Metallic goodies surround our everyday life. But, have you ever wondered how these products are manufactured? You can explore numerous ways to shape metal, but the most common one is cutting.
So, what do we mean when we say cutting tools? For example, you have traditional cutting tools such as graters and knives in the kitchen, pencil sharpeners, and scissors on the desk, and a saw in a storeroom.
However, all of these are designed for home use, but metal cutting tools focus more on industrial and professional use.Now let’s explore the manufacturing process of carbide tools and review the most common types.
How are they made?
When it comes to carbide, it a mixture of tungsten carbide and cobalt, which is turned into a powder, to get raw material. This granulate mixture is then put into a die cavity and pressed. The combination has a mild strength similar to chalk.
However, the next step is to move the pressed compacts into a sintering furnace and heat it at a temperature of about 1400 Celsius. The result is a cemented carbide, which significantly reduces in volume after heating. In terms of hardness, cemented carbide is somewhere between diamond and sapphire, while it’s twice as heavier as iron.
What are the carbide tips?
Carbide, or as we mentioned before, tungsten carbide is a ubiquitous material on any sort of cutting tool. For instance, saw blades, drills, router bits, lathe bits, and many others are made of carbide.
Now, you must be wondering why this material is so popular and why so many tools feature carbide. Well, the answer is simple, mostly because it stays sharper longer than any other material.
But, even carbide tips get dull eventually. You can sharpen them using a similar method you would apply with tool steel. Since they are so dense and hard, you would have to use a different abrasive. For example, many people use abrasive coated in a diamond or a carbide abrasive wheel.
If you are familiar with diamonds, then you know this is the hardest material on the earth. The next, silicon carbide is very close, while titanium and tungsten carbide range between eight and nine on the MOHS scale.
If carbide tipped cutting tools were only made of carbide, they would be very expensive, and no one would be able to afford them. For that reason, in the manufacturing industry, this material is mixed with cobalt, to reduce the costs, to minimize the brittleness.
Carbide tipped cutting tools are mostly made to produce circular holes in workpieces. Therefore, this procedure is called drilling. You can use various types of drills, and it mostly depends on how big holes you want to make.
Indexable insert type drills create smaller holes, while blazed drills produce relatively large holes.One of the main features of drilling is that it can be used for both milling and turning machines, which provides users plenty of versatility when shaping the metal.