These tools are usually made of high speed steel (with a growing use of PM-HSS) or cemented carbide, although ceramic materials, cermets, and PCD are also used for certain applications. Anyway, all these materials can be cryogenically treated with good results.
There are countless machining applications that can benefit from the higher performance that usually achieve the cryogenically treated tools. However, it is better not to extrapolate the results as they are closely linked to the particular application and also to the process parameters used in each case. Aspects such as the tool material, the feed rate, the lubricant, the machine used and, even, the operator, have a big influence in the performance of the tools. In this context, a cryogenic treatment has to be considered as an additional factor that, quite often, drives to a noticeable increase in the performance of the machining tools.
All types of milling tools, indexable inserts, taps, reamers, broaches, hobs, etc. are examples of such tools. Although some are discarded once their edges get worn out, many are sharpened many times before being definitely thrown out. In these cases, the use of this technology is even more advantageous because the tool is cryogenically treated only once, when it is new (although also used tools can be treated). And, moreover, the treatment is fully compatible with PVD and CVD coatings, very commonly used in these tools.
Machining operations are a key part of the manufacturing process of components for many sectors and, consequently, the variety of materials to be machined is very wide. Apart from the different types of steel and cast iron that are commonly used in many industrial sectors like the automotive one, other materials such as stainless steels, aluminium, titanium and nickel alloys (common in aeronautical industry), composites or even wood are machined.
Apart from this, cryogenic treatment can also be applied to the materials to be machined. In this case, its ability to reduce internal stresses and refine the microstructure would enable to obtain more precise tolerances and better surface finish in the machined components (apart from the potential improvement of their performance due to the process).
The use of multistage cryogenic treatments can provide significant savings related with the tooling costs and the productivity improvements in the machining process. There are plenty of practical examples but, usually, the easiest way to evaluate the potential of this technology for your particular case is to carry out some empiric tests directly on it. So, please, don’t hesitate contacting us to discuss about your how this technology could help to improve your application.