Metalworking is processes done on a machine tool or lathe machine to fabricate metal components of machines by turning, which is selective removal of metal. Ever since the first machine tool became commercially available in 1800, there has been a lot of development in design and working of a lathe machine. Similarly, many new tools were invented to facilitate different turning processes.
The basic concept of metalworking has never changed. What has changed over the years is the power source, control of the cutting tool and types of tools for removal of metal. Before metal can be cut to give it the desired shape, it must be measured and marked, a simple and inexpensive process. Precise measuring is done with the aid of a calliper, which can measure digitally up to a thousandth of an inch. Marking is commonly done with carbide-tipped scribers. For drilling, marking is done with a punch.
The actual processes of metal cutting are complex and wide-ranging requiring different types of metalworking tools including cutting tools. Some of the most common processes are milling, drilling, grinding, filling and turning. Drilling is a simple process for creating a hole in metal while milling is a more complex process. In drilling, the work piece is sedentary but in other processes, it has to be rotated against a cutting tool. The turning process is accomplished by spinning the work piece on a lathe machine.
While holding the work piece tightly in one place is a necessary and important to metalworking, the cutting tool plays the most crucial role. A wide variety of cutting and other tools are used for giving different shapes to metal. The most common ones are drill bits, milling cutters, grinding wheels, thread rolling systems, turning heads, milling cutters, reamers, dies and taps.
Introduction of CNC or computer numerical control machine tools has resulted in reduction of manual control of the cutting tool and in a wide range of specifically designed cutting tools. Apart from the above services, CNC machine tools are able to perform extremely complex cutting processes requiring an entirely different set of precision cutting tools. Computer aided manufacturing processes are quick and accurate and involve CAD or Computer Aided Design.
Cutting tools must be made from material that is harder than the work piece. It should also be able to withstand the heat generated during the cutting process. In addition, the cutting tool must have a specific geometry. The cutting process is all about precision and the cutting tool must have clearance angles designed in a way that the cutting tool can contact the work piece without the rest of the tool dragging on to the surface of the work piece.
The bottom line is that the cutting tool is equally, if not more, important than the powered source that rotates the work piece.
LMT Fette USA is a market leader that specializes in thread rolling systems, steel and tube processing, gear cutting, cutting tool reconditioning, mold and die solutions and automotive components. www.fettetools.com is official online reseller of precision crafted LMT Fette tools for the metal industry. Fette Tools also offers threading experts and CNC tooling engineers for providing support for cost reduction and cycle time improvements.