Modern milling technology has helped to revolutionize the process of machining custom components. Computer numerically controlled milling machining can quickly and accurately cut a work piece to virtually any specification. This has led to a focus on machining as fast as possible to meet up with desired production times. High speed milling applications can put a lot of strain on your milling cutters, which is why it’s important to find solid carbide end mills for sale so your tools will last longer.
If you have enough experience in machining, you have probably have a familiarity with carbide tools. What you might not know is what makes carbide so special. While a carbide tool might look purely metallic at a glance, the material used to make these tools is actually a composite of ceramic tungsten carbide and a bonding metal like cobalt. In its raw form, carbide is a ceramic powder with some pretty remarkable properties. It is twice as dense and rigid as steel, but much more heat resistant.
In order to be used to make tools, carbide powder has to be mixed with a binding material. It’s almost like suspending aggregate in cement to make concrete. The resulting combination of ceramic and metal gains some of the positive aspects of both materials. This includes the metal’s strength and flexibility as well as the ceramic’s sharp edges and heat resistance.
End mills made from solid carbide are able to work faster and longer due to the fact that they are not susceptible to heat tempering issues. All metal tools have to be tempered prior to use. This involves putting them through a precise temperature controlled process in order to properly orient the atomic structure of the metal into its strongest state. When heated beyond a certain point, the metal will lose its temper and the edges will soften and begin to fail.
High speed stainless steel alloys are often employed in the manufacturing of cutting tools because they can withstand higher temperatures than conventional alloys. Despite this fact, High temperature alloys cannot match the performance of carbide tools when it comes to speed. This is due to the fact that the friction produced by high speed machining can cause incredibly high temperatures, especially during extended use. These temperatures can exceed the temper point of even the most resilient high speed steel alloys, but it’s a lot harder to soften carbide.
Carbide is so heat resistant that it will remain solid until it reaches roughly 5000 degrees Fahrenheit. That means that carbide will just begin to melt on the surface of the sun. At the comparatively low temperatures experienced during high speed machining, your carbide tools will remain sharp for much longer than any metallic options.
Tools made from carbide are also more rigid than metal tools. This means that they are less capable of flexing at high rotational speeds. Even if you cannot see it with your naked eye, metal end mills and drill bits wobble while they reach high speeds. The rigidity of carbide tools means that they wobble less and provide more accurate results.
If you are looking for solid carbide end mills for sale, you should check out the tools available from Online Carbide. As an American manufacturer of high performance cutting tools, they create incredibly accurate tools ground from solid micro-grain carbide tool stock. Investing in high quality tools like theirs will help ensure that the cutters in your shop will have a higher tool life, even under the strain of high speed machining.