coated carbide, ceramics, cermets, cubic boron nitride (CBN), and polycrystalline diamond (PCD) are all brittle, they are susceptible to the chipping and breaking caused by thermal stresses—especially those found in face-turning and milling operations—that can be aggravated by the introduction of coolant

In milling, for example, the cutting edges heat and cool as they enter and exit the work. Expansion and contraction from these temperature fluctuations cause fatigue. Eventually a series of thermal cracks resembling a comb will form perpendicular to the edge and cause it to crumble

machining dry is worth a try | modern machine shop

Introducing a cutting fluid often makes the situation worse for a simple reason. Most of the cooling effect goes to the parts of the work that are already cooler than the cut. Experts debate whether any cutting fluid at all reaches the cutting zone, the zone between the chip and the part, to control the heat of machining at its source. Fluids tend to cool only the surrounding region—areas that were previously warm—thereby intensifying temperature gradients and increasing thermal stresses

where dry milling makes sense | modern machine shop

The problem is, liquid coolant has a way of cooling intermittently, and that fact creates a good reason to apply it with care. If the results of using coolant are dramatic and rapid temperature changes within the cut, then the coolant may do more harm than good. Many of today's cutting tools can stand up to high temperature so long as it's consistent, but they have little patience for change

Brought to you by the editors of Modern Machine Shop, this printable, sharable guide describes not only the benefits shops are realizing through automation, but also the types of challenges they’ve faced and overcome on the way to realizing more automated and lights out machining

where dry milling makes sense | modern machine shop

Stainless steel can be gummy enough that coolant may be needed as a lubricant when a ball-nose or other round-profile tool is used. That was the case with this Stavax 420 stainless steel mold core. When dry milling wasn’t producing an acceptable surface finish, the operator switched to using liquid coolant and the finish improved. Two finish-machined bands in the forward area of the part show the difference. The lower band in the inset photo is the area machined dry

Alpha Mold (Dayton, Ohio) uses high-temperature cutting tools like these all the time. Back when the shop would mill out cores and cavities by burying a slow and heavy tool deep in the steel, flooding the job with coolant made a lot of sense. But Alpha doesn't cut that way anymore. Instead, the shop takes light cuts at high feed rates using 10,000-rpm machining centers. In place of a larger tool, the cutter of choice on these machines is often a single-insert milling tool from Millstar (Bloomfield, Connecticut), with the one insert made of carbide coated with titanium aluminum nitride (TiAlN). Cutters like this one have allowed the shop to reduce tooling costs significantly . . . but one key to realizing the savings is to run dry as much as possible

How does TiAlN-coated carbide reduce tooling costs? Shop mold coordinator Bob Hansen explains. The old way to rough out a typical injection mold core or cavity would involve a five-insert slab mill, he says. Each insert would be indexed halfway through the job, so both cutting edges of the insert were worn out by the time the cut was finished

where dry milling makes sense | modern machine shop

By contrast, Alpha's high speed milling process allows just one of the coated carbide inserts to do the same job. Even though this insert is more expensive than one of the slab mill inserts, it's not five times as expensive. By using the one insert instead of five, the shop spends only about one-third of what it formerly would have spent on tooling for this cut

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