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INTRODUCTION

Within the die and


mould making
industry the development has been strong
the last years. Machine
tools and cutting tools
get more and more
sophisticated every
day and can perform
applications at a speed and accuracy not
even thought of ten years ago. Today
CAD/CAM is very common and to
machine with so called HSM (High Speed
Machining) it is a necessity.

Contents

To manufacture a die or mould, many


different cutting tools are involved, from
deep hole drills to the smallest ball nose
endmills. In this application guide the
whole process of die and mould making
will be explained with focus on the machining process and how to best utilise the
cutting tools. However, programming of
machine tools, software, workpiece materials, the function of different types of dies
and mould will also be explained. First let
us take a look at a simplified flowchart to
see what the different stages are in the die
and mould making process.

DIE CONSTRUCTION WORK FLOW


Simplified, the die construction work flow can be explained as in
the illustration below.
1. Receiving - standard die parts,
steel castings, planning and
scheduling
2. Model shop - tooling aide
and checking fixtures
3. CAM-room - schedule,
exchange reports DNC/CNC
programme match, layout
4. 2D-machining - shoes, pads,
5. Blocking - die packs, die design
6. 3D-machining sub-assembled dies
7. Polishing - standard parts
and components

8. Tryout - sheet steel material


specifications check fixture.
Inspection - Functional build
evaluation, stable metal panel
product fixture
9. Die completion - die design
handling devices, production
requirements, inspection
requirements
10. Feed back - die history book,
check list base
11. Shipping

6
10
3

10

9
10
4

5
11

When a tool has to be made, for instance,


to a hood of a car you do not make one
press tool and the material for the hood
goes in on one side, gets pressed and comes
out finished on the other side. It is often
complicated shapes, geometries, which has
to be pressed, with different radii and cavities, to close tolerances. To do this the
material for the hood has to be pressed in
several press tools where a small change in
the shape is made each time. It is not unusual
that up to 10 different steps are needed to
make a complete component.
There are 5 basic types of dies and moulds;
pressing dies, casting dies, forging dies, injection moulds and compression moulds.
Pressing dies are for cold-forming of, for
instance, automobile panels with complex
shapes. When producing a bonnet for a car
many pressing dies are involved performing
different tasks from shaping to cutting and
flanging the component. As mentioned
earlier there can be over 10 different steps
in completing a component. The dies are
usually made of a number of components
normally made of alloyed grey cast-iron.
However, these materials are not suitable
for trim dies with sharp cutting edges for
cutting off excessive material after the
component has been shaped. For this purpose an alloyed tool steel is used, often cast.

Example of a chain of process within the


automotive industry
1. Blank die to cut out blanks from coiled
material.
2. Draw die to shape the blank.
3. Trim die to cut off excessive material.
4. Flange die to make the initial bend for
flanges.
5. Cam flange die to bend the flanges
further inside.

Material properties especially influencing


machinability are:
Surface hardness - to resist abrasive and
adhesive wear
High content of carbides - to resist
abrasive wear
Toughness/ductility - to resist chipping
and breakage
Dies and moulds for hot work such as die
casting and forging are used for manufacturing of for instance engine blocks. These
dies and moulds are exposed to a number
of demanding conditions of which the
following are particularly critical for the
machinability of the tool material.
Hot hardness - to resist plastic deformation and erosion
Temperature resistance - to resist
softening at high temperature
Ductility/toughness - to resist fatigue
cracking
Hot yield strength - to resist heat checking
Moulds for plastic materials include injection, compression, blow and extrusion
moulds. Factors that influnence the machinability in a plastic mould steel are:
Hardness
Toughness/ductility
Homogenity of microstructure
and hardness

Die and mould material


The materials described and used as reference-material in this guide are mainly
from the steel manufacturer Uddeholm,
with a cross reference list at the end of
the chapter.
A substantial proportion of production
costs in the die and mould industry is
involved in machining, as large volumes of
metal are generally removed. The finished
die/mould is also subjected to strict geometrical- and surface tolerances.
Many different tool steels are used to produce dies and moulds. In forging and die
casting the choice is generally hot-work
tool steels that can withstand the relatively
high working temperatures involved.
Plastic moulds for thermoplastics and
thermosets are sometimes made from coldwork tool steel. In addition, some stainless
steels and grey cast iron are used for dies
and moulds. Typical in-service hardness is
in the range of 32 - 58 HRC for die and
mould material.

Hot work material


Hot work material is typically used for:
Die casting
Forging
Extrusion
When a die casting die is hardened and
tempered, some warpage or distortion
normally occurs. This distortion is usually
greater at higher temperature. This is well
known, and it is normal practice to leave
some machining allowance on the die prior
to hardening. This makes it possible to
adjust the die to the correct dimension
after hardening and tempering by finish
machining or grinding.
Distortion of the material can take place
because of machining stresses. This type
of stress is generated during machining
operations such as milling and grinding.
If stresses have built up in a part, they will
be released during heating. Heating releases
stresses, created through local distortion
which in turn can lead to overall distortion. In order to reduce distortion while
heating during the hardening process, a
stress relieving operation can be carried
out. It is recommended that the material
be stress relieved after rough machining.
6

Any distortion can be adjusted during fine


machining, prior to quenching. The size of
the die or mould often decides the hardness
of it, small moulds are 50 - 52 HRC and big
ones are 45 - 48 HRC.
The amount of non-metallic inclusions and
the hardness of the steel are some factors that
have great influence on the machinability.
Typical failure mechanisms of hot work
steels are:
Heat checking
Hot wear
Plastic deformation
Cracking
Corrosion
Optimum properties of the steel is:
Good hot hardness
Good tempering resistance
Low thermal expansion
Good toughness and ductility
Good thermal conductivity

The Uddeholm steel grades for hot work are:


Alvar 14
Orvar 2M
Orvar Supreme
Vidar Supreme
QRO 90 Supreme
Hotvar
Dievar

The optimum structure for machining is a


uniform distribution of well spheroidized
carbides in a soft annealed ferritic structure
with as low hardness as possible. The manufacturing process gives a homogeneous
structure and a hardness of approximately
180 HB. The steels are characterised by a
very uniform machinability.

As the performance of the die casting die


can be improved by lowering the impurities,
i.e. sulphur and oxygen, all the hot work tool
steels are produced with extremely low
sulphur and oxygen levels.

