special carbide inserts

Carbide inserts are indexable cutting tools essential across metalworking industries for machining components efficiently. This guide covers various special grade carbide insert types, manufacturing methods, key applications and considerations for material selection.

Compositions of special carbide inserts Grades

Grade FamilyMajor Alloying ElementsCommon Grades
Coated carbidesTiC, TiCN, TiAlN, AlCrNGC4225, IC907, AC630
CermetsTiCN–Ni/MoTF35, 883
CBN/PCBNCBN, TiC binderBN250, BZN800
CeramicsAl203, SiC, Si3N4CC670, SC850
DiamondCVD/PCD diamondDA100, PD5100

Special carbide inserts utilize exotic coatings, ceramic composites and polycrystalline diamond for extreme hardness, heat resistance and tool life.

Manufacturing Processes

Powder metallurgyBlended powders compacted and sintered to shape
Physical vapor depositionEvaporated metal/ceramic coatings 1-10 μm thick
Chemical vapor depositionDiamond film grown on insert substrate
High pressure high tempConverts graphite powder into polycrystalline CBN/diamond

Precision subtractive grinding defines final insert geometries and edge preparations needed for intended operations like turning, milling or drilling.

special carbide inserts

special carbide inserts Typical Applications

IndustryCommon Machining Operations
AutomotiveHigh speed machining of engine blocks or drivetrain components
AerospaceDifficult to machine alloys, precision boring/drilling
Die moldHardened steels mold and die making
MedicalBiocompatible alloys, tight tolerance cuts
Oil and GasTurning and boring for valves, compressors, piping

CBN/ceramic grades boost tool life on hardened ferrous materials. Diamond inserts excel at carbon fiber composites or AlSi alloys for transportation. TiAlN/TiSiN PVD films ideal general purpose stable coatings.

Insert Specifications

ISO 1832Indexable inserts for cutting tools – Designation
ANSI B212.4-1986Carbide Inserts – Identification
JIS B4104Designation of Indexable Inserts

Standards help classify insert shape, size, tolerance, grade and manufacturer for proper identification and replacement.

Global Suppliers

CompanyGrades Offered
SandvikGC415, RX720, PC5025
KennametalKC730, KC935M
MitsubishiVP15TF, SDEH120
SumitomoAC700G, S700
KyoceraCX610, HD2050

All major cutting tool manufacturers offer an extensive range of proprietary insert grades tailored for specific workpiece materials and operating conditions.

Insert Selection Criteria

Key considerations when choosing insert grade:

  • Workpiece material type and hardness
  • Target cutting parameters (speeds/feeds)
  • Cooling method used
  • Tolerance and surface finish needs
  • Machine tool rigidity and vibration levels
  • Relative insert cost vs tool life

Understand machining environment constraints before selecting special grades for cost-effective processes. Get supplier technical support.

Pros vs Cons of Special Insert Grades

Very high metal removal ratesMuch higher cost per edge
Extended and consistent tool lifeLimited insert geometries available
Improved surface finish possibleNeed appropriate machine capabilities
Low forces and power needsApplication support essential
Can facilitate dry/near dry machiningChanges overall process economics

Assess specific process benefits against higher insert costs when evaluating special carbide grades.

special carbide inserts


How should special coated inserts be handled and stored?

With care to avoid chipping coated edges. No solvent cleaning. Some coatings reactive when heated. Follow manufacturer guidelines on allowable operating environments.

When does using CBN inserts make economic sense?

Typically on stable precision machine tools when machining over 50-60 HRC hardened steels over long production runs. Worthwhen 20-50X tool life increase offsets higher insert cost.

What causes rapid flank wear on ceramic inserts?

Poor surface finish, vibration issues, built up edge due to low feeds/speeds, inadequate coolant impingement, chemical dissolution of binder phase etc. Need rigid machining system.

Why are thicker CVD diamond coatings not necessarily better?

While prolonging substrate exposure, too thick a film strains adhesion and abrades away at cutting edges losing precision. Optimal balancing avoids exponential cost.

Which machining methods can leverage solid CBN (SCBN) inserts?

Applications restricted to non-ferrous alloys like aluminum, brass and copper. Very low thermal expansion combined with extreme hardness makes SCBN inserts too brittle for interrupted cuts.


In closing, special carbide insert grades enable predictable tool life and high performance machining capabilities essential for competitive manufacturing across several modern industries. Careful process analysis and matching grade properties to work environments facilitates productivity gains.

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