Milling tools have to deal with a huge amount of strain from heat and friction. If you regularly run your milling machine at high speeds and feeds, then you have probably experienced first hand just how quickly the cutting edges of your tools can degrade. One way to extend the working life of your tools is to use TiAlN coated end mills for your milling operations.
Titanium Aluminum Nitride, or TiAlN, is a metastable hard coating used to provide a little extra protection on end mills and drill bits. This compound is made up of titanium, aluminum, and nitrogen. TiAlN is extremely hard, making it similar to other ceramic coating materials such as TiN. All of these various tool coatings are designed to extend the life of your tools, but TiAlN coated end mills are particularly well suited for tools that will be used at high speeds.
One of the distinct advantages of using TiAlN over other tool coatings is the fact that the aluminum content of the coating oxidizes when used in high heat applications. This oxidation process causes a thin layer of aluminum oxide to build up on the surface of the end mill, which helps to protect the surface of the tool from oxidizing as a result of exposure to high temperatures. The aluminum oxide layer also helps to further insulate the body of the tool to prevent heat fatigue.
Another unique function of using tools coated with TiAlN is the fact that the coating itself is hard enough to protect the surfaces of your tools. This provides the extra wear resistance needed to keep your tool’s cutting edges sharp. Even hard and stable solid carbide cutting tools will last longer once they have been treated with TiAlN.
If you have a job that requires high speeds and feeds, then it is also worth noting that TiAlN has a low coefficient of friction, making tools treated with this coating ideal for high speed machining. This low coefficient of friction also makes TiAlN tools the ideal general purpose option for cutting into ferrous materials such as cast iron and stainless steel.
When you imagine coating a tool, it might seem like such a process could soften the edges. While this would certainly be true if a coating material were globbed on like paint, but the process is a little more complicated than that. Most tool coatings are deposited using a process known as physical vapor deposition.
While the exact process can vary depending on the exact type machinery being used, but the process involves placing the tool in a vacuum. The coating material is then converted into a vapor within the vacuum chamber and is finally solidified, depositing an microscopically thin layer of the coating material on the surface of the cutting tool. Completing this process in a vacuum ensures that there will be no gaps between the coating and the tool.
If you are looking for high speed milling cutters, you need to check out the options available at Online Carbide. As an American manufacturer of high quality cutting tools, Online Carbide is dedicated to offering their customers high performance tools made from solid carbide. Many of their carbide end mills are offered with a TiAlN coating to provide extra wear resistance. You can see their full catalogue of TiAlN coated end mills when you visit their online store at www.Onlinecarbide.com.