Cutting tools are basic to gear manufacturing. Whether it's a hob, broach, shaper cutter, or skiving tool, the object of cutting tools remains the same: material removal that is fast, accurate, and cost-effective. The field tends to evolve gradually in the machines, materials, and coatings that make cutting tools even more useful. Reliable cutting tools are essential to production-process efficiency, and recent solutions from Kennametal, Star SU, and Seco offer improved tool life and precision.
Cut longer with Kennametal’s KCK20B and KCKP10 indexable milling grades
Kennametal has introduced the KCK20B and KCKP10 indexable milling grades for higher wear resistance and up to 30% longer tool life when machining cast iron and compacted graphite iron components. Both grades offer higher productivity and consistent, repeatable performance during roughing, semi-finishing, and finishing operations.
“The new grades feature High-Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (High-PIMS) technology that provides a smoother insert surface and optimal layer adhesion for less flank wear—one of the leading causes of insert failure,” says Gil Getz, Product Manager, Kennametal. He notes that the new coating technology also increases cutting edge strength. “The result is high-performance milling in a broad range of cast iron alloys, including grey cast iron, ductile cast iron, and compacted graphite cast iron.”
KCK20B and KCKP10 are suitable for wet or dry cuts. These include rotor hubs used in windmills, pump housings, steering knuckles and gear housings for heavy equipment, and automotive components like crankshafts and cylinder heads. While KCK20B delivers higher productivity in roughing and semi-finishing operations, KCKP10 is applicable for finishing operations, but also works exceptionally well when profiling and copy milling cast iron and steels up to 45HRC.
“For customers where high tooling cost and downtime associated with tool changes are especially important, KCK20B and KCKP10 grades promise to increase tool life tremendously,” says Getz. “And for those who wish to increase throughput, the new grades deliver there as well. Either way, it is a win-win for any shop machining cast iron.”
Achieving perfect concentricity with the Super Round Tool (SRT) Reamer
The Super Round Tool, or SRT, is a patented reamer designed by the Northern Tool division of Star Cutter Company to create the best quality reamed hole across a spectrum of applications. The SRT combines two tools into one—it offers multiple straight flutes for consistent location and multiple helical flutes that ensure roundness and finish. The SRT’s abilities include superior surface finish (Ra, Rz, and Rmax), near-perfect concentricity, roundness deviations of less than 2 µm, and lower cost per hole.
Originally designed as a powdered metal valve guide reamer, the SRT is well-suited for many applications where finish and position are critical. It is available in a right-hand spiral (right-hand cut for blind hole applications) and a left-hand spiral (right-hand cut for forward flushing chips to open holes). Through manipulation of the straight flute position relative to C/L, helix, and rake angles it is possible to adjust the shear forces created. This enables the SRT to finish a diverse group of materials.
Another benefit of the SRT is the innate ability to create its own path, straightening an often-inferior pre-existing or rough drilled hole. The combination of flute style and position also allows it to correct roundness issues that may be present because of sintering, casting, or pre-machined bores. The flute density (3 X 3 or 5 X 5) improves cycle time dramatically and can eliminate the need for post-ream operations such as honing, lapping, or roller burnishing.
The SRT consistently produces excellent roundness and straightness within microns in a wide variety of applications including powdered metal, cast iron, graphite iron, steel, and aluminum.
Seco Milling Cutters Reduce Tooling Inventory Costs
Seco milling cutters offer high material removal rates in steel, stainless steel, cast iron, non-ferrous metals, superalloys, and titanium.
Manufacturers who look for versatility and precision in machining can pair up Seco Turbo 16 square shoulder milling cutters and Helical Turbo 16 milling cutters to reduce tooling inventories and costs. Both series offer high material removal rates in steel, stainless steel, cast iron, non-ferrous metals, superalloys, and titanium. Scannable Data Matrix tags on cutter inserts store product and batch information that the new Seco Assistant app can read.
Versatile Turbo 16 square shoulder milling cutters feature optimized insert pocket angles that enhance the cut and deliver outstanding surface finishes. With a high helix angle for smoother workpiece entry and exit, these cutters also feature efficient chip evacuation. Lower cutting forces reduce power consumption, tool wear, and noise levels.
“Manufacturers can achieve production efficiencies and enhance machining performance with these tools in virtually any material,” said Michael Davies, global product manager, square shoulder milling. The eco-friendly design uses corrosion-resistant steel with no nickel coating.
Next-generation Helical Turbo 16 milling cutters combine top performance with ease of use, benefiting from a comprehensive range of Seco insert grades and geometries for exceptional material removal rates (MRR) and extended tool life. Larger cuts and higher feeds reduce cycle times and speed up production, with optimized coolant channels, flutes and cutting rakes for stable machining and optimal chip formation. Helical Turbo 16 ensure that lead and helix inserts are not mixed up when using large radii. The replacement of nickel cutter coatings with PVD increases sustainability.
“These features produce smoother cuts, increased tool life and process reliability for faster production. Helical Turbo 16 uses fewer inserts than equivalent tools that provide the same MRR,” said Benoît Patriarca, global product manager helical milling.