Cutting Tools Chicago aka General Cutting Tools along with M.A. Ford High Performance Cutting Tools are bringing you real performance test information in 300 series stainless steels. Recently, an Oregon manufacturer tested the M.A. Ford® TuffCut® XR high performance end mill series 177 against 3 other brand named tools. Per the tool engineer at the manufacturer, “The test was designed for cutter failure.” The cutting parameters were: 3/8” diameter tool with a 3/4” Length of cut, 7,384 RPM, .0032 chip load at 3/4” depth of cut. The first test was ran at 15% of tool diameter radial engagement and for those tools that survived, a second test of 20% radial engagement was performed.
On the 1st test , the result was that one of the competitive brand tools produced considerable chatter and a 2nd tool of the same brand was chipped and worn. These two cutters did not make the “cut” for the 2nd test.
The results of the 2nd test at 20% radial engagement found that one brand performed well, but left a poor finish on the part. Another competitive brand broke. The M.A. Ford® TuffCut® XR performed with the least amount of chatter, produced a good finish on the part and the end mill was still in good shape.
Currently, the manufacturer is running 304 Stainless parts at 350-450 SFM with aggressive chip loads at 20% of diameter radial engagement. The M.A. Ford® TuffCut® 177 and 178 series end mill are performing very well in these applications. Next for the manufacturer is an application in 316 Stainless. They plan on using a TuffCut® XR 178 series as a rougher and the TuffCut® 180 series for the finish. Expectations are to reduce their tool path time by 25% and still maintain good cutter life.