In the shop, we are often told how to use a cutting tool, but not necessary the mechanics behind the tool itself or how the tool is manufactured.
A few articles Production Machining has published in the past discuss this topic. Indexable inserts, in particular, have been the subject of these articles.
In “The Art and Science of Precision Cutting Tools,” Horn USA’s indexable inserts are highlighted. The company begins its process with two components: a binder and powder. After mixing, the “batter” is pressed into a shape of a mold. The company also uses an injection molding process as well. Sintering is the last processing step before a green insert blank becomes the rugged carbide substrate. This is done under a vacuum at high temperature. The green insert is heated until the binder plasticizes. To read about the rest of this process, click on the article link above.
Schwanog also manufactures indexable inserts, and General Manager Holger Johannsen says the ideal production of inserts involves grinding. He explains that his company has modified the programming on a Haas Multigrind (Warsaw, Ind.) and has added a self-developed tool handling system to fit the company’s needs. To read more about the company’s inserts, visit “Tool Life Means Spindle Utilization.”