Cutting Tools Materials for CNC machining

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CNC cutting tool materials are materials that are used to make cutting tools that are used in CNC machining.  Notably, not all materials can be used in making cutting tools since the cutting tools need to work at high temperatures, and they must be harder than the workpiece.

However, there are still a variety of materials that can be applied in making cutting tools, and each has its own features. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most common materials that are used to make cutting tools.

Cutting Tool Materials 01

1. High-speed steel

This material combines chromium, tungsten, and molybdenum to give HSS improved hardness, toughness, and wear resistance over carbon steel. 

(1)Why can high-speed steel be made into cutting tools for CNC machining?

1. High-speed steel is extremely hard and durable, making it ideal for cutting tools.

2. High-speed steel can be heat treated to maintain a sharp edge, even at high speeds.

3. The high carbon content of high-speed steel makes it resistant to wear and tear, even when used at high speeds.

4. High-speed steel is less likely to distort or break under high stress, making it ideal for cutting tools.

5. The unique properties of high-speed steel make it possible to create cutting tools with a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the application.

(2)Under what working conditions can high-speed steel-cutting tools be used?

High-speed steel cutting tools can be used in a variety of working conditions, including high-speed machining, milling, drilling, and tapping. In high-speed machining, the cutting tool is typically rotated at speeds greater than 10,000 rpm. This type of machining requires special care to avoid damaging the tool or workpiece. 

Milling and drilling are two other common applications for high-speed steel-cutting tools. In both of these processes, the cutting tool is rotated at high speeds to create a smooth, clean cut. 

Tapping is another common application for high-speed steel-cutting tools. Tapping is the process of creating internal threads in a workpiece using a tap drill. The tap drill is inserted into the workpiece and rotated at high speed to create the threads. 

High-speed steel-cutting tools are also commonly used in lathe applications. Lathes use a rotating cutting tool to create smooth, even cuts on a workpiece. The cutting tool is typically rotated at speeds of up to 10,000 rpm. 

2. Carbon Steel

This is the most inexpensive material of the bunch and includes a total of 0.6-1.5% of carbon with small amounts of manganese and silicon.

(1)Why carbon steel can be made into cutting tools for CNC machining?

1. Carbon steel is extremely strong and durable, making it ideal for cutting tools.

2. Carbon steel is very easy to sharpen, meaning that it can be used for a variety of different applications.

3. Carbon steel is also relatively inexpensive, making it a great option for those on a budget.

4. Finally, carbon steel is resistant to rust and corrosion, meaning that it will last a long time with proper care.

(2)Under what working conditions can carbon steel-cutting tools be used?

Carbon steel cutting tools can be used in a variety of different working conditions, depending on the specific properties of the carbon steel.

Some common working conditions include:

  • Machining at extremely high cutting speeds
  • Cutting through hard and tough materials
  • Heavy-duty machining operations
  • Operations where a very sharp cutting edge is required
  • When a tool is required to retain its cutting edge for a long period of time
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3. Cemented carbide

Cemented carbide is a hard material used extensively as a cutting tool material. It consists of fine particles of carbide cemented into a composite by a metal binder. 

Cemented carbide

(1)Why can cemented carbide be made into cutting tools for CNC machining?

The main reason why cemented carbide can be made into cutting tools for CNC machining is that it has excellent wear resistance and hardness.

Additionally, cemented carbide also has a good heat resistance and corrosion resistance, which can prolong the service life of cutting tools. 

Moreover, the cutting tools made of high cemented carbide have good toughness and can resist vibration and impact during machining.

(2)Under what working conditions can cemented carbide cutting tools be used?

Cemented carbide cutting tools can be used in a variety of working conditions, including high speed, high temperature, and high feed rate machining. 

With these tools, it is possible to produce extremely precise and intricate parts with a very smooth finish.

In addition, cemented carbide tools are also very resistant to wear and tear, making them ideal for use in high-demand applications.

4. Ceramics

Ceramics are corrosion-resistant and made from aluminum oxide and silicon nitride. 

(1)Some of the reasons why ceramics are often used for cutting tools in CNC machining include:

1. Ceramics are extremely hard and durable, making them ideal for withstanding the high speeds and temperatures associated with CNC machining.

2. Ceramics are also resistant to wear and tear, meaning that they can maintain their cutting edge for longer periods.

3. Ceramics are also non-magnetic and non-conductive, making them ideal for use in environments where these properties are required.

4. Finally, ceramics are also relatively light in weight, making them easier to handle and manipulate during the CNC machining process.

