End mills are hard working tools that have to deal with extreme friction and the heat that resolves from the friction. In order to protect tools from these forces, specialized material coatings are used to alter the surface properties of these cutting tools. TiAlN coated end mills are a common upgrade over regular uncoated tools and the addition of this material offers several advantages.
Milling is a high speed process and high speed means high heat. This can be particularly damaging in the case of steel tools, which can lose their temper and soften under high heat conditions. Using carbide tools can help to provide superior edge retention because carbide’s cutting power comes from its ceramic content instead of relying on tempered metal. Despite this fact, carbide tools will still fatigue due to exposure to heat.
This is where tool coatings can help. TiAlN coated end mills are able to handle even higher temperatures because of how TiAlN reacts to heat. TiAlN, also known as titanium aluminum nitride, is a metastable hard coating material. When exposed to significant heat, TiAlN reacts with oxygen to create a layer of aluminum oxide on the surface of the end mill. This layer helps to insulate the end mill, deflecting heat away from the body of the tool and into the chips. Tools coated with TiAlN can operate longer without having to deal with the fatigue that heat can cause. TiAlN also helps to lower the coefficient of friction of the cutter and actually grows harder over time due to how heat affects the structure of the coating.
In order to prevent a material build up on the cutting edges of tools, material coatings like TiAlN are deposited using physical vapor deposition. The items that need to be coated are placed in a vacuum chamber and the coating material is vaporized in the chamber. When the coating resolidifies, it bonds directly to the surface of the tool. This makes the coating extremely secure and also only creates a coating with a thickness of as small as 1 micron in size. That is roughly 50 times thinner than a single strand of hair. This helps to prevent any dulling of the cutting edges in the coating process while also providing the tool with ample protection.
If you are looking to find some great TiAlN coated end mills for your shop, then it is time to visit www.onlinecarbide.com. Online Carbide is an American manufacturer of high performance, solid carbide cutting tools. Their inventory includes a wide range of end mills and drill bits. Many of their tools are available either a polished carbide finish or treated with a TiAlN coating. All of their tools are available at manufacturer direct prices and are designed to offer a long tool life. If you have any questions about any of the tools that they offer, feel free to reach out to a member of their team by sending an email to [email protected].