Abrasive wear

Cracking

Chipping

Plastic deformation

Built up edge

Pressing tool for components to electrical stoves

Cold work steels


Cold work steels are used for:
Blanking & shearing
Cold forming
Cold extrusion
Cold forging
Cold rolling
Powder pressing
If all areas where cold work tools are used,
such as automotive, paper and pulp, general
machining etc., the automotive industry
amount to 40% of the total usage and is
by far the largest segment. Within the
automotive industry the cold work tools
are mostly used for trimming tools. Other
application areas are low-alloyed steel for
holders and high alloyed steel for punches
and dies.

Typical failure mechanisms in cold work


applications are:
(1) Abrasive wear
(2) Plastic deformation
(3) Chipping/cracking
(4) Galling (built up edge)
The biggest problem with cold work is
abrasive wear (scratching particles) and
adhesive wear (micro-welds).
Adhesive wear is especially common on
stainless steels in the automotive industry
where a lot of components such as exhaust
pipes and mufflers are made in stainless
material.

Automotive
Mechanical engineering
Houshold appliances
Pulp and paper
Building
Electronics

To come to terms with the abrasive wear,


the carbon and chromium content can be
increased, however the material becomes
much tougher to machine and wears heavily
on the cutting tools.

The steels for cold work have a high


carbon content and can be hardened to a
very high hardness and as the alloy content
and hardness goes up the machinability
goes down, which will be explained in the
machinability section in this chapter.

Short production series

Arne
Grane

54 - 62 HRC
54 - 58 HRC

Medium series

Calmax
Rigor
Sverker 21

54 - 58 HRC
56 - 62 HRC
56 - 61 HRC

Long series

Sverker 3
Vanadis 4
Vanadis 6
Vanadis 10

56
56
58
60

62
62
63
64

HRC
HRC
HRC
HRC

Cold work steels from Uddeholm are:


Arne
Calmax/Carmo
Rigor
Sverker 21
Sverker 3
Vanadis 23
Vanadis 4
Vanadis 6
Vanadis 10

10

Plastic segment
Moulds for plastic are used for a wide
variety of products, for instance, in average
11% of the total weight of a car is plastic
material and much of it is produced by
plastic injection moulding. Another large
segment is the electronic industry, which
constantly changes the models on television
sets, computers and mobile phones, to
mention some products.
A wide range of cavity sizes and shapes are
produced by the die and mould industry
when producing plastic components. Radii
of 0.25 - 3 mm are typical in such cavities
and many moulds require taper angles in
the range of 0.5 - 5 degrees to allow the
withdrawal of components. The dimensional
accuracy required can be down to plus/
minus 5 microns and the positional accuracy
of cavities of same order to ensure no
mismatch between mating faces in a die
set. Surface finish values of Ra 1 micron
and less is necessary in many cases.
The steel types most commonly used in
mouldmaking are; prehardened mould- and
holder steels, through hardening mould
steels and corrosion resistant mould steels.
Prehardened mould- and holder steel are
mostly used for large moulds, moulds with
low demands on wear and high strength
holder plates.
Through-hardened steels are used for long
production runs, to resist abrasion from
filling agent, and additives in the plastic and
to counter high closing or injection pressures.

sive by-products, e.g. PVC, corrosion also


leads to reduced cooling efficiency when
water channels become corroded or completely blocked. Condensation caused by
prolonged production stoppages, humidity,
aggressive gases, acid, cooling/heating
water, flow rate, plastic material or storage
conditions often lead to corrosion.
It is important to have good surface finish
in the cooling holes not to get corrosion,
which can make the whole mould crack.
The threads where the cooling hoses are
connected must also be made correct to
prevent that corrosion occurs with a
cracked mould as a result.
Criterias for mould steel selection
Moulding method
Plastic material
Mould size
Number of shots
Surface finish
The mouldmaker is primarily interested in
the machinability of the steel, its polishability, heat treatment and treatment properties.
The moulder is looking for a mould with
good wear and corrosion resistance, high
compressive strength etc.
All aspects has to be taken into account,
however, good uniform machinability is of
outmost importance considering that the
cost of machining accounts for a large
amount of the total cost of manufacturing
a mould.

Corrosion resistant mould steels are used


if a mould is likely to be exposed to a
corrosion risk, then a stainless steel is
strongly recommended. Plastic moulds
can be affected by corrosion in several
ways. Plastic materials can produce corro11

Example of material and hardness for different lengths of production series

For long runs > 1 000 000


For medium runs
100 000-1 000 000 shots
For short runs < 100 000 shots

High hardness steel should be used 48 - 65 HRC,


Calmax, Grane, Orvar Supreme, Stavax ESR,
Corrax, Rigor, Vanadis 4, Elmax
Pre-hardened steel should be used 30 - 45 HRC,
Impax Suprece, Ramax
Soft annealed steel of aluminium should be used
160-250 HB
Calmax, Gran, Alumec

Uddeholm grades for plastic materials are:

Holdax
Impax Supreme
Ramax
Orvar Supreme
Grane

12

Calmax
Stavax ESR
Corrax
Elmax
Vanadis 4

Machinability
Percentage wise the machining cost is a
large part of the total production cost for a
die or mould.

Machining
Work material
Assembly &
adjustment
Heat treatment

Machining 65%
Work material 20%
Heat treatment 5%
Assembly/adjustment 10%
This means that the machinability is of
outmost importance for an economical
production of dies and moulds. There
are five main factors that influence the
machinability of a material:
Chemical composition
Structure
Hardness
Non-metallic inclusions
Residual stresses

To increase the machinability for materials


the sulphur content can be increased in the
material with higher machinability as a
result. However, sulphur reduces the
mechanical properties in the steel, e.g. the
toughness. Another drawback with sulphur
is that the possibility to get a good surface
finish decreases as the sulphur content is
increased. Therefore the sulphur content is
very low in a high quality tool steel.
Cold work steels are often alloyed with
carbon, chromium and vanadium to get
hard and abrasive resistanc carbides in the
steel. The hard carbides will reduce the
machinability i the steel by giving a high
wear on the cutting tool.
The choice of steel grade is often made at
the design stage of a mould in order to
have the material in-house and ready to be
machined when the design is finished. This
is not always a simple task. In many cases
the choice of steel grade is a compromise
between the wishes of the mouldmaker
and the moulder. In the chart on page 14
you can see factors that the three different
parties steel manufacturer, mouldmaker and
enduser of the mould wish to get out of
the steel and from these wishes a compromise have to be reached.

The higher alloy steel has, the more difficult


it is to machine with cutting tools. When the
alloying content goes up the machinability
goes down. The same relationship prevails
to hardness and machinability, when
the hardness goes up the machinability is
reduced.