(2)Under what working conditions can ceramics cutting tools be used?

In general, ceramic cutting tools can be used in both wet and dry conditions and can be used with a variety of different materials.

Some specific examples of working conditions where ceramic cutting tools can be used include:

  • Machining wet or dry materials: Ceramic cutting tools can be used to machine both wet and dry materials. When machining wet materials, it is important to use coolant to prevent the material from overheating and damaging the tool.
  • Machining ferrous and non-ferrous materials: Ceramic cutting tools can be used to machine ferrous and non-ferrous materials. Ferrous materials, such as steel, tend to be harder and require more powerful tools, while non-ferrous materials, such as aluminum, are softer and can be machined with less powerful tools.
  • Machining soft and hard materials: Ceramic cutting tools can be used to machine soft and hard materials. Soft materials, such as wood, can be machined with lower-powered tools, while hard materials, such as metal, require more powerful tools.
  • Machining in low and high-temperature environments: Ceramic cutting tools can be used in low and high-temperature environments. Generally, ceramic tools can withstand higher temperatures than traditional metal cutting tools. However, it is important to note that some ceramics are more brittle than others and may break if used in high-temperature environments.

5. Cubic boron nitride (CBN)

Cubic boron nitride (CBN) is a synthetically produced material that has many of the same properties as diamond.

Cubic boron nitride

(1)Why cubic boron nitride can be made into cutting tools for CNC machining?

When it comes to machining, CBN is an ideal choice for cutting tools because it is extremely hard and can withstand high temperatures. This makes it ideal for use in computer numerical control (CNC) machining processes, where the cutting tools are subjected to extreme heat and pressure. 

CBN is also resistant to wear and tear, meaning that it can maintain its sharpness and precision for a longer period of time than other materials. This makes it an excellent choice for use in applications where accuracy and precision are essential.

(2)Under what working conditions can cubic boron nitride cutting tools be used?

Cubic boron nitride (CBN) cutting tools can be used in a variety of working conditions, including high-speed and interrupted cuts, as well as in wet or dry machining environments.

Additionally, CBN tools are typically used on harder materials than standard carbide cutting tools, making them ideal for machining operations requiring high precision. 

Some specific examples of working conditions in which CBN cutting tools can be used include: 

  • High-speed machining of hardened steel (>45 HRC)
  • Machining of superalloys and titanium alloys
  • Wet or dry machining of gray cast iron
  • Interrupted cuts in difficult-to-machine materials
  • Precision machining operations require a high degree of accuracy.

6. Diamond

Cubic boron nitride (CBN) is a synthetically produced material that has many of the same properties as diamond.

(1)Why diamond can be made into cutting tools for CNC machining?

The primary reason that diamond can be used as a cutting tool for CNC machining is its hardness. Diamond is the hardest known natural material on Earth, making it ideal for cutting through other materials. 

Additionally, diamond is extremely wear-resistant, meaning that it can retain its sharpness for a long time. 

Finally, a diamond has a very low coefficient of friction, meaning that it produces less heat and wear on the material being cut.

(2) Diamond-cutting tools can be used in a wide variety of working conditions, including:

  • Extremely high temperatures
  • Very high pressures
  • Highly corrosive environments
  • Environments with high levels of dust or other particulates

(3)Some specific examples of industries where diamond-cutting tools are commonly used include:

  • Aerospace engineering
  • Automotive engineering
  • Construction
  • Mining
  • Oil and gas exploration and production

FAQ:

Is coating necessary for CNC tools?

The coating is often necessary for CNC tools to protect them from wear and tear caused by abrasion and corrosion. The most common type of coating used on CNC tools is titanium nitride, which helps to increase the surface hardness of the tool and improve its durability. Additionally, this coating also reduces friction between the cutting edges of the tool, which can help improve the accuracy and efficiency of the machining process.

What are the CNC milling tool materials?

CNC milling tools are used in the production of parts with precise dimensions and shapes. These tools can be made from a variety of materials depending on the application, including carbide, high-speed steel (HSS), cobalt steel, and titanium. Carbide tools are typically used for harder materials that require more precision, while HSS tools are more cost-effective and better suited for softer materials. For example, cobalt steel is often used for cutting stainless steel and other hard metals, as it has a higher heat resistance than other metals.

Conclusion

What is discussed above are just a few of the most common materials used to make cutting tools. Hope you will have a general understanding of cutting tool material. For more information, you can visit our website and consult our professional team.