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High-rate aluminium machining from Mapal

Posted on 01 Jun 2024. Edited: Colin Granger. Read 716 times.
High-rate aluminium machining from MapalThe NeoMill-Alu-QBig from MAPAL achieves material removal rates of 18 litres per minute

With its indexable-insert roughing cutter NeoMill-Alu-QBig for aluminium materials, Mapal — it has a UK subsidiary in Rugby — is maximising the performance of the fastest machines available on the market with material removal rates of more than 18 litres per minute — and these high-volume milling cutters can be used on less-powerful machines.

Mapal said that with the development of these tools the company is taking into account the fact that aircraft parts are often manufactured on machines with spindle outputs between 40 and 80kW, for which there was previously no suitable milling cutter in its portfolio.

“To achieve as large a material removal rate as possible, the new ‘aluminium volume milling cutter’ is designed for use at spindle speeds of up to 35,000rev/min when using a 50mm-diameter cutter; and to ensure a secure location — despite high centrifugal forces — screws with increased tensile strength are used to hold the indexable inserts firmly in the prismatic seat. In addition, countersinks on the indexable insert ensure weight savings.

“Furthermore, the tool body is fitted with a fine balancing system. Four threaded bores enable precise adjustment, in order to protect the machine spindle at high speeds and achieve the highest possible surface finishes.”

During development, Mapal focused on achieving low cutting forces, highly precise insert indexing, large chip volumes, and surface finishes of Ra0.8µm and Rz4.0µm for rough and fine machining. For the main application of machining wrought aluminium alloys, Mapal uses uncoated cutting edges with a highly positive rake angle, along with polished chip-guiding stages for low frictional resistance and minimising the amount of heat generated. Also available in the portfolio are PVD-coated indexable inserts for machining AlSi alloys, and CVD-diamond-coated indexable inserts for the automotive industry and general machining.

The maximum stock removal is 13mm, with internal cooling and very large chip spaces ensuring optimum heat dissipation and chip removal. These cutters are available with tool bodies in the diameter range 32-80mm for ‘hollow shank taper or shank taper’, as well as other tool-mounting variants.