When working with tougher materials, selecting the correct cutting tools for the job might be difficult. Roughing out a cavity in a hard piece of hardened steel can take a long time and cause significant tool fatigue. While many machinists begin with a rough mill, there are other options for getting your milling project off to a great start like variable end mills. End mills with variable helix and variable flutes are a fantastic way to mill efficiently without sacrificing the lifespan of your tools.
What distinguishes these end mills from others? The twist of the flutes is referred to as the helix of your end mill. The helix angle of your end mill is calculated by measuring the angle between a tangent along the mill’s cutting edge and the center tool line. You may make an end mill with variable cutting angles for each flute by altering the angle of the helix across each flute. Cutting at a variety of angles decreases vibration and improves tool performance along the mill’s length.
This means that the angle of attack and resulting force from each cut is slightly different. This results in a variety of vibration patterns rather than uniform vibrations across the whole end mill when the tool is designed traditionally. Because of the irregularity of these vibrations, the mill is less likely to chatter owing to mechanical resonance.
The fact that these unique geometries reduce chatter means that the surface finish of your machined components will be unaffected. As a result, machinists can run these tools at higher rates without reducing the end mill’s life. In comparison to a regular roughing mill, the flute design allows for a greater chip size while preserving the improved chip removal rate of a standard end mill.
The best variable end mills will be manufactured from solid carbide. This material is able to resist high temperatures and have incredible wear resistance. This makes them ideal for high-speed machining. One amazing American manufacturer of high performance solid carbide tools is Online Carbide. They offer a wide range of variable end mills in their online store.
The following diameters are available when looking at Online Carbide’s variable end mills: 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, and 3/4″. A titanium aluminum nitride (TiAlN) coating is applied to each of these variable end mills. TiAlN is good for end mills that have to cut at high temperatures because it creates a hard coating of aluminum oxide as it heats up. This coating has a low thermal conductivity, which insulates the mill’s body while dissipating heat through the chips. This enables you to work at higher speeds while lessening the impact of heat fatigue, extending the life of your end mill.
If you’ve never used a variable flute end mill before, you should give it a try to see what a difference they can make. The speeds and feeds they can accomplish will astound you. If you have any questions about the tools available at www.onlinecarbide.com, their team is always happy to help. Just send an email to [email protected] to reach on of their tool experts.