Machining Exotics is a Commitment that Pays Off

Although machining exotic materials requires adjustments to shop equipment and personnel as well as a lot of planning and carefully chosen methods, the payoff can be worth it. If a shop establishes itself as an expert with one or more of these materials, potential competitors are limited, and therefore, it can lock in a solid customer base. 

Although machining exotic materials requires adjustments to shop equipment and personnel as well as a lot of planning and carefully chosen methods, the payoff can be worth it. According to the article “Considerations for Machining Exotics,” if a shop establishes itself as an expert with one or more of these materials, potential competitors are limited, and therefore, it can lock in a solid customer base. Shop rates will go up considerably, along with potential profits.

“Exotic materials” is the term used to describe materials that display excellent wear characteristics, durability and service life in high heat, extreme cold or corrosive environments. They have a high strength-to-weight ratio, strength and hardness retention at high temperatures and excellent corrosion resistance. Exotic metals include titanium, Waspaloy, Inconel, Hastelloy, Kovar and Monel.

Many exotic materials are classified as HRSA (heat-resistant superalloys), which are demanding to cut because they retain high strength at high temperatures. They do not soften and flow in the way most other materials do, and they also work-harden readily, according to the article “Turning Exotic Materials.” Therefore, when a shop commits to working with exotics, it must consider fixturing built to compensate for higher forces; well-trained personnel to handle the new and different material; an increase usage of specialized insert grades and geometries; optimized coolant applications; and the right machining method and tool approach.

For an in-depth look at machining exotics and some recent developments that have elevated performance and process security, read “Turning Exotic Materials.” “Considerations for Machining Exotics” also gives more information on this topic.

Do you have a topic that you’d like to learn more about? Please email me and let me know.

 

Related Content

Considerations for Machining Exotics

In manufacturing, the term “exotic” is used to describe materials that display excellent wear characteristics, durability and service life in high heat, extreme cold or corrosive environments.