13

Requirement

Material properties

Influence on machinability

Favourable impact strength


and good polishability

High purity

Poor chip breaking

Good wear resistance

Hard carbides in steel matrix

Considerable tool wear

Avoid subsequent heat


treatment

High delivery hardness

High cutting edge temperature, high tool wear

Good

Machinability

Low

Machinability in different tool steels, facemilling whith carbide inserts

VANADIS 10
VANADIS 6
ELMAX
SVERKER 3
VANADIS 23
VANADIS 4
CORRAX
SVERKER 21
IMPAX SUP
HOLDAX
RAMAX S
RIGOR
GRANE
CHIPPER
CARMO
CALMAX
HOTVAR
ARNE
DIEVAR
UHB 11
STAVAX ESR
ORVAR SUP
QRO 90 SUP
FORMAX

Machinability in Tools Steels


Face Milling with Carbide

0
14

100

200

300

400

500

Cutting speed Vc m/min

Material for prototypes and short series


ALUMEC has an excellent machinability
also with high cutting speed, which leads
to lower mould cost and shorter delivery
time. This also makes ALUMEC suitable
for production of prototypes as well.
ALUMEC is a high-tensile aluminium
alloy that is produced in the form of hotrolled, heat-treated plate. It is subjected to
a special cold-stretching process for maxi-

mum stress relief. Because of its high


strength and good stability, ALUMEC
has achieved widespread use within the
mechanical engineering industry. The
characteristics and advantages offered by
ALUMEC make it an ideal material for
short and medium-long series, which are
not subjected to very high compressive
forces, or for abrasive plastics.

15

Uddeholm grades

ASSAB

Sweden Germany USA


Sandvik
W.-No
AISI/ASTM
Coromant SS
CMC

Cold work steels


02.1

ARNE

DF-2

2140

1.2510

O1

VANADIS 23

ASP-23

2725

1.3344

M3 Class 2

VANADIS 30

ASP-30

2726

(1.3204)

VANADIS 60

ASP-60

2727

1.3241

CARMO/CALMAX

/635H/635

CHIPPER /VIKING

VIKING

(1.2631)

FERMO

RIGOR

XW-10

03.11

2260

1.2379

A2

SVERKER 3

XW-5

03.11

1.2436

D6

SVERKER 21

XW-41

03.11

2312

1.2379

D2

VANADIS 10

VANADIS 0

2310

VANADIS 4

VANADIS 4

VANADIS 6

VANADIS 6

1.2358

Hot work steel


HOTVAR

ALVAR 14

1.2714

ORVAR 2 M

8402

03.11/03.22

2242

1.2344

H13

ORVAR SUPREME

8407

03.11/03.22

2242

1.2344

H13

QRO 90 SUPREME

QRO 90

VIDAR SUPREME

1.2343

H11

DIEVAR

2250

(1.2721)

(L6)

Mould steel
ELMAX

ELMAX

GRANE

IMPAX SUPREME

718 SUPREME

1.2738

(P20)

OPTIMAX

2314

(1.2083)

RAMAX S

168

STAVAX ESR

STAVAX ESR s-136

2314

(1.2083)

CORRAX

(2172)

1.2312

4140

1650/1672

1.1730

1148

01.2

Holder steel

16

02.1

FORMAX

HOLDAX

HOLDAX

UHB 11

760

01.2

UK
BS

Japan
JIS

France
ANFOR

Italy
UNI

Spain
UNE

Brazil

B01

SKS3

90MWCV5

95MnWCr5KU

F-5220

VND

Z120WDCV06-05-04-03

HS6-5-3

F-5605

ASP30

ASP60

BA2

SKD12

Z100CDV5

X155CrMoV51KU

F-5227

B06

(SKD2)

Z210CW121

X25CRW121KU

F-5213

VC131

BD2

SKD11

Z160 (CDV12)

X155CrVMo121KU

F-5219

VD2

SKD4Mod

Z5NCDV7

56NiCrMo7KU

F-5307

VMO

BH13

SKD61

Z40CDV5

X40CrMoV511KU

F-5310

VH13

BH13

SKD61

Z40CDV5

X40CrMoV511KU

F-5318

VH13

SKD7Mod

Z38CDV5

BH11

SKD6

F-5317

VPCW

F-5305

VCO

40CMND8

F-5303

VP20

SUS420

X41Cr13KU

VC150

Z30C17

VP420IM

SUS420

Z40C13

VC150

40CMD8+S

F-5304

XC48

F-1142

17

DESCRIPTION OF UDDEHOLM MATERIAL


HOTVAR
HOTVAR is a high
performance molybdenum-vanadium
alloyed hot-work tool
steel which is characterised by high hot
wear resistance, very
good high temperature
properties, high resistance to thermal fatigue,
very good temper resistance and thermal
conductivity. The steel is suitable for
applications where hot wear and/or plastic
deformation are the dominating failure
mechanisms. Suitable applications are
Warm forging dies and punches, rolling
segments in roll forging, hot bending tools
and zinc die casting dies.
DIEVAR
DIEVAR is a high performance chromiummolybdenum-vanadium alloyed hot work
steel which offers a very good resistance to
heat checking, gross cracking, hot wear and
plastic deformation. The steel is characterised by excellent ductility in all directions,
good temper resistance and good hightemperature strength. DIEVAR is suitable
for die casting, forging and extrusion tools.
CORRAX
CORRAX is a precipitation hardening
steel with exceptionally good corrosion
resistance.
Compared with conventional corrosion
resistant tool steel, CORRAX has some
advantages, flexible hardness 32-50 HRc,
achieved by an ageing treatment, extremely
good dimensional stability during ageing,
high uniformity of properties also for large
dimensions, good weldability and no hard
white layer after EDM.

18

Typical
analysis %
Delivery
condition

C
0,03

Si
0,3

Mn
0,3

Cr
12,0

Ni
9,2

Mo
1,4

Al
1,6

Solution treated to ~34 HRC

ALUMEC
ALUMEC is a high-tensile aluminium
alloy that is produced in the form of hotrolled, heat-treated plate. It is subjected to
a special cold-stretching process for maximum stress relief. Because of its high
strength and good stability, ALUMEC has
achieved widespread use within the
mechanical engineering industry. The characteristics and advantages offered by
ALUMEC make it an ideal material for
short and medium-long series, which are
not subjected to very high compressive
forces, or for abrasive plastics.
ALUMEC has an excellent machinability
i.e. high cutting speed, which leads to
lower mould cost and shorter delivery
time. This also makes ALUMEC suitable
for production of prototypes as well.
ORVAR SUPREME
ORVAR SUPREME is a chromiummolybdenum-vanadium-alloyed steel,
which is characterised by:
High level of resistance to thermal shock
and thermal fatigue
Good high-temperature strength
Excellent toughness and ductility in all
directions
Good machinability and polishability
Excellent through-hardening properties
Good dimensional stability during
hardening.

