Milling 101: Your Complete Guide

Milling is a highly precise machining process that is used to create and refine products for industrial applications. There are many types of milling and these versatile machines and processes make products for numerous industries, ranging from construction to energy to aerospace to general engineering. Since our founding in 1938, Kennametal has been a leader in providing the best tools to create precision parts.

At its most basic, milling refers to the process of cutting and shaping metal with rotary cutting tools. To get the required precision, machine operators use carefully calibrated speeds and depths. The cutting tools remove materials from a stationary object by controlling vibration, heat and cutting force.

Of the different types of machining, indexable milling employs a solid carbide end mill combined with the flexibility of an indexable insert. These tools enable rapid feed rates as well as multiple cutting edges, making for accurate and consistent results. This method of milling allows for face and contour milling, ramping, slotting and helical interpolation.

5 Ways To Understand Aerospace Milling

The aerospace industry requires the use of precision materials that will stand up to everything from extreme temperatures, heavy loads and intense vibrations. A commercial airline can contain up to six million parts. Components must be made of durable materials such as titanium, aluminum and hard alloys, and they must be manufactured to the most rigorous specifications. Aerospace milling has a list of special requirements.

  1. A high degree of precision is mandatory.
  2. Lightweight and durable materials are essential.
  3. Efficient prototyping is one key to competitive pricing.
  4. Complex designs require advanced technology.
  5. Constant innovations demand a high level of R&D.

Methods used in this most demanding milling include titanium roughing and turning, landing gear forging, aluminum and hard alloy milling, structural casings and high pressure turning. Custom milling in the aerospace field as well as other applications requires tight tolerances that leave no room for error. For components of the highest quality, precision milling tools, expert operators and experienced engineers must all work together.

Perform In The Most Demanding Environments

Even in the area of general engineering, manufactured components must withstand highly volatile situations in terms of stress, heat and cold, vibration and wear and tear. Complex hardware must fit together seamlessly to avoid breakdowns. To accomplish this, a solid end mill uses advanced carbide cutting tools that shape aluminum, titanium stainless steel and other materials. Quality carbide end mills cut faster, last longer and perform with impressive precision.

The goal in much of milling is achieving the optimal material removal rate. This entails both speed and accuracy. General-purpose carbide cutting tools provide efficiency and the flexibility to work with a range of materials. High-performance solid carbide end mills can result in an even better MRR.

Without the capabilities of milling, the world would be a different place, and some of the things society takes for granted would cease to exist. This important process allows for the use of lightweight yet durable materials that are fashioned with extreme accuracy. Milling requires a greater complexity than other metalworking applications. At Kennametal, we provide the best selection of milling tools for a wide range of industries

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