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More Productivity for Turning Hard Alloys

April 12, 2012
New inserts meet manufacturers changing requirements with higher speeds/feeds and longer tool life
Kennametal’s New Beyond KCU10 inserts have a dual-layer coating: two layers of AlSiTiN, and the boundary between the two layers helps to deflect micro-cracks.

Thanks to their high-performance strength and relative lightness, high-temperature alloys are gaining numerous new applications in manufacturing industries, notably aerospace and defense industries, automotive supply chain operations, heavy equipment production, and energy system development.

Higher-temperature-strength materials, however, also mean high cutting forces when machining. Titanium, for example, exhibits high work hardening and a large strain rate, which raises temperatures and the energy required to remove the chip. In most applications, the answer means slower speeds and feeds, since a carbide cutting tool’s strength decreases as temperatures increase.

Kennametal’s New Beyond grades offer higher productivity for machinists turning tough alloys, by way of higher speeds and feeds (faster turnaround time) and longer tool life (more parts per tool). KCU10 is engineered to increase performance in OD and ID turning, grooving, plunging, undercutting, and threading. KCU25 covers threading, grooving, cutoff, and selected additional turning applications.

Both versions take advantage of new PVD (physical vapor deposition) coating technology, including special surface treatments that improve machining performance in high-temperature materials. In many cases, speeds, feeds, or depth-of-cut can be increased, while related wear issues like depth-of-cut notching are reduced, according to Kennametal.

Also, KCU10 features a dual-layer coating application: a top layer of AlSiTiN atop a second layer of AlTiN. The boundary between the two helps to deflect micro-cracks, the developer indicated.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

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