In machining context, a cutting tool is any tool used to remove material from a work piece by means of shear deformation. There are two basic types of cutting tools: single point and multipoint tools.
Single point tools remove material by means of a single cutting edge and used to perform machining operations such as turning, shaping, planing and similar operations. Multipoint cutting tools are those that have two or more chip producing edges. Multipoint cutting tools include milling cutters, end mills, reamers and taps.
Threading or creating screw thread forms an important machining process. More screw threads are produced every year than any other machining element. Single point threading uses a single-point tool to produce a thread form on a cylinder or cone. The linear movement of the tool and the precise rotation of the work piece determine the lead of the thread. The same process is used for external as well as internal threads (male and female threading).
CNC or Computer Numerical Control milling machines have made it possible to create screw threads with a rotating cutter moving in a helical tool path. Thread milling has distinct advantages over single point threading. Thread milling creates better surface finish, improved concentricity and allows creation of left or right hand threads with the same tool.
Screw threads can be formed using other processes as well. These include:
– Thread forming and rolling, which is formation of threads by pressing a shaped die against a blank.
– Thread casting and molding, which is formation of threads by the geometry of the mold cavity the mold or die.
– Thread grinding, a process done on a grinding machine with specially dressed grinding wheels matching the shape of the threads.
– In order to achieve highest possible precision and surface finish, thread grinding is sometimes followed by thread lapping. It is rarely employed except for lead screws or ball screws for high-end machine tools.
Regardless of cutting, turning or threading process, the cutting tool matters the most in machining. A cutting tool must meet a number of requirements for it to work. The primary aspect of a cutting tool is that it should be harder than the material to be cut. It should also be able to maintain its hardness and strength at high temperatures. It is because of this that for cutting exceptionally hard materials, certain cutting tools include a brazed carbide tip insert. Secondly, a cutting tool must have a shape designed in a way that allows it to remove material from the work piece. The third necessary characteristic of a cutting tool is that it should be wear resistant.
It is necessary that cutting tools be sourced from a reliable manufacturer. LMT Fette is regarded as a world leader in threading technology and known for developing innovative cutting tools. One of its latest products is thread rolling head that uses Bluetooth technology for communication between the cutting and the control system of a CNC machine.
To know more about what else LMT Fette has to offer for your machine shop to may want to log in at http://www.fettetools.com/, the official online distributor. Most threading heads are repairable. Fette Tools also offers a thread rolling head repair center along with a wide range of rolling programs backed by engineering staff of trained experts.