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As manufacturers introduce products with greater functionality and efficiency, the components that comprise the products become more difficult to manufacture

By Tapio Alatalo

Recently developed milling tools provide the operational flexibility required to machine increasingly

complex components. As manufacturers introduce products with greater functionality and efficiency, the components that comprise the products become more complicated and difficult to manufacture. In addition to featuring complex contours and tighter tolerances, the parts are often made of high-performance materials that provide strength and reliability but negatively affect machinability.

Square shoulder and helical cutters

Milling cutters generally are configured to handle specific machining situations. Square shoulder cutters, with a single row of inserts located radially around the cutter periphery, are appropriate where axial cutting depths are less than the length of a single insert’s cutting edge. For greater depths of cut, helical cutters, with staggered rows of inserts arranged axially, can be used for slotting, pocketing and ramping as well as circular milling and helical interpolation.

A milling cutter’s pitch, or the spacing between the inserts it holds, will influence its performance. Coarse pitch (large spacing) cutters are appropriate when machine power and rigidity are limited, or when the cutter is mounted on a long extension or applied in a deep axial cut. Fine pitch cutters, on the other hand, provide maximum metal removal rates when used in rigid setups on powerful machines. If machine power and rigidity are lacking, aggressive application of a fine-pitched cutter can result in vibration.

The Seco Turbo 10 selection of milling cutters includes both square-shoulder and helical examples. With the appropriate insert geometry, the square-shoulder cutters can mill corner angles to 90 degrees. The cutters are offered in two pitches, with four- and five-tooth versions. The recently-introduced Turbo 10 helical cutters are available in diameters from 32 to 80 mm, for cutting depths from 0.8xD to 2.0xD. Both square-shoulder and helical cutters are available in a variety of mounting systems. The Turbo 10 system’s flexibility is underlined by a choice of 13 carbide grades, three PCD tipped grades and five geometries

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