Cutting Tools Basics: The Essential Guide

The choice of tool used in cutting metals and other objects is highly essential. It is directly proportional to the efficiency of the tool being used and the perfection of the end product. Tool consumption, size of the material being used for cutting and the material to be cut, accuracy of machine, costs etc. are other determining factors that must be considered. The tool should be able to endure extreme temperatures and pressure. Other necessary qualities include – resistance against abrasion, anti corrosive properties, robustness, hot hardness, durability and many more. There are certain basic properties that cutting tool materials must have.

  1. Toughness and strength – Tool Steel Suppliers in India suggest that the cutting tool must be tough enough to endure the pressure during the cutting procedure. There is an immense amount of vibration involved during the procedure. It should not affect the original quality of the cutting tool material. There should not be breaking or chipping of any kind. The stronger the material, the more pressure it can endure.
  2. Excellent thermal shock resistance and thermal physical properties – The tool used for cutting process should have excellent thermal conductivity. It will then make it smoother for the cutting heat to be conducted to the cutting area. Hence, temperature of cutting area of tool would be automatically low and reduce chances of abrasion. Cutting tool materials are often exposed to cutting fluids during the procedure, which often causes thermal shock. Cracks or fractures are common in this part if the wrong cutting material is used. Therefore, both thermal conductivity as well as thermal shock resistance should be high.
  3. Wear resistance and hardness – Hardness is supposedly the primary characteristic that every cutting tool must have. Tool steel suppliers in India say that the metals or alloys being used as cutting tool materials must have hardness more than 60 HRC. In order to cut chips from any workpiece, the cutting tool material must possess hardness greater than the workpiece material. Carbon cutting tool materials should have hardness more than 62 HRC at room temperature. High speed steel, one of the most commonly used cutting tool materials have a range of HRC between 63 and 70. Carbide tools have hardness between 89 and 93 HRC. If the tool used has greater hardness, it will have more resistance against wears and abrasions. Those having greater hard points in the metallographic structure of cutting tool materials are comparatively more efficient. Uniformity in cutting, more number and smaller particles of end product can be expected.
  4. Resistance against heat – Resistance of high heat is one of the best determining factors of understanding the efficacy of cutting tool materials. Thermal hardness or an ideal combination of hot hardness, resistance against wears and tears, robustness etc. would be appropriate for cutting tools. Deformation of any kind or melting at high temperatures can be negative points in a tool to be used for cutting. Tool steel suppliers in India recommend that, besides heat resistant quality, the cutting tool should also be resistant against oxidation and diffusion.

These are few basic points that must be remembered while selecting cutting tool materials.

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