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Metal Cutting Tools: How To Optimize Their Performance And Anticipate Their Wear

On many occasions, more attention should be paid to the effect of the symmetrical deviations of the metal cutting tools on the absolute precision of the produced parts, such as the hydraulic control valve. The accuracy achievable in a position to be manufactured, the tendency in a manufacturing chain is to think from the tool forward without considering that it also had to be manufactured somehow.

In the case of hole-cutting carbide tools, after a synthesis process, the edges are pre-cut by wire EDM and finally sharpened by grinding methods. In the final step, the metal cutting tools can be coated with one or several layers of different compounds to improve their performance. All this chain finally delivers a particular value, which in no case equals zero.

On the other hand, the cutting inserts, following the ISO 1832-1991 standard that governs their nomenclature, the third position in the code of each of them, refers to the type of dimensional tolerances that the insert itself has.

When it comes to metal cutting tools, such as milling cutters or drill bits, in addition to the tolerance of the cutting diameter, which is usually found in values for tools larger than 3 mm, the concentricity values of the tool must be reviewed.  Higher precision hole-cutting carbide tools can reach diameter and concentricity tolerance values below 5, increasing their cost and the security that the part will leave the machine meets the specified tolerances.

All these tolerances, plus others that must be reported by tool vendors, such as the radius of the tool nose in reamers, or the radius of the sphere in ball mills, add to the uncertainty of the final measurement of the part to be manufactured. Installing equipment for the geometric verification of tools in the workshop is necessary. Inside or outside the machine, depending on the productivity of the process, but with this step, much of the information needed to obtain a product with good precision is preserved.

But it is only helpful to have excellent metal cutting tools if the machine that uses them has good positioning precision and the static and dynamic robustness that guarantees that the manufactured parts will have good quality.

How to extend the useful life of metal-cutting tools?

There are several methods to extend the useful life of metal cutting tools and maintain their optimal performance for longer. Some of the best practices are:

Select the right tool:

  • Ensure optimum quality and extend tool life. It is essential to consider the material of the workpiece, the type of cut required and the machining conditions. Use a quality hydraulic control valve designed for the specific job.
  • Adjust Speed: Cutting speed is a critical factor influencing metal cutting tool life. If the cutting speed is high, the cutting tool will wear out more quickly, while if it is too low, the workpiece may be damaged. Setting the speed to an optimum level is essential to ensure optimum cut quality and long tool life.
  • Keep metal cutting tools clean and lubricated to guarantee

  • proper functioning and prolong useful life. Excessive dirt and lack of lubrication can cause increased friction and wear on the tool, shortening its life. Cleaning cutting tools regularly and using proper lubricants to ensure optimal performance is important.
  • Use adequate cooling: prolonging the helpful life of hole cutting carbide tools is essential. High temperatures generated during the machining process can shorten tool life. Using a proper cooling system can reduce the temperature and prevent overheating.
  • Prevent premature wear: as it can significantly shorten its useful life. One of the ways to prevent premature wear is to prevent overheating of the tool and maintain proper cutting conditions. In addition, high-quality materials and coated cutting tools can extend their useful life.

In addition: it is that the manufacturing workshops regularly delegate the decision to change the tool to the operators on duty for each machine.

One shift operator may decide to change tools in significantly less time than another, creating problems when calculating and managing the tool supply for jobs.

A simple way to start managing the useful life of the tools is to generate a macro in the CNC of the equipment to count the number of pieces manufactured with the same tool. The usage time is measured if the work is carried out from one piece to another with the same tool or with short jobs (tools that are used from job to job).

JIAYI Tools Co., Ltd. (JIAYI), based in Shenzhen, China, is an excellent example of cutting tool manufacturing practices by combining state-of-the-art machinery with superior quality tools.

The company ensures that the essential costs in this business are the productive minute and the cost of raw materials. By reducing downtime by not having to go from one machine to another, having higher speeds and fewer operations, greater versatility is achieved for complex products, and the ability to remove almost ready parts is achieved, thus reducing essential costs.

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