Composite tooling is the engineering and creation of tool tips and machining parts out of composite materials, for use in the manufacture of other machine parts of components. Traditional materials used for tooling, such as steel and aluminium, can wear down quickly and thus have a short tool life, while they also cannot measure up to the sheer hardness of some composite materials available today. Composite materials can be cheaper to use and provide greater longevity, durability, and reduced weight.
Selecting the right tooling?
Producing composites for tooling is even more complicated, as the produced materials are going to be placed under great levels of stress and pressure, and at incredibly high temperatures. This means there are many more variables to consider when creating composites for tooling, such as the geometry of the tool, it’s ability to withstand heat and pressure, and the behaviour of the material in such conditions. Composite materials such as polycrystalline diamond (PCD) are the result of such processes, and now allow us to create PCD milling cutters with the strongest naturally occurring mineral on earth.
Prima Tooling says its range of PCD end mills are amongst the most effective and high-quality milling tools available on the market. PCD – polycrystalline diamond is manufactured by sintering together carefully selected diamond particles. This is done at a very high temperature and pressure in the presence of a solvent/catalyst metal.
The results are an extremely tough inter grown mass of randomly orientated diamond crystals.
These are then bonded to a tungsten carbide substrate.
Prima’s PCD end mills are crafted using sintered PCD discs, which it cuts itself into a variety of shapes and sized tips, the tips are then brazed onto its tooling.
Prima’s ranges of PCD end mills are available in a variety of models, including:
Flat Head End Mill
Flat head PCD end mills, sometimes referred to as square end mills, are able to create pockets, and are fantastic for slotting and contouring. These general use end mills are best used for milling non-metallic materials and non-ferrous metals.
Torus End Mill
Torus PCD end mills are also great for producing pockets, slots, and contours. Created with a corner radius and a rounded square tip, torus end mills can offer more precision contouring than their flat head counterparts.
Ball Nose End Mill
PCD-tipped ball nose end mills are used for high speed 3D machining. Their rounded ‘ball nose’ tip allows for precision contouring ad the creation of curved surfaces with a sleek finish.
PCD end mills can be utilized for milling highly abrasive materials, including:
- Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP)
- Reinforced Plastic (GFRP)
- Glass Fibre
- Glass-Aluminium Composite Glare® (Glass Laminate Aluminum Reinforced Epoxy)
- Model Board
- Green Ceramics
- Green Carbide
Prima’s PCD End Mills are available to order in sizes of both metric and imperial units and can be manufactured in custom sizes to meet any requirements.
Advantages of Using PCD End Mills
- Greater tool longevity
- Increased production
- Increased efficiency
- Reduced machinery downtime
- Super smooth finishes
- Can be re-tipped for extended lifespan