ORVAR SUPREME is suitable for die


casting dies, tools for hot pressing and
extrusion.

Typical
analysis %

C
0,39

Si
1,0

Mn
0,4

Cr
5,2

Mo
1,4

V
0,9

Standard
Premium AISI H13, W.-Nr. 1.2344
specicification
Delivery
condition

STAVAX ESR is suitable for all types of


plastic moulding tools.

Soft annealed to approx. 180 HB

Typical
analysis %

Excellent high temperature strength and


hot hardness
Very good temper resistance
Unique resistance to thermal fatigue
Excellent thermal conductivity
Good toughness and ductility in longitudinal and transverse directions
Uniform machinability
Good heat treatment properties.
QRO 90 SUPREME is suitable for die
casting- and extrusion dies and associated
tooling as well as forging dies.

C
0,38

Si
0,30

Mn
0,75

Cr
2,6

Mo
2,25

V
0,9

None. Product is covered by patent


Standard
specicification world wide
Delivery
condition

C
0,38

Si
0,9

Mn
0,5

Cr
13,6

V
0,3

Standard
AISI 420, modified
specicification

QRO 90 SUPREME
QRO 90 SUPREME is a high-performance,
chromium-molybdenum-vanadiumalloyed hot-work tool steel which is
characterised by:

Typical
analysis %

Good corrosion resistance


Good polishability
Good wear resistance
Good machinability
Good stability in hardening.

Delivery
condition

Soft annealed to approx. 200 Brinell

OPTIMAX
The rapid development in the high-tech
area is putting higher and higher demands
on the tool steel. Surface finishes, which
have not been possible to achieve with
ordinary tool steel, are required. For
these extreme requirements OPTIMAX
has proven to be the right choice.
Characteristics found in OPTIMAX are:

Excellent polishability
Good corrosion resistance
Good wear resistance
Good machinability
Good stability in hardening.

OPTIMAX is suitable for applications


where extreme surfaces are required such
as lens moulds, moulds for compact discs
and moulds for medical applications.

Soft annealed to approx. 180 HB

STAVAX ESR
STAVAX ESR is a premium grade stainless
tool steel with the following properties:

Typical
analysis %

C
0,38

Deliverty
condition

Soft annealed to approx. 200 HB

Si
0,9

Mn
0,5

Cr
13,6

V
0,3

19

ELMAX
ELMAX is a high chromium-vanadiummolybdenum alloyed PM steel with the
following characteristics:

High wear resistance is normally connected


with low corrosion resistance and vice
versa. In ELMAX it has however been
able to achieve this unique combination of
properties by a powder-metallurgy-based
production method. ELMAX is suitable
for plastic moulding.

Delivery
condition

C
1,7

Si
0,8

Mn
0,3

Cr
18,0

Mo
1,0

V
3,0

Si
0,4

Mn
1,5

S
0,07

Cr
1,9

Mo
0,2

Hardened and tempered to 290-330 HB

RAMAX S
RAMAX S is a chromium alloyed stainless
holder steel, which is supplied in the hardened and tempered condition.
RAMAX S is characterised by:
Excellent machinability
Good corrosion resistance
Uniform hardness in all dimensions
Good indentation resistance.
RAMAX S is suitable for holders/bolsters
for plastic moulds.

Soft annealed approx. 240 Brinell


Typical
analysis %

HOLDAX
HOLDAX is a vacuum-degassed
chromium- molybdenum alloyed steel
that is supplied in hardened and tempered
condition.
HOLDAX is characterised by:
Excellent machinability
Good resistance to indentation
Uniform hardness in all dimensions.
HOLDAX is suitable for holders/bolsters
for plastic moulds and die casting dies,
plastic and rubber moulds, support plates
and constructional parts.

20

C
0,40

Standard
AISI 4130-35 improved
specicification
Delivery
condition

High wear resistance


High compressive strength
Corrosion resistance
Very good dimensional stability.

Typical
analysis %

Typical
analysis %

C
0,33

Si
0,35

Mn
1,35

Cr
16,7

Standard
(AISI 420 F)
specicification
Delivery
condition

Hardened and tempered to ~ 340 HB

S
0,12

CALMAX
CALMAX is a chromium-molybdenumvanadium-alloyed steel characterised by:
High toughness
Good wear resistance
Good through hardening properties
Good dimensional stability in hardening
Good polishability
Good weldability
Good flame- and induction hardenability.
CALMAX is suitable for both cold work
and plastic applications.

Typical
analysis %
Delivery
condition

C
0,6

Si
0,35

Mn
0,8

Cr
4,5

Mo
0,5

V
0,2

VANADIS 4
VANADIS 4 is a chromium-molybdenumvanadium-alloyed PM steel, which is
characterised by:

High wear resistance


High compressive strength
Very good through-hardening properties
Very good toughness
Excellent dimensional stability after
hardening and tempering
Good resistance to tempering back.
VANADIS 4 is suitable for applications
where adhesive wear and/or chipping are
dominating problems such as blanking and
forming, cold extrusion tooling, powder
pressing, deep drawing and knives.

Soft annealed approx. 200 HB

FORMAX
FORMAX is a low carbon steel that can
be supplied as hot-rolled or fine-machined
condition.

Typical
analysis %

C
1,5

Deliverty
condition

Soft annealed to approx. 235 HB

Si
1,0

Mn
0,4

Cr
8,0

Mo
1,5

V
4,0

FORMAX is characterised by:


Good machinability
Easy to flame-cut
Good mechanical strength
Can be case hardened
Good weldability.
FORMAX is suitable for bolsters, punch
holders, die holders, backing plates, guide
plates, support plates, jigs, fixtures and
constructional parts.

