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Breakthrough In Fine-Finish Aluminum Face Milling

Post Date: 20 Feb 2017    Viewed: 159

In one of its first U.S. high-volume applications outside the automotive industry, a breakthrough PCD cartridge-type facemill has dramatically improved rough and finish milling for aluminum castings. Continental Motors in Mobile, AL, a manufacturer of piston-type aircraft engines, reports:

Since mid-2011, AS9100-certified Continental has standardized on Ingersoll TEDI mill facemills to rough and finish cast aluminum engine crankcases. The operations, which involve heavy interrupted cuts, run continuously on a Toyoda FH630SX horizontal CNC machine to produce 1,750 crankcases/year in a 250-man shop.

The crankcases measure 12-15 inches high and vary in length from 22 and 30 inches. They actually have two faces to machine: an inner face that provides the seal and an outer “show” face for appearance. Typical of aluminum castings, the microstructure is rife with abrasive mineral alumina (aluminum oxide, Al2O3), which can quickly blunt cutting edges.

TEDI mill facemills are the only cutting tools offered as standards from Ingersoll Cutting Tools’ affiliate in the IMC Group, Italian Technical Diamond Company (IT.TE.DI). Until now, the company has specialized in custom high-precision PCD and CBN boring tools. After convincing successes with global automakers as “specials”, Ingersoll brought the TEDI mill line to the U.S. market in 2011, first as a special and now as a standard.

Unlike any other PCD cartridge mills, the Ingersoll-TEDI mill cutter features absolutely rigid cartridge seating, positive-rake presentation and coolant delivery directly to the cutting edge. Insert corner radii are replaced by small, 45-degree chamfer to reduce axial cutting forces. They are also balanced to qualify for 20,000 RPM/16,000SFM ratings right out of the box. Craig Bastian, Ingersoll’s product manager for the IT.TE.DI. line, reported that the tools withstood 54,000 RPM in independent tests conducted on the fastest spindle in the world.

The result is chatter-free milling at high spindle speeds and feed rates that may defy belief.

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