AE-VML anti-vibration long carbide end mill demonstrates stable tool life and reduces tooling cost in secondary process after metal additive manufacturing of Inconel aerospace workpiece
Inconel is a high-strength, corrosion-resistant nickel alloy that is commonly used in aerospace applications. Milling complex parts made of Inconel is a difficult and costly machining process due to the material’s high tensile strength, which can wear off cutting tools quickly, resulting in high wear rates, chipping and breakage. In addition to shortened cutting tool life, material loss is also a prominent problem where parts would warp due to effects caused by residual stresses and self-hardening during machining. In recent years, metal additive layer manufacturing has become a new alternative to the traditional manufacturing method of machining Inconel parts. Rather than removing materials, additive manufacturing builds a component layer-by-layer, which allows greater design freedom in terms of part complexity. Moreover, additive manufacturing eliminates material waste of expensive superalloys through nondestructive construction, improving overall efficiency and cost savings. However, new manufacturing method also comes new challenges. The secondary process after metal additive manufacturing has very many similarities to the milling of built-up welding parts, which can be tough on the cutting tools and is time-consuming.
Additive manufactured clamping arm built for transporting engine parts in the automotive industry. These additive parts offer significant advantages versus conventional manufacturing methods with much improved strength-to-weight ratio.
PARARE GmbH, a part manufacturer specialized in additive metals and plastic processing, was recently seeking to improve the milling process after metal additive manufacturing of highly complex Inconel workpieces for the aerospace industry. Established since 2017, the Baden-Württemberg, Germany based company is an expert in the use of additive technologies. PARARE manufactures highly innovative components for a wide variety of industries made of materials such as aluminum alloys, stainless steels, titanium, Inconel, tool steel and plastics.
An aerospace part made by PARARE. PARARE manufactures highly innovative components for a wide variety of industries made of materials such as aluminum alloys, stainless steels, titanium, Inconel, tool steel and plastics.
The additive manufactured bionic structures in question are made of Inconel 625 and Inconel 718 and aluminum. The batch size typically ranges from a single piece to approximately 50 pieces. The parts are milled by a Hermle 5-axis machining center with HSK-A63 spindle.
PARARE was originally using a competitor solid carbide end mill for the application. However, performance was unstable, and the unit price was very high. PARARE initially did not know about OSG’s cutting tools. However, when Michael Meyer joined PARARE as the head of production in September 2020, Meyer decided to test a few of the OSG cutters since he had positive experiences in the past with the company. After a detail evaluation of the application, OSG Technical Sales Representative Bruno Göpfrich brought in OSG’s AE-VML (dia. 16 x 64) for the cutting trial.
The AE-VML long type end mill is a part of the AE-VM anti-vibration carbide end mill series designed to attain an all new level of milling efficiency coupled with superb finish quality suitable for a variety of milling applications.
The AE-VML long type end mill is a part of OSG’s AE-VM anti-vibration carbide end mill series designed to attain an all-new level of milling efficiency coupled with superb finish quality suitable for a variety of milling applications. The AE-VM’s sharp positive rake angle geometry significantly reduces cutting force to minimize tool wear and potential damage to the workpiece even under aggressive cutting conditions. Cutting vibration is minimized with the AE-VM’s unequal spacing of teeth and variable-lead geometry. Furthermore, its unique flute form helps facilitate trouble-free chip evacuation to enable stable and consistent performance. With the addition of OSG’s original DUARISE coating, tool life can be enhanced by its excellent lubricity, superior friction-resistance and high oxidation temperature qualities. Available in a wide variety of styles and specifications, the AE-VM series is designed to accommodate a wide range of milling operations in stainless steel, cast iron, carbon steel, alloy steel and hardened steel.
From left, OSG Germany Technical Sales Representative Bruno Göpfrich, PARARE Head of Production Michael Meyer and PARARE Managing Director Sven Skerbis pose for a photograph at PARARE’s manufacturing facility in Frickenhausen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
The cutting trial was a major success. Due to confidentiality reasons, the cutting conditions cannot be disclosed. However, OSG’s AE-VML is able to achieve more than twice the tool life and reduce tooling costs by five times versus the previous competitor tool.