Groove Milling Line Eliminates Secondary Lathe Operations
Eastec 2019: Manufactured by Kaiser Tool Co., Thinbit’s Mill A Groove line is designed for trepanning on a CNC milling machine.
Manufactured by Kaiser Tool Co., Thinbit’s Mill A Groove line is designed for trepanning on a CNC milling machine. According to the company, advantages of using this line of groove mills include an improved surface finish, groove diameters that are concentric to spindle rotation, the elimination of secondary lathe operations for face grooving, increased tool strength because of its greater cross-sectional area, and the ability to order custom inserts to match a given groove form.
The insert is designed so that the groove can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Step grooves, convex and concave radius grooves, chamfered edges, angles, and special profiles can be made with a single insert. When machining in 6061 aluminum, the tool can cut a groove of 0.125" × 0.200" × 4.98" in 18 sec., according to the company.
The toolholders are designed to work in combination with boring heads and are available in common sizes with straight and 90-degree orientations. Inserts are available ranging from 0.004" to 0.150" in increments of 0.001"; major diameters start at 0.300". Inserts are available in sub-micron grain carbide grades for ferrous and nonferrous materials and high speed steel (HSS) for composites and plastics. Inserts can be coated with TiN, TiCN, TiAIN or diamond film coatings. PCD and CBN tipping options are available for improved performance in hard or abrasive materials.
With macros and canned cycles resident in the CNC on most contemporary turning centers, single point turning of OD threads can seem like almost a default process decision. However, for numerous applications, OD thread rolling has inherent advantages as an alternative to cutting threads.
To make the transition to hard turning, you'll need to switch from carbide to CBN inserts, but that is easier (and more economical) than you might think. It's making the jump to much higher surface speeds that might scare you off. It needn't. Here's why.
The right choices in tooling and technique can optimize the thread turning process.