Aluminum is probably one of the most popular manufacturing materials for several reasons. It is a relatively soft metal, which makes it easier to machine than steel alloys and other hard materials. Despite its lightweight nature, aluminum is still remarkably strong. This makes aluminum alloys one of the materials of choice when it comes to balancing weight and strength. To get the best results when working with aluminum, you need to use tools made by solid carbide end mills manufacturers.
When it comes to working with aluminum, speed is everything. The faster you work, the more parts you can make and the more profit you’ll see. Working with aluminum therefore requires machining at high speeds. These speeds, however, can only be achieved with strong carbide tools that can spin without wobbling or losing their sharpness, especially when reaching full speed. When working with aluminum, solid carbide end mills manufacturers recommend paying attention to a variety of factors to make sure you are getting the most out of your tools.
When working at fast speeds, your tools are going to deal with fatigue. Adding an extra layer of protection is one way to protect your end mills. Machining aluminum can lead to a number of issues, mostly due to its soft nature. These larger chips can cause a lot of problems for machinists. If they do not clear the base of the cutter, chip build up can continue to heat up until it basically welds to the flutes of the mill, potentially damaging your tools and your workpiece. This problem can be avoided if the right tools are used.
Cutting aluminum at greater speeds requires zirconium nitride composite coatings. ZrN is a gold colored tool coating material that improves chip evacuation by reducing friction and improving lubricity, which is critical when working with softer aluminum alloys. ZrN helps to avoid tool clogging and provides better chip evacuation by making it easier for the chips to slide off the tool’s surface. It is also a great coating because its hardness provides your tools with extra protection.
When milling aluminum, another big thing to consider is the tool’s flutes. The flute count is critical because aluminums large chips can quickly gum up tightly packed flutes such as a six flute mill commonly used on steel. That’s why, when it comes to aluminum, 3-flute tools are the way to go. They provide sufficient room for efficient chip evacuation and ensure a sufficient number of strikes per second to avoid chatter.
When it comes to selecting the correct tool for working on aluminum work, geometry is also crucial. When running at high speeds, you’ll need a tool with a sharp helix angle that will push chips up and away from the cutting edges. An angle of around 37 degrees is ideal for this purpose, as it puts enough upward and outward force on the chips to push them safely away from your tools. When it comes to moving your shop toward high-speed or high-performance machining, seemingly minor details can mean the difference between a productive machining process and a tool demolition operation so always double check the specs of your cutters.
You need solid carbide end mills from the best solid carbide end mills manufacturers if you want tools that are specifically built for optimal efficiency. Online Carbide provides high-quality ZrN coated carbide tools at competitive costs. To chat with a competent sales representative about finding the best products for your needs, you can give them a call 630.238.1424 or send an email to [email protected] to reach one of their experts.