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Micromachining Modular Tool Systems for Microturning

Author / Editor: Ingo Reinhardt / MA Alexander Stark

Precise, fast results, long tool life and good chip breaking characteristics are guarantees for successful turning. Turning must also work in a filigree way with shrinking component dimensions and new materials. Here's how it works...

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The demand for miniaturized components is growing - tool manufacturers must also adapt to this when developing new systems.
The demand for miniaturized components is growing - tool manufacturers must also adapt to this when developing new systems.
(Source: Hahn+Kolb Werkzeuge)

The market for microsystems is growing rapidly. This development not only characterizes medical technology, but also electronics and mechanical engineering. The demand for small components such as sensors, medical technology modules or miniaturized machine components is correspondingly high. The demands placed on these microsystems are also growing, because they have to be particularly light and yet wear-resistant and robust. Therefore, innovative materials are used. However, the combination of modern materials and miniaturized component geometries places great demands on the selection of cutting materials used in production.

Huge Range of Possible Combinations

Modular systems consisting of indexable inserts and boring bars or clamp holders are becoming increasingly important in order to meet the requirements of the broad field of turning applications and materials. There are good reasons for that: The combination of these components gives users an almost limitless choice for machining micro-geometries and demanding materials. The advantage of indexable inserts in this diameter range - compared to systems with ground cutting inserts - lies above all in their cost-effectiveness and flexible application. This is because each insert has two cutting edges and can therefore be easily reversed in the event of wear. Special geometries also ensure optimum chip breaking during the process.


It is important to find the right system for a specific application: The Atorn miniature boring program comprises a wide range of boring bars and holders made of steel and solid carbide for boring depths of up to 3 × D (steel) and 4 × D (VHM) respectively. The system works with very small ISO indexable inserts in designs C, D, W and V and thus offers a wide range of application possibilities. Facing, longitudinal, reverse and copy turning from 4.8 mm diameter can be realized in steel, stainless steel, cast iron, special alloys, non-ferrous metals and hardened steels up to 68 HRC.

Micro indexable inserts from Hahn+Kolb are sintered and have special chip breaker geometries that are optimized for micro cutting. These ensure a controlled chip break and thus lead to an accurate turning result. Compared to single-bladed, ground systems, sintered indexable inserts are significantly cheaper to produce. However, geometry and substrate are only two factors that justify the range of advantages of indexable inserts: The coating also makes the difference in turning. The indexable inserts are therefore equipped with the latest coating technology in order to achieve the maximum service life.

Thick Film Diamond

Hahn+Kolb has developed a solution for thick-film diamonds (CVD) for aluminum alloys with a high silicon content, which act like emery paper during machining, and has adapted it to the microholders. For hardened materials or sintered metal processing, the system offers a wide range of CBN micro cutting inserts in laser design.

Each micro-application also has its own special pitfalls. That is why, in addition to a broad portfolio, comprehensive advice about the right system is also an important aspect. Apart from the decisive tool parameters such as material, feed or cutting data, 3D data can also be helpful in turning simulations.

Hahn+Kolb responds to this with the clear design of its catalog and also provides its customers with the expertise of its 150-strong field service team. 20 specialist consultants deal exclusively with questions relating to efficient machining in order to guarantee the perfect turning result in the micro range.

This article was first published by MM MaschinenMarkt

Original by Peter Königsreuther / Translation by Alexander Stark

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