Importance of a milling machine in manufacturing
Aside from the fact that the milling machines are used for machining solid materials, it is also used for other purposes like planing, die-sinking, keyway cutting and rotating. The milling machine also provides a lot of convenience for the operator because the workpiece is moved towards the milling cutter. This makes machining more effective. Some of the more important components of the milling machine are mill tools that are actually the cutting tools attached to the milling machine during the cutting process. The cutting process is achieved through the movement of the milling cutter within the machine. The milling cutter is categorized according to its coating and rake angles. Materials that are milled ranges from aluminum to stainless steel and each material requires a different cutting speed from the milling tools and varies according to the amount of materials that can be removed in one pass of the tool. Harder materials are milled at slower speed while softer materials can be milled with a bit more speed.
Features of the milling cutter
· Shape – determines the type of cutting operation that it can perform. The shape of the milling cutter comes in different standard forms according to the application
· Flutes – are the helical grooves that run up the milling cutter. Along the edge of the flutes are the sharp blades which are referred to as teeth and the components that cut through materials
· Center cutting – is the orientation of the cutting tool which determines whether the cutting tool can plunge through a material or not.
· Helix angle – sets the gradual entry of the tooth on the material and reduces the vibration of the cutting tool.
· Shank – is a cylindrical part of the cutting tool that is attached to the milling machine and holds the tool in place
· Roughing – is a configuration of the milling cutter that consists of a set of serrated teeth that breaks material in smaller pieces
· Coatings – are used to improve the surface finish and increases both speed and tool life
While each of the features of the milling cutter affects performance, the type of cutting done is determined by the kind of cutting tool. Milling cutters comes in different types that include the slot drill, ball nose cutter, slab mill, face mill and the fly cutter. Safety is important when using these machine tools because they travel at high speed and removes pieces of scalding materials.