End Mill Comparisons in CFRP, Part 4 - Veined PCD Tool

Video shows the performance of coated carbide, diamond-coated, PCD and veined PCD tools in carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Part four in a four-part series.

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Smith MegaDiamond Inc. and Star Cutter Company compared the performance of various end mills in carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). The tools tested included a coated carbide end mill, a diamond-coated end mill, a conventional PCD end mill with straight flutes, and a “veined” PCD end mll featuring a vein of PCD within a helical slot in a carbide tool body.

The table below summarizes the test parameters. Shown here is the video of a 30-degree helical veined PCD tool. Jeff Michael, engineering manager for Star Cutter, comments, “The sound is great. The corners are sharp, and the uncut fibers are minimal because of the shearing effect the geometry has. The last full cut was just to prove out the robustness of the tool, and would not be recommended in production. If you look closely, you can actually see the cutter glow. This does not damage the cutter. Other end mills broke when we attempted to run them at these parameters.”


Tool Type

Ø .500 in.

Solid Carbide

CVD Diamond


Veined PCD


Flute angle

30° helical

10° helical

7° skew

30° helical


Spindle speed (rpm)






Chip load (in./tooth)





Machine advance (in./min.)






Radial depth (in.)





Cutting speeds and feed rates were recommended parameters from each tool’s manufacturer.


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