Paul Horn Hartmetall Werkzeugfabrik Lightweight materials call for MQL, internal cooling
Cutting Tools – The automotive industry increasingly opts for lightweight materials because of less fuel consumption and less CO2 emissions.
As a result, materials such as aluminium, magnesium and carbon reinforced plastics are gaining importance.
“With the increase in materials like CFRP or aluminium, the requirements for tools are changing,” says Lothar Horn, Managing Director of tool manufacturer Paul Horn. “We are accordingly upsizing the role of CVD diamond cutting tools, which ensure process reliability.” Besides the trend towards more expensive, streamlined and more durable tools, dry-machining is becoming progressively more widely used. In this context, minimum-quantity lubrication (MQL) is increasingly popular as a compromise between an abundant supply of cooling lubricants and thoroughbred dry machining.
In order to stabilise the metal-cutting process, internal cooling of the cutting tool has meanwhile proved an effective option. “We have further refined the entire system, so as to bring the coolant to the cutting edge even more directly than hitherto,” says Horn. Cryogenic cooling with liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide, by contrast, he describes as an interesting, but elaborate and cost-intensive solution, in which the firm has already done intensive work. “I regard it as a 'nice-to-have', a sort of contingency solution for subcategories."
Tool life and process reliability are key. In order to increase productivity when machining sophisticated materials like high-strength steels as well, tool manufacturers are opting for significantly more heat resistant coatings. “The proportion of aluminium in the layers has increased, and thus completely changed the thermal conductivity,” explains Lothar Horn.
But how are these developments being reflected in the products that Horn will be showcasing at Metav 2016, and why is the company exhibiting again in Düsseldorf so soon after EMO Milano? “Metav is a traditional fair for us: it offers an excellent platform for reaching our customers, both present and prospective, in the north of Germany and the neighbouring countries. We will be exhibiting our internally-cooled parting and grooving tools in different variants. Cooling plays a vital role for our milling cutters, too, particularly in terms of tool life. And we will, of course, also be bringing along our CVD tools and unveil solutions for high-feed milling or gear cutting."