Few other materials, like cemented carbide, have had such a significant impact on the global economy and industrial civilization. This high-hardness and wear-resistant material is widely used in the manufacture of various products, such as the tip of a ballpoint pen, the guide ring of a fishing rod, wear-resistant parts, dental drills, and armor-piercing bullet cores. However, its most important use is to make cutting tools. In fact, coated carbide tools are the most widely used cutting tools on the market. This kind of tool significantly improves the productivity level of the metal cutting process, thereby greatly reducing the manufacturing cost of many daily necessities.
However, it is not always easy to select the best carbide insert grades for a specific machining task because of the various advanced coating technologies and coating materials in the market. Choosing carbide insert grades is best to start with the workpiece material, because the type of material to be processed plays a key role in determining whether the cemented carbide blade needs coating.
Coated carbide inserts are essential for the cutting of iron group materials (such as iron, cast iron, steel or stainless steel). When cutting high-temperature alloys (especially alloy materials whose machinability reaches a medium/high level), in most cases, the use of coated inserts is also the best choice. Processing titanium alloys can also benefit from coatings, especially without the use of high-pressure coolants.
Uncoated carbide blades are suitable for processing non-ferrous materials (such as aluminum). In fact, since aluminum parts are relatively soft and prone to buildup, it is best to use extremely sharp uncoated cutting edges for machining. Other workpiece materials that do not require the use of coated blades include brass, bronze, various composite materials, and wood. However, the use of suitable diamond coatings can greatly improve processing efficiency and tool life, such as Balchas AD coating and DLC coating.
Choosing the right coating type is the most difficult part of choosing a coated blade. After all, various processing tasks are very different, so the coating process and coating materials that should be used must be carefully considered.