Typical
analysis %

C
0,18

Si
0,3

Mn
1,4

Standard
(W.-Nr. 10050,SS 2172)
specicification
Delivery
condition

Hot rolled.
Hardness approx. 170 HB

21

VANADIS 6
VANADIS 6 is a chromium-molybdenumvanadium alloyed PM steel which is
characterised by:
Very high abrasive-adhesive wear
resistance
High compressive strength
Good toughness
Very good dimensional stability at heat
treatment and in service
Very good through-hardening properties
Good resistance to tempering back
High cleanliness
VANADIS 6 is suitable for long run tooling
of work materials where mixed (abrasiveadhesive) or abrasive wear and/or chipping/
cracking and/or plastic deformation are
dominating failure mechanisms. Such as
blanking, powder pressing, plastic moulds
and tooling subjected to abrasive wear
conditions.
Typical
analysis %
Delivery
condition

C
2,1

Si
1,0

Mn
0,4

Cr
6,8

Mo
1,5

V
5,4

Soft annealed to approx. 255 HB

VANADIS 10
VANADIS 10 is a chromium-molybdenum-vanadium-alloyed PM steel, which is
characterised by:
Extremely high abrasive wear resistance
High compressive strength
Very good through-hardening properties
Good toughness
Very good stability in hardening
Good resistance to tempering back.

VANADIS 10 is suitable for very long run


tooling where abrasive wear is the dominating problem for example blanking and
forming, gasket stamping, deep drawing,
cold forging slitting knives, powder pressing
extruder screws etc.

Typical
analysis %

C
2,9

Deliverty
condition

Soft annealed to approx. 280-310 HB

Mn
0,5

Cr
8,0

Mo
1,5

V
9,8

VANADIS 23
VANADIS 23 is a chromium-molybdenum- tungsten-vanadium alloyed high
speed steel PM, which is characterised by:

High wear resistance (abrasive profile)


High compressive strength
Very good through-hardening properties
Good toughness
Very good dimensional stability on heat
treatment
Very good temper resistance.
VANADIS 23 is suitable for blanking and
forming of thinner work materials such as
blanking of medium to high carbon steels,
blanking of harder materials such as hardened or cold rolled strip steels, plastic
mould tooling subjected to abrasive wear
condition etc.

Typical
analysis %

C
1,28

Cr
4,2

M0
5,0

W
6,4

Standard
(AISI M3:2/W.-Nr 1.3344)
specicification
Delivery
condition

22

Si
1,0

Soft annealed to approx. 260 HB

V
3,1

ALVAR 14
ALVAR 14 is a chromium-nickel-molybdenum-vanadium-alloyed steel, which is
characterised by:

Good toughness
Good resistance to high thermal stresses
Good stability in hardening
Good through-hardening properties.

ALVAR 14 is suitable for hot working


tools such as support parts for extrusion
tooling, hot forging tools, dies for tin, lead
and zinc alloys and tools for hot shearing.

Typical
analysis %

C
0,5

Si
0,3

Mn
0,7

Cr
1,1

Ni
1,7

Mo
0,5

V
0,1

Standard
W.-Nr. 1.2714, DIN 56 NiCrMoV7
specicification
Delivery
condition

1. Soft annealed to max. 250 HB.


2. Hardened and tempered to 330-400 HB
(36-43 HRC; 1100-1350 N/mm2).

ARNE
ARNE general-purpose oil-hardening tool
steel is a versatile manganese-chromiumtungsten steel suitable for a wide variety of
cold-work applications.
Its main characteristics include:
Good machinability
Good dimensional stability in hardening
A good combination of high surface
hardness and toughness after hardening
and tempering. These characteristics
combine to give a steel suitable for the
manufacture of tooling with good toollife and production economy.

Typical
analysis %

C
0,95

Mn
1,1

Cr
0,6

W
0,6

V
0,1

Standard
AISI o1, W.-Nr. 1.2510
specicification
Delivery
condition

Soft annealed approx. 190 HB

GRANE
GRANE is a Chromium-NickelMolybdenum-alloyed steel, which is characterised by:

High toughness
High hardness
Good stability in hardening
High resistance to wear
Good polishing properties
Good machinability.

GRANE is suitable for moulds in the plastic


industry and for a wide variety of heavyduty tools exposed to severe pressure,
shock loading or bending stresses.
Typical
analysis %

C
0,55

Si
0,3

Mn
0,5

Cr
1,0

Ni
3,0

Mo
0,3

Standard
(L6)
specicification
Delivery
condition

Soft annealed to approx. 230HB.

23

ORVAR 2 Microdized
ORVAR 2 Microdized is a chromiummolybdenum-vanadium alloyed steel,
which is characterised by:

Typical
analysis %

ORVAR 2 M is suitable for plastic


moulding applications and extrusion tools.

C
0,39

Si
1,0

Mn
0,4

Cr
5,3

Mo
1,3

V
0,9

Standard
AISI H13,W.-Nr. 1.12344
specicification
Delivery
condition

Soft annealed to approx. 185 HB.

RIGOR
RIGOR is an air- or oil hardening chromium-molybdenum-vanadium alloyed tool
steel characterised by:
High stability after hardening
High compressive strength
Good hardenability
Good wear resistance.
RIGOR is suitable for blanking, punching,
trimming tools for forgings and tools for
bending, raising, dies and inserts for moulding tablets, abrasive plastics etc.

24

Si
0,3

Mn
0,6

Cr
5,3

Mo
1,1

V
0,2

Standard
AISI A2, BA2, W.-Nr. 1.2363
specicification

Good resistance to abrasion at both low


and high temperatures
High level of toughness and ductility
Uniform and high level of machinability
and polishability
Good high-temperature strength and
resistance to thermal fatigue
Excellent through-hardening properties
Very limited distortion during hardening.

Typical
analysis %

C
1,0

Delivery
condition

Soft annealed to approx. 215 HB.

SVERKER 3
SVERKER 3 is a high-carbon, high-chromium tool steel alloyed with tungsten,
characterised by:

Highest wear resistance


High compressive strength
High surface hardness after hardening
Good through-hardening properties
Good stability in hardening
Good resistance to tempering-back.

SVERKER 3 is recommended for applications demanding maximum wear- resistance,


such as blanking and shearing tools for
thin, hard materials, long-run press tools,
forming tools, moulds for ceramics and
abrasive plastics.
Typical
analysis %

C
2,05

Si
0,3

Mn
0,8

Cr
12,5

W
1,3

Standard
AISI D6, (AISI D3), W.-Nr. 1.2436
specicification
Delivery
condition

Soft annealed to approx. 240 HB

SVERKER 21
SVERKER 21 is a high-carbon, high-chromium tool steel alloyed with molybdenum
and vanadium characterised by:
High wear resistance
High compressive strength
Good through-hardening properties
High stability in hardening
Good resistance to tempering-back.

SVERKER 21 is suitable for tools


requiring very high wear resistance, combined with moderate toughness (shockresistance) for example blanking shearing,
cold extrusion dies, cold-heading tools etc.

Typical
analysis %

C
1,55

Si
0,3

Mn
0,4

Cr
11,8

Mo
0,8

Typical
analysis %

Soft annealed to approx. 210 HB.

