Several years ago, there was a voice that high-speed milling could replace EDM in the mold industry, which led to the irrational choice of some factory owners when they invested in equipment. In fact, factories should make clear the advantages and disadvantages of the two technologies, choose the appropriate equipment according to their own processing needs, and never follow the trend or follow blindly.
1. Can the development of high-speed milling replace EDM?
It can be said that EDM and high-speed milling are the two main forces of mold forming technology, they have their own advantages. With the rapid development of high-speed milling technology and the development of its tool carbide burr end mill, can its trend replace EDM?
Objectively speaking, the high-speed milling technology is not all-around. It comes from the supplement to the weakness of traditional milling and EDM technology. Its mature development gradually widens its application field. However, due to the restriction of the milling mode itself, it is impossible to replace EDM in mold processing. In this paper, the actual production experience of mold enterprises is to do some analysis and introduction.
2. Advantages and application of EDM
Generally speaking, the advantages of EDM are mainly reflected in the processing of deep grooves and narrow seams, the processing of internal cleaning angles, the processing of clear edges, subtle, complex, and meticulous processing, the processing of deep cavities, as well as the processing of superhard materials, which are all the shortcomings of high-speed milling. It can be seen that EDM has an advantage in the mold manufacturing of fine and complex shapes.
With the rapid development of high-speed milling technology, the demand for rough and medium-sized EDM is obviously reduced, but in the face of challenges, EDM integrates advanced numerical control technology. With the progress of technology, all process indicators can reach a high level, and the microcavity with a highly accurate edge angle can be obtained, and the mirror machining effect with a Ra value of less than 0.1 μ M can be obtained. In addition, EDM milling, powder mixed EDM large area finishing and other technologies also expand the application of EDM.
For the machining of small cavities, narrow slots, grooves, corners, etc., EDM should be the first choice; for the machining of complex shape parts, Especially when it is difficult for the cutter to reach the complex surface, EDM has its significance; where deep cutting is needed, where the aspect ratio is particularly high, it is more clear to avoid the application of high-speed milling; for the processing of high-tech parts, the general processing time of electrode is shorter than that of high-speed milling. In more complex processing applications, this difference becomes more obvious; where EDM is required, EDM is used to provide a spark pattern surface.
It is worth mentioning that there are many machining situations, theoretically speaking, high-speed milling can be applied to complete the machining. But in fact, because of the high cost of micro-cutting tools and the risk of milling high hardness steel parts, it is better to use EDM to mill copper electrodes easily and achieve a predictable EDM effect.
3. Advantages and application of high-speed milling
The high-speed milling adopts a small diameter milling cutter such as a carbide burr end mill, which has high speed and small cycle feed, greatly improving the production efficiency and machining accuracy. At the same time, due to the low milling force, the reduction of workpiece thermal deformation, the smaller milling depth, and the faster feed, the surface roughness of the machining is very small.
High-speed milling is suitable for most mold processing. In-mold processing, high-speed milling can process 60HRC hardened steel. Therefore, high-speed milling allows cutting after heat treatment, which greatly simplifies the mold manufacturing process. The traditional machining process is rough machining of shape → rough milling of cavity → heat treatment → fine machining of shape → EDM cavity → benchwork grinding and polishing cavity → surface strengthening treatment. The process after high-speed machining is rough machining → heat treatment → finish machining → high-speed milling of cavity → surface strengthening treatment, which can save the electric machining (relatively speaking), manual grinding, and other processes, shorten the process route and greatly improve the processing productivity.
In general, high-speed milling should be used to replace EDM for machining with large removal. When the tool is easy to approach the workpiece, the shape of the machining part is open, and the aspect ratio is small, it is suitable for high-speed milling and carbide burr end mill.
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