The modern machine shop performs a wide range of tasks from milling, drilling, to precision CNC machining. This kind of work may call for different types of tools in the shop. Most shops are using carbide cutting tools for various operations. Here are some good reasons why.
What is Carbide?
Machining soft metals like aluminum can be difficult. For example, it is easy for chips to build up and jam the cutting surface. In fact, you may need to use a great deal of coolant to keep the area clean. So, what is the solution to this kind of problem? It may be as easy as using sharper and harder machining tools.
High speed steel (HSS) contains alloys like tungsten to make it harder and more effective. However, carbide cutting tools are much harder than HSS. They are coated with an alloy containing tungsten and carbon.
With faster machining methods, you could produce more products and parts each day for the same amount of labor. Carbide helps you cut faster because you can use higher speeds and feeds.
Machining at high speeds can create additional heat. In fact, heat can cause high speed steel to lose some of its cutting edge. Carbide cutting tools are less sensitive to heat and hold up longer in high speed operations. Your tools will not only last longer, they maintain sharp edges longer too.
When you have to shut down a machine to change tools, it hurts your efficiency. Carbide cutting tools last longer, so you need to make fewer tool changes during the day. This creates less downtime and increases productivity.
A carbide tipped tool is more expensive than high speed steel. However, the cost can easily be offset with increased production and less time spent changing tools. In the long run, you can save money with carbide.
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