Good machinability
Fair resistance to abrasion
Good mechanical strength
UHB 11 is suitable for punch holders, die
holders, guide plates, backing plates, jigs,
fixtures, simple bending dies and simple
structural components.

C
0,47

Si
0,3

Mn
0,6

S
0.04

Standard
AISI 1045
specicification
Delivery
condition

C
0,6

Si
0,35

Mn
0,8

Cr
4,5

Mo
0,5

V
0,2

Standard
Prehardened to 240-270 HB
specicification

UHB 11
Uddeholms tool steel UHB 11 is an easy
machinable carbon steel characterised by:

Typical
analysis %

CARMO can be used in the flammablehardened or in the through hardened condition for blanking and forming of both
car body parts (thin sheet) or structural
parts (thicker sheet).

V
0,8

Standard
AISI D2, W.-Nr. 1.2379
specicification
Delivery
condition

hardened layer. The steel can be easily


repair welded.

As rolled. Hardness approx. 200 HB

CARMO
CARMO is a high-strength, flame-, induction- and through hardening steel delivered prehardened to 240-270 HB. The surface of the steel can be flame-hardened
without water cooling to a hardness of
582 HRC. The depth of hardness is normally 4-5 mm and the hardened and tempered matrix is a good base for the flame-

IMPAX SUPREME
IMPAX SUPREME is a premium-quality
vacuum-degassed Cr-Ni-Mo-alloyed steel
that is supplied in the hardened and tempered condition. IMPAX SUPREME is
manufactured to consistently high quality
standards with a very low sulphur content, giving a steel with the following characteristics:
Good polishing and photo-etching
properties
Good machinability
High purity and good homogeneity
Uniform hardness.
IMPAX SUPREME is suitable for injection moulds and extrusion dies for thermo-plastics, blow moulds, forming tools,
press brake dies and structural components.

Typical
C
analysis % 0,37

Si
0,3

Mn
1,4

Cr
2,0

Ni
1,0

Mo
0,2

Standard
spec.

AISI P20 modified

Delivery
condition

Hardened and tempered to 290-330 HB

S
0,008

25

CAST-IRON
Cast-iron is an ironcarbon alloy with a
carbon content of
mostly 2-4% as well as
other elements like
silicon, manganese,
phosphorus and
sulphur. Corrosion
and heat resistance
may be improved with additions of nickel,
chromium, molybdenum and copper.
Good rigidity, compressive strength and
fluidity for cast iron are typical properties.
Ductility and strength can be improved by
various treatments, which affect the microstructure. Cast-iron is specified, not by
chemical analysis, but by the respective

26

mechanical properties. This is partly due


to that the cooling rate affects the cast-iron
properties.
Carbon is presented as carbide-cementite
and as free carbon-graphite. The extents
of these forms depend partly on the
amount of other elements in the alloy. For
instance, a high-silicon cast-iron will be
made up of graphite with hardly any
cementite. This is the type known as grey
iron. The silicone content usually varies
between 1-3%. A low amount of silicone
will stabilize carbides and the cast-iron
will be made up dominantly of cementite
with little graphite. This is a hard but weak
brittle type called white iron.

In spite of the silicone content having a


decisive influence on the structure, the
cooling rate of cast iron in castings is also
influential. Rapid cooling may not leave
enough time for grey iron to form, as the
silicone has not had time to decompose the
cementite into the graphite. Varying sectional thicknesses in castings affect the
cooling rate, affecting the state of carbon.
Thick section will solidify into grey iron
while thin ones will chill into white iron.
Hence chilled cast-iron. Modern casting
techniques control analysis, cooling rates,
etc. to provide the cast-iron components
with the right graphite structure. Also to
provide chilled parts where needed, for
instance a wear face on a component.
Manganese strengthens and toughens castiron and is usually present in amounts of
0.5-1%.
For this reason, a thin or tapered section
will tend to be more white iron because of
the cooling effect in the mould. Also the
surface skin of the casting is often harder,
white iron while underneath is grey iron.
The basic structural consituents of the
different types of cast-iron are ferritic,
pearlitic or a mixture of these.
Types of cast-iron with ferritic matrix
and little or no pearlite are easy to machine.
They have low strength and normally a
hardness of less than 150 Brinell. Because

of the softness and high ductility of ferrite


these types of cast-iron can be sticky
and result in built-up edge forming at
low cutting data, but this can be avoided
by increasing the cutting speed, if the
operation permits.
Types of cast-iron with ferritic/pearlitic or
pearlitic matrix range from about 150 HB
with relatively low strength to highstrength, hard cast-irons of 280-300 HB
where pearlitic matrix dominates.
Pearlite has a stronger, harder and less
ductile structure than ferrite, its strength
and hardness depending on whether it has
rough or fine lamellar. The more fine-grained and more fine lamellar the pearlite, the
higher strength and hardness. This means
it has smaller carbides with less abrasive
wear but is more toughness demanding due
to smearing and built up edge formation.
Carbides are extremely hard constituents
whether they are of pure cementite or
contain alloying material. In thin plates, as
in pearlite, cementite can be machined, but
in larger particles which separate the constituents they drastically reduce the machinability. Carbides often occur in thin sections, projecting parts or corners of castings due to the rapid solidification, giving
a finer structure, of these parts.

27

28

Hardness of cast iron-is often measured in


Brinell. It is an indication of machinability,
which deteriorates with increasing Brinell
hardness. But the hardness value is an
unreliable measurement of machinability
when there are two factors that the value
does not show.

Abrasive hardness due to sand inclusions


and free carbides is very negative for
machinability. A cast-iron of 200 HB and
with a number of free carbides is more difficult to machine than a cast-iron of 200
HB and a 100% pearlitic structure with no
free carbides.

In most machining operations it is the hard


parts at the edges and corners of components which cause problems when machining. The Brinell test cannot be carried out
on edges and corners and therefore the
high hardness in these parts is not discovered before machining is undertaken.

Alloy additives in cast-iron affect machinability in as much as they form or prevent


the forming of carbides, affect strength and
/or hardness. The structure within the castiron is affected by the alloying material
which, depending on its individual character,
can be divided into two groups.

A Brinell test says nothing about the castirons abrasive hardness which is the difference between the hardness on the basic
structure and the hardness of the constituent
e.g. a particle of carbide.

1. Carbide forming: Chromium (Cr),


cobalt (Co), manganese (Mr), vanadium (V).
2. Graphitizing elements: Silicone (Si),
nickel (Ni), aluminium (Al), copper (Cu),
titanium (Ti).

