Aerospace manufacturers demand assembly and weight time reduction, requiring complex, monolithic structures made from aluminum, titanium, heat-resistant super alloys, and new materials. With this comes thinner walls, deeper pockets, and tighter tolerances.

1) What kind of tooling approaches does Iscar recommend for aluminum monolithic structures?

It is now common to see 15,000rpm and higher spindles – speeds that demand a stable and robust design, and we have that in our H3R chatter-free line of carbide endmills. Balanced by design, the tools have a 3-flute variable helix that achieves high metal removal rates by machining up to 2xD in a full slot with no chatter.

We also offer the indexable HSM90S that has a symmetrical design in the body for balance, and the inserts have a protruding ridge to eliminate axial insert movement at high rpm as well as ramping down.

2) Why is balance important when machining aluminum?

It is probably safe to say that in today’s machines the average spindle achieves 12,000rpm. At these elevated ranges, we must maintain balance to prevent workpiece damage with chatter, machine spindle damage, and most off all not introduce a catastrophic failure that could harm operators. Balance by design also allows quicker setup and easier balancing of the tool assembly.

3) What kinds of tooling do you recommend for titanium?

The challenges are heat, getting good separation of the chip from the material, and not damaging the cutting edge from snap back of the material as it separates. It is a delicate balance – you must maintain a sharp enough edge for the necessary shearing action while maintaining edge integrity. We have excellent titanium options in the indexable line, but I want to focus on the ECKI line. The ECKI Ti Turbo has a unique geometry that is variable pitch and helix with a reinforced cutting edge which achieves 2xD, full slotting. We offer this geometry in 4-, 7-, or 9-flute options to facilitate high-speed wall finishing or a high-efficiency machining (HEM) approach.

4) What tools can customers use to support flexibility in milling?

Our Multi-Master line has become a major piece of our milling strategy. The versatile tool provides multiple solutions using a single shank, reducing setup time. The line includes more than 40,000 combinations of shanks and heads – spot drills, fast feed tools, keyway cutters, and end mills – and we continue to add more. Instead of buying the entire endmill, you only buy the replaceable head, reducing the cost of replacing an entire carbide end mill. Further evaluation may support eliminating a regrinding program altogether when using the Multi-Master system. This assures the same factory grind and coating preparation for the best results and consistency.

5) How do new material challenges drive innovation?

The need for lighter, stronger, and more wear- and corrosion-resistant materials is growing. Our philosophy of Machining Intelligently begins with Iscar’s large annual investment in R&D to identify changes in industry so that we can be there first to support and be the problem solver. Many of our ideas are learned through the challenges presented to us by our customers. We learn from them and then we produce a solution.

For example, our new LogIQ product line will play a large role in machining new materials, with new grades, geometries, and improved insert pocketing to improve tool consistency and performance in the latest materials.