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Home >> Technical FAQs >> Die and Mold Profiling With PCD Inserts


Die and Mold Profiling With PCD Inserts

Presently, there is increasing demand for dies and molds with very high quality surface finish. Many die makers and machine shops do not want to bear the extra expenses required to mill the surface of a product after it has been cast. This has raised the demand for high precision die and mold profiling that provides an extremely smooth surface on the casting. In addition, most new CNC machines now incorporate very high cutting speeds in order to help the operator produce more parts at a lower cost. Therefore, the best option for most die and mold makers who produce dies from non-ferrous materials like aluminum alloys is to use pcd inserts for profiling of molds. These inserts are suitable for roughing, semi-finishing, and finishing operations.

Characteristics of PCD Inserts for Mold Profiling
For efficient mold profiling, a tool insert should have qualities that will make it easier to mill all the intricate parts of the mold. In addition to high cutting speeds and longer tool life, the pcd diamond insert should be able to mill the cavities, cores, and fillets of the mold. It should also enhance the milling of straight, vertical, angular or steep walls. A positive ground chip breaker will also make the removal of metal more efficient. Experience and studies have shown that tool inserts with small corner radii are good for dies and molds that are not pre-hardened. However the kind of surface finish required will also influence the type of pcd insert used for the profiling operation.

die and mold profiling

Diamond Shaped PCD Inserts
PCD inserts with diamond shapes permit a large angle at the tip of the cutting edge. For instance, the CCGT/CCMT0602 series have an angle of 80 degrees at the cutting edge. They have also have a back taper or edge clearance angle of 7 degrees while the cutting edge rake angle is either 5 or 10 degrees. Various corner/nose radius sizes are available including: 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 and 0.8 mm. The insert has one cutting edge that can cut a maximum cutting length of 2.8 mm. Diamond shaped inserts have profiles that make it easily for them to cut metal in the areas that are usually difficult to reach. Various grades of these inserts are available for either continuous, medium or interrupted cutting. But only the PCD25, PCD43 and PCD44 grades support interrupted cutting.

Hexagonal Shaped PCD Inserts
Hexagonal-shaped inserts also offer a similar profile to the diamond-shaped inserts. They provide strong resistance to abrasive forces. For example, the WCGW/WCMW0402 series may be used for milling and profiling of dies and molds cast with aluminum or aluminum alloys. With a single cutting edge of 3.0 mm in length and nose/corner radius of 0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 mm, this kind of insert is suitable for intricate and high precision milling. However, since it does not have an edge rake angle, it may not be used for unstable operating conditions with unbalanced loads. These hexagonal shaped polycrystalline diamond inserts also support various modes of cutting but only the PCD grades 25, 43 and 44 support interrupted cutting.

The facts and examples provided here will help you to make the right choice of full faced pcd insert and tipped pcd inserts for die and mold profiling. However, in addition to the tool size, shape and other characteristics, it is also important to know the characteristics of the working material and the silicon content before selecting the most appropriate insert.

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