What are Milling Cutters?
A milling cutter is used on a milling machine or machining centre to perform a milling operation. A milling cutter cuts the material by spinning axially and taking a pass along the material. Milling cutters are split into groups which are general purpose, HPC (high performance cutting), HSC milling (high-speed milling) and high feed milling. Each group of cutters would be applied differently, depending on material or machine capabilities. General purpose cutters are universal cutting tools that will mill most materials well at medium to low cutting speeds.
What is HPC Milling?
HPC milling cutters (high performance cutting) work with large depths of cut combined with aggressive feed rates and have special geometries including variable helixes and unequal flute spacing. HPC milling cutters such as V7 Plus or Titanox provide high metal removal rates with short cycle times and have the benefit of very low vibration due to the special geometry. Variable helix HPC milling cutters are usually used on carbon and alloys steels, Stainless steel, Inconel, Hastelloy, Titanium and Cast Iron.
What is HSC or High Speed Milling?
HSC milling tools (high speed cutting) such as X-Power Pro and X5070 are typically used on harder materials such as tool steels, hardened steels and cast iron and are popular for industries including automotive, valves, tool making, mould and die. HSC milling cutters use ultra-dense carbide substrates such as nanograin carbide with coatings that are extremely heat resistant. High speed milling applies small depths of cuts with high cutting speeds (RPM) and fast feed rates. They are typically used without coolant (dry cutting) and offer exceptional tool life on hard materials. This machining method is not recommended for material that work hardens.
What is High Feed Milling?
High feed milling is mainly associated with indexable milling but is also available in solid carbide milling cutters such as the X5070 high feed range. The process uses very small axial and radial cut depths but with ultra-high feed rates. This machining method is ideal for applications where high metal removal is required on hard materials such as tool steel, pre-hardened steel and high hardened steel for roughing out. The benefit of using this method over traditional ripper cutters is extremely low spindle loads and much higher metal removal rates.