Grey cast-iron
There is a large range of grey cast-irons
with varying tensile strengths. The silicon
content/sectional area combinations form
various structures of which the low-silicon, fine graphite and pearlite make the
strongest and toughest material. Tensile
strength varies considerably throughout
the range. A coarse graphite structure
means a weaker type. A typical cast-iron,
where metal cutting is involved, often has
a silicon content of around 2%. Common
are the austenitic types.
Nodular cast-iron (SG)
The graphite is contained as round nodules.
Magnesium especially is used to deposit
the gobules and added to become a magnesium-nickel alloy. Tensile strength, toughness and ductility are considerably improved. Ferritic, pearlitic and martensitic
types with various tensile strengths occur.
The SG cast-iron is also a graphite structure with properties in-between that of grey
and nodular cast-iron. The graphite flakes
are compacted into short ones with round
ends through the addition of titanium and
other treatment.
Malleable cast-iron
When white iron is heat treated in a particular way, ferritic, pearlitic or martensitic
malleable cast-iron is formed. The heat
treatments may turn the cementite into
spherical carbon particles or remove the
carbides. The cast-iron product is malleable, ductile and very strong. The silicon
content is low. Three categories occur:
ferritic, pearlitic and martensitic and they
may also be categorized as Blackheart,
Whiteheart and pearlitic.

Alloyed cast-iron
These are cast-irons containing larger
amounts of alloying elements and, generally,
these have similar effects on properties of
cast-iron as they do on steel. Alloying elements are used to improve properties by
affecting structures. Nickel, chromium,
molybdenum, vanadium and copper are
common ones. The graphite-free white
cast-iron is extremely wear resistant while
the graphite-containing cast-iron is also
known as heat resistant ductile cast-iron.
Corrosion resistance is also improved in
some types. Toughness, hardness and heat
resistance are typically improved.
The main difference in these types is the
form in which carbon, mainly graphite
occurs.
The general relative machinability of the
four main kinds of cast-iron is indicated in
a diagram where (A) is grey cast-iron, (B)
malleable, (C) S.G. iron and (D) chilled,
white cast-iron.

100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
A

C
D
Relative machinability

29

Machinability of cast-iron
When establishing machinability characteristics of cast-iron grades, it is often useful
to note the analysis and structure:
Reduced carbon content results in lower
machinability since less fracture-indicating graphite can be formed.
Ferritic cast-iron with an increased silicon content is stronger and less ductile
and tends to give less build-up edge.
Increased pearlitic content in the matrix
results in higher strength and hardness
and decreased machinability.
The more fine lamellar and fine-grained
the pearlite is, the lower is the machinability.
The presence of about 5% of free carbides
in the matrix decreases machinability
substantially.
The effects of free carbides with respect
to machinability is more negative in
cast-iron with pearlitic matrix, because
the pearlite anchors the carbide particles
in the matrix. This means that it is
necessary for the insert edge to cut
through the hardest particles instead of,
as can be done with a ferritic structure,
pulling out or pushing into the soft
ferrite.
The top of the casting can have a somewhat lower machinability due to impurities such as slag, casting sand etc.
which float up and concentrate in this
surface area.

30

Generally it can be said that: the higher the


hardness and strength that a type of cast-iron
has, the lower is the machinability and the
shorter the tool-life that can be expected
from inserts and tools.
Machinability of most types of cast-iron
involved in metal cutting production is
generally good. The rating is highly related
to the structure where the harder pearlitic
cast-irons are somewhat more demanding
to machine. Graphite flake cast-iron and
malleable cast-iron have excellent machining properties while SG cast-iron is not
quite as good.
The main wear types encountered when
machining cast-iron are abrasion, adhesion
and diffusion wear. The abrasion is produced mainly by the carbides, sand inclusions
and harder chill skins. Adhesion wear with
built-up edge formation takes place at
lower machining temperatures and cutting
speeds. This is the ferrite part of cast-iron
which is most easily welded onto the
insert but which can be counteracted by
increasing speed and temperature. On the
other hand, diffusion wear is temperature
related and occurs at high cutting speeds,
especially with the higher strength cast-iron
grades. These grades have a greater deformation resistance, leading to higher temperature. This type of wear is related to the
reaction between cast-iron and tool and
has led to some cast-iron machining being
carried out at high speeds with ceramic
tools, achieving good surface finish.

Typical tool properties needed, generally,


to machine cast-iron are high hot-hardness
and chemical stability but, depending upon
the operation, workpieces and machining
conditions, toughness, thermal shock resistance and strength are needed from the
cutting edge. Ceramic grades are used to
machine cast-iron along with cemented
carbide.

Obtaining satisfactory results in machining


cast-iron is dependent on how the cutting
edge wear develops: rapid blunting will
mean premature edge breakdown through
thermal cracks and chipping and poor
results by way of workpiece frittering,
poor surface finish, excessive waviness, etc.
Well developed flank wear, maintaining a
balanced, sharp edge, is generally to be
strived for.

31

32

Materiel
type

Hardness
HB

Area of
use

CMC
Coromant

Sweden
SS

Germany
DIN

USA
ASTM

UK
BS

Grey
Cast-iron

150-200

Frames

08.1/2

0125

GG25

A48
Class 40B

BS1452
G150

Alloyed
grey-iron

220-260

Dies

07.2

0852

GG26

G250 +
Cr % Mo

Alloyed
grey-iron

210-240

Dies

07.2

0852

GG26

BS1452
G250

Nodular
cast-iron

200-260

Dies&
stamps

09.1

0717-12

GGG60

BS2989
600/3

Nodular
cast-iron

230-300

Dies&
stamps

09.2

0732-3

GGG60

A536
Grade 80-55-06

BS2989
700/2

Materiel
type

Hardness
HB

Area of
use

Japan
JIS

France
ANFOR

Italy
UNI

Brazil

Grey
Cast-iron

150-200

Frames

FC250
FC300
FC350

Ft25

G25

GG25

Alloyed
grey-iron

220-260

Dies

Not
available

Mn450

GNM45

GG26

Alloyed
grey-iron

210-240

Dies

Not
available

Mn450

GNM45

GG26

Nodular
cast-iron

200-260

Dies&
stamps

FCD450
FCD550

FGS400

GS370-17

GGG60

Nodular
cast-iron

230-300

Dies&
stamps

FCD600
FCD800

FGS600

GS600

GGG60

FROM QUOTATION TO A FINISHED PRESS TOOL


Finding good solutions
with little material
First of all the die and
mouldmaker has to do
a quotation on the
job, which can be hard
many times since the
blueprints from the
customer often is
pretty rough outlined due to their own
ongoing development of the product.
Often the tool maker receive CAD drawings
of the finished component, which looks
far from the different tools that has to be
manufactured to produce the component.
This phenomenon has much to do with
the integration of computers within the
manufacturing and the companies ever
shortened lead times on products.
There are often complicated shapes and
geometries with deep cavities and radii,
which has to be pressed to close tolerances.
To be able to create these shapes several
different press tools has to be manufactured. If one company can come up with a
smart solution that has fewer steps in the
pressing process they have a clear advantage.

