Carbide inserts are cutting tools used in machining applications to shape and remove material from workpieces. They are made from a combination of tungsten carbide, cobalt, and other materials, resulting in a hard and durable cutting edge. Carbide inserts are known for their excellent wear resistance, high cutting speeds, and superior performance in various machining operations.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the commonly known carbide insert brands:
- KORLOY: KORLOY is a renowned brand in the carbide insert industry, offering a wide range of high-quality inserts for turning, milling, and drilling applications. They are known for their precision, reliability, and innovative designs.
- SUMITOMO: SUMITOMO is another well-established brand known for its advanced carbide insert technology. Their inserts are designed to deliver exceptional performance and productivity, making them popular among machining professionals.
- KYOCERA: KYOCERA offers a diverse range of carbide inserts known for their precision cutting capabilities. Their inserts are designed to provide long tool life, improved surface finishes, and high efficiency in various machining operations.
- DURACARB: DURACARB is recognized for its high-performance carbide inserts that are suitable for demanding machining applications. Their inserts are engineered to withstand heavy cutting forces and deliver excellent chip control.
- ZCC-CT: ZCC-CT is a global brand that manufactures a comprehensive range of carbide inserts for turning, milling, and drilling. Their inserts are known for their durability, precision, and cost-effectiveness.
- TUNGALOY: TUNGALOY is a trusted brand that offers a wide selection of carbide inserts for various machining needs. Their inserts are designed to deliver superior cutting performance, improved productivity, and extended tool life.
- TAEGUTEC: TAEGUTEC is known for its innovative carbide inserts designed for turning, milling, and drilling applications. Their inserts are highly regarded for their precision, versatility, and ability to handle diverse machining tasks.
These brands have established themselves as leaders in the carbide insert market, offering reliable and high-performance solutions for machining needs.
It’s important to note that while carbide inserts are widely used in these applications, the specific grade and geometry of the insert may vary based on factors like cutting conditions, material properties, and desired machining outcomes.
- Carbide Inserts for Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is known for its high hardness and toughness, making it challenging to machine. Carbide inserts designed specifically for stainless steel applications offer excellent heat resistance, wear resistance, and chip control. They are commonly used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, and medical for machining stainless steel components like valves, fittings, and surgical instruments.
- Carbide Inserts for Steel: Steel is a widely used material in various industries, and carbide inserts designed for steel machining provide high cutting speeds, improved tool life, and efficient chip evacuation. These inserts are suitable for turning, milling, and drilling operations on carbon steel, alloy steel, and tool steel. They find applications in industries such as automotive, construction, and general machining.
- Carbide Inserts for Cast Iron: Cast iron is a challenging material to machine due to its abrasive nature and high heat generation. Carbide inserts for cast iron applications offer excellent wear resistance, thermal stability, and good chip control. They are commonly used in the automotive industry for machining engine blocks, cylinder heads, and brake components, as well as in the manufacturing of pipes, fittings, and other cast iron components.
- Carbide Inserts for Multiple Materials: Carbide inserts designed for multiple materials are versatile cutting tools that can handle a range of materials such as aluminum, brass, plastics, and composite materials. These inserts are often used in general-purpose machining applications, where the materials being machined may vary. They provide good performance in terms of cutting speed, tool life, and surface finish.
Factors that make Carbide Inserts useful
In addition to its high cost per unit, carbide is also very brittle, making it more susceptible to breaking and chipping when compared to other typical tool materials. Due to these factors, carbide cutting tips are often provided as small inserts within more extensive cutting tools that have steel hilts. The shank of the hilt is usually made of carbon, which is a more suitable material for the shank of the carbide cutting tip. As such, the carbide surface at the cutting interface is able to provide the benefits of using carbide without incurring the high costs and brittleness of making the complete tool from carbide. As with many of the modern lathe tools and endmills, most face mills these days have carbide inserts as well in them.
Coatings are sometimes used in order to increase the lifetime of carbide inserts. Generally, coatings designed to increase a tool’s hardness or lubricity will also increase the tool’s lubricity. By coating a cutting tool, it will be possible for the cutting edge to pass cleanly through things without the material galling or sticking to it. Besides lowering the temperature associated with the cutting process, the coating will also increase the tool’s longevity by preventing the tools from getting stripped out. As a rule, the coating is deposited using either thermal CVD or mechanical PVD methods, both of which are usually done at lower temperatures, depending on the application.
Carbide inserts exhibit hardness and wears resistance. They are harder than high-speed steel, making them ideal for cutting solutions. Coating such as TiN, TiCN, TiAIN, and AITiN extend the insert life by providing more resistance to wear.
Industry Applications of Carbide Inserts
Carbide inserts are in use since the 1920s. They are one of the most frequently used in the metal cutting world because they are not only efficient but also cost-effective. As discussed above, they come in various grade types and are highly durable. Also, they produce an excellent quality surface finish when used in cutting materials. There are a number of industries around the world in which carbide inserts are used. Here are a few applications listed.
Carbide inserts are commonly used in the medical field. Physicians rely on durable and accurate tools for various medical procedures. The tools’ base is composed of titanium or stainless steel, and the tip is made up of tungsten carbide. The doctors rely on the precision of these inserts for the treatments and procedures.
Hard turning milling
Another application of carbide inserts is in the hard turning and milling. It is a flawless process for ceramics. A machining process makes a single carbide insert be in the cut for more extended periods. So, it is an excellent tool for maintaining high temperatures and making ceramic inserts perform optimally.
Carbide inserts have various applications in the jewelry-making industry as well. They are used to shape jewelry items while making them. Tungsten material is just behind the diamond in terms of hardness, so highly useable in shaping wedding rings and other jewelry pieces.
Nuclear science industry
Tungsten carbide inserts are also used in the nuclear science industry as effective neutron reflectors. It was initially used during investigations in nuclear chain reactions, i.e., for weapon protection.
They are used to remove more material during the machining process in the automotive industry. They are heat resistant, so you do not have to worry about the high temperatures. They also improve precision and control, hence producing more precise automotive parts. They also help enhance finishing and reduce waste, making them cost-effective.