Team Cutting Tools from Ceratizit (www.ceratizit.com
) has introduced two new ceramic insert grades and associated cutter bodies.
These have been developed specifically by Ceratizit Group to meet the growing demand for the milling of heat-resistant super-alloys (HRSAs) such as Nimonic, Waspaloy, Hastelloy and Stellite, which are used in the aerospace sector — particularly for the manufacture of turbine blades.
The benefits of ceramic over carbide inserts are its greater heat-resistance, which allows cutting speeds up to 20-times higher, with surface speeds up to 1,000m/min possible.
While carbide inserts remain the cutting material of choice for finish-machining these materials, the development of ceramic-insert technology is highly cost-effective for ‘rough’ machining, due to the significant cycle time reductions brought about by ‘elevated cutting data’.
Team Cutting Tools has two new ceramic grades for this purpose: the silicon nitride-based (SiAlON) CTIS710 and the whisker-reinforced ceramic CTKS710, which benefits from greater toughness than the SiAlON inserts.
These newly developed grades not only allow the use of high surface speeds but also provide extended tool life.
For example, machining a turbine blade made from Nimonic 80A using a CTIS710 insert at a cutting speed of 1,000m/min, a feed per tooth of 0.1mm and a 3mm depth of cut, tool life was 50% greater than the customer had achieved with its existing ceramic inserts.
To complement the new inserts, Ceratizit has developed the MaxiMill 261 series of milling-cutter bodies, which are available with either a positive or negative approach angle (the positive cutter bodies can undertake helical plunging and ramping operations).
Furthermore, swarf removal and cooling are enhanced by a tempered-steel ‘clamping claw’ that directs compressed
air directly to the cutting edge.
Tony Pennington, managing director of Sheffield-based Ceratizit UK and Ireland Ltd, said: “With the demands of the aerospace sector and its use of HRSAs growing, the challenge to provide ever-more-efficient and cost-effective metal-cutting solutions is vitally important.
"Therefore, the development work the Ceratizit Group is undertaking — and the delivery of that technology by engineers within Team Cutting Tools — is playing an important role in keeping cycle times to a minimum and delivering productivity gains to our customers.”