The tool material
The tool material forms the front-line of all cutting tools, affects not only durability and reliablity of the process but also the productivity. The cutting data and tool-life possible with an edge, based on wear resistance and strength, determines cycle times, machine stoppages, versatility and in so doing the capacity and delivery capability of the machine shop.
The absolute majority of indexable inserts today are coated, which means that developments in this area have a huge influence on performance. Considerable development of the two main coating processes and materials have been made for grades to complement each other as never before.
New PVD-grades have been introduced where the coating process actually lower any tensile stresses in the material by countering with compressive stresses. This is done through a new high-impact treatment process, resulting in the edge-line of sharper cutting edges being stronger and safer. This for example, had a huge benefit on endmilling operations where entry and exit to cut is often challenging.
New CVD coatings with less inherent stress and post-coating treatment of inserts have made thicker, more wear resistant inserts possible. This has above all benefitted operations that present a higher risk of breakdown from heat and chemical loads. Coating layers can be made thicker - without sacrificing insert toughness. The result is that inserts can machine at higher cutting speeds and still last longer, with better predictability. This has made rough milling and turning more productive today.