If the component to be machined is very


large, a model of foamed plastic (styrofoam)
is made with the shape of the component.
The model of foamed plastic is then packed
in sand and chill cast. When the melted
metal is poured into the casting mould the
foamed plastic evaporates and you will get
a blank with an optimised shape to have as
little material to remove as possible to the
finished shape of the component. About
10 mm and sometimes even less stock is
left to the final shape of the die, which saves
a lot of time as much rough machining is
eliminated.

A model of foamed plastic, which is close to the shape of the component to save time in rough machining

33

The next step is to start up the machining


of the component. Usually this is done
directly on the optimized blank of the
tool. However, sometimes the customer or
the tool manufacturer himself wants to
make a prototype of the tool to see that
everything is correct before starting to cut
chips out of the optimized blank. Which is
both expensive and can take a long time to
produce.
The prototype is normally machined in
aluminium or kirkzite. Only half the tool
is machined, the lower part, and is then
put up in a Quintus press. This type of
press has a rubber stamp working as the
upper part of the press tool, which press
down on the sheet metal which forms after
the prototype tool half. Instead of a rubber
stamp there are also press techniques where
liquid is used to press the sheet metal over
the prototype tool. These procedures are
often used within the automotive industry

34

in order to produce several prototype


components to crash test to see if any
changes has to be made to the component.
There are several advantages with this type
of prototype methods when it is used in
low volume part production:
Only a single rigid tool half is required
to form, trim and flange a part.
Tool cost reductions of up to 90%.
Reduction in project lead-time.
Reduction in storage space for tools.
Increased design and material
possibilities.
The single tool half can easily be
modified to accommodate part design
changes.
No matching or fixing of tool-halves.
Several different parts can be formed in
one press cycle.
Prototype tools can often be used in
series production tools.

However, it is also very common that both


halves of a tool is machined as the only
difference is that it is made of aluminium.
Which is easy to machine and cheaper than
the real tool steel.
While the blank is being cast the machining strategy and the tool paths are being
decided with the help of CAM equipment
at the programming department. When the
blank arrives the CNC-programme should
be out by the machine tool in the workshop. In some work shops the machine
tools are connected to a CAM work-station, which enables the machinist to make
changes in the programme if he realises
that there is too much material to remove
in certain places or another tool might be
more suitable.

The machinist can, in fact, decide the


whole milling strategy by the machine in a
WOP-station (Workshop Oriented
Programming).
The machining is often structured to perform the roughing and restmilling operations during the day shift, while attended
by a machinist. The time consuming finishing operations are often done unmanned
during the nights and week ends. When
doing this it is important with a good
monitoring system on the machine to
prevent that the component gets damaged
if a cutting tool breaks. If a good tool wear
analysis has been made and the tool life
has been established, automatic tool changes
can be made to utilize the machine tool even
further. However, this calls for very accurate tool settings especially in the Z-axis to
get as small mismatch as possible.

35

36

The die for a cutting tool after manual polishing

A pressed and Spotted Workpiece

When the machining is finished the die or


mould has to be ground, stoned or polished
manually, depending on the surface requirements. At this stage much time and money
can be saved if more efforts and consideration has been put down on the previous
machining operations.
When the press tool is thought to be finished
the two halves must be fitted, trimmed,
together. This is done by spotting, the surface of one of the halves is covered with
ink, then a component is test pressed in
the tool. If there is a clean spot somewhere
on the sheet metal there might, for instance,
be a radius which is wrong and need some
additional polishing done to it. You also
check that there is an even sheet metal
column all over the test piece. This spotting-work is time consuming and if there
is a tool, e. g. 3000 mm x 1500 mm and it
shows that there is a corner 0.1 mm lower
than everywhere else, the whole surface
has to be ground and polished down 0.1
mm, which is a very extensive job.

37

PROCESS PLANNING
The larger the component and the more
complicated the more
important the process
planning becomes. It
is very important to
have an open minded
approach in terms of
machining methods
and cutting tools. In many cases it might
be very valuable to have an external speaking partner who has experiences from
many different application areas and can
provide a different perspective and offer
some new ideas.
An open minded approach to the
choice of methods, tool paths, milling
and holding tools
In todays world it is a necessity to be
competitive in order to survive. One of
the main instruments or tools for this is
computerised production. For the Die &
Mould industry it is a question of investing in advanced production equipment
and CAD/CAM systems.

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But even if doing so it is of highest importance to use the CAM-softwares to their


full potential.
In many cases the power of tradition in
the programming work is very strong. The
traditional and easiest way to program tool
paths for a cavity is to use the old copy
milling technique, with many entrances
and exits into the material. This technique
is actually linked to the old types of copy
milling machines with their stylus that
followed the model.

Contents

This often means that very versatile and


powerful softwares, machine and cutting
tools are used in a very limited way.
Modern CAD/CAM-systems can be used
in much better ways if old thinking, traditional tooling and production habits are
abandoned.
If instead using new ways of thinking and
approaching an application, there will be a
lot of wins and savings in the end.
If using a programming technique in
which the main ingredients are to slice
off material with a constant Z-value,
using contouring tool paths in combination with down milling the result will be:
a considerably shorter machining time
better machine and tool utilisation
improved geometrical quality of the
machined die or mould
less manual polishing and try out time

Initially a new and more detailed programming work is more difficult and usually
takes somewhat longer time. The question
that should be asked is, Where is the cost
per hour highest? In the process planning
department, at a workstation, or in the
machine tool?
The answer is quite clear as the machine
cost per hour often is at least 2-3 times
that of a workstation.
After getting familiar with the new way of
thinking/programming the programming
work will also become more of a routine
and be done faster. If it still should take
somewhat longer time than programming
the copy milling tool paths, it will be made
up, by far, in the following production.
However, experience shows that in the
long run, a more advanced and favourable
programming of the tool paths can be
done faster than with conventional
programming.

In combination with modern holding and


cutting tools it has been proven many
times that this concept can cut the total
production cost considerably.

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