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aluminum end mill, wet or dry? what coating? what supplier?

wheelieking71

Diamond
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Location
Gilbert, AZ
yep its just 6061.
tried to increase it to 4000 and just destroyed it even faster on the first step down.
its a bright polished end mill and 45 degree helix and sharp corner, might switch to a 0.030rad if i can.
had it plunge at first, ya got about half way, clogged up and snapped it off in the holder.
A little WD40 will help a lot if coolant is not an option. Something is a must (as you are figuring out).
You have to keep the tool wet with something that has at least a little lubricity.
You can even mix up some coolant, and put it in a squirt bottle. Then stand there and keep spraying.
It will make all the difference in the world. To the point that your cutting parameters really don't even matter.
 

apoet

Plastic
Joined
Dec 10, 2021
Is your toolpath zigzag ramping, or is it taking a plunge stepdown at the end of the slot?
 

triumph406

Titanium
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Location
ca
I use YG-1 Alu-Power end mills, about the best there is and can be had cheaply off of ebay.

I'd plunge in first. I typically would run at 7000rpm and 70ipm, plunge at maybe 10ipm (not a production environment here so no need to break the sound barrier)

Works best flooded. A mister might work in a pinch. As long as you don't mind breathing in the mist.
 

empower

Titanium
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
Calm down. Sounds like you still have a grudge and don’t need to turn things into a pissing contest.
Already past it, you should also.
You have an issue then pm me like a mature adult.
i've said my piece. just giving you a taste of your own medicine, if you're gonna make ASSumptions, then so will i. i'm moving on now.
 

Goff

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Location
CA, USA
Coolant is best, but if you cannot get your coolant running, another option is using a spray bottle with WD40, Kerosene, maybe even diesel.
If you are running high volume production, this isn't practical. But for small runs it works.
 

LOTT

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Get one of these air venturi systems and use the KoolMist coolant until your flood system is fixed.


There's cheap eBay versions that work also.

Just fill a bucket with the KoolMist and water mix, it's made for being sprayed and will be way nicer than Kerosene or diesel (any port in a storm, and I've used ATF as cutting fluid, but spraying diesel into your mill would be gross).

Also, can you use a smaller end mill and a trichoidal tool path? That gives the chips a better chance to escape.
 

Pattnmaker

Stainless
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Location
Hamilton, Ontario
I have cut a fair bit of 6061 with a really light duty machine with just mql an what seemed to work best for me was high rpm high feed with a really small radial engagement. I usually spiral ramped.

That said I am so much happier now using flood on a heavier machine. But I don't have a 5'x10' table on the flood Coolant machine.
 

BT Fabrication

Stainless
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
I use YG-1 Alu-Power end mills, about the best there is and can be had cheaply off of ebay.

I'd plunge in first. I typically would run at 7000rpm and 70ipm, plunge at maybe 10ipm (not a production environment here so no need to break the sound barrier)

Works best flooded. A mister might work in a pinch. As long as you don't mind breathing in the mist.
was the alu power bare polished or the DLC coated?
 

BT Fabrication

Stainless
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Get one of these air venturi systems and use the KoolMist coolant until your flood system is fixed.


There's cheap eBay versions that work also.

Just fill a bucket with the KoolMist and water mix, it's made for being sprayed and will be way nicer than Kerosene or diesel (any port in a storm, and I've used ATF as cutting fluid, but spraying diesel into your mill would be gross).

Also, can you use a smaller end mill and a trichoidal tool path? That gives the chips a better chance to escape.
yep, tried to have the coolant i use in the machines in a hand held spray bottle, but the high rpms just fling chips and the coolant out of the cut. I have increased the ratio in it also from the 5-6% up to 8-9%
had a long air blower in there as it cuts and works better but was still breaking end mills on this run of parts. Thankfully I'm almost done this 50 pc with only one part casualty, that can be fixed and might have a bit of carbide embedded in it.
normally there is coolant on this 32"x24" vmc center but waiting for parts sucks and ran these parts before without issues, same program and everything when i get them every 6 months.
 

Mtndew

Diamond
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Location
Michigan
If you're unable to use coolant, then you need to cut the 6061 in a way where the heat stays in the chip. Cutting dry and having the part get warm is what makes it stick to the cutter. So light stepovers and fast feeds. Much faster than what you stated in your OP.
 

Blaser Swisslube

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 30, 2009
Location
Goshen, NY
yep, tried to have the coolant i use in the machines in a hand held spray bottle, but the high rpms just fling chips and the coolant out of the cut. I have increased the ratio in it also from the 5-6% up to 8-9%
had a long air blower in there as it cuts and works better but was still breaking end mills on this run of parts. Thankfully I'm almost done this 50 pc with only one part casualty, that can be fixed and might have a bit of carbide embedded in it.
normally there is coolant on this 32"x24" vmc center but waiting for parts sucks and ran these parts before without issues, same program and everything when i get them every 6 months.
That's some creative thinking using the hand held spray bottle! We were going to say something similar: to us a MQL (some call it a "mist" minimum quantity lubrication) if a flood coolant isn't available, but glad to hear you're almost done. (y)
 

BT Fabrication

Stainless
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
If you're unable to use coolant, then you need to cut the 6061 in a way where the heat stays in the chip. Cutting dry and having the part get warm is what makes it stick to the cutter. So light stepovers and fast feeds. Much faster than what you stated in your OP.
yep, the external cutting is working just fine on the same part, and the same cutter helical interpolating a hole is working perfectly fine. its just the damn slotting.
the external milling is a 1/2" 3 flute DLC coated widin same end mill, just running 6600rpm at 103.2IPM and its crushing it, no lube, no air needed.
1661361093879.png
 

BT Fabrication

Stainless
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
One thing you could try is to switch to a 2 flute end mill for slotting.
yes that was my other option of ordering new end mills in a 2 flute, had a regular coated 2 flute but seen the aluminum sheen on it after one part and BUE was bad on it. cut with more chatter then i was liking overall and had to drop rpms down to about 2200 and 8 or so ipm.
had my tooling rep in and he was going to ask a local shop what they had been doing, said they were running dry on aluminum but wasn't sure what grade.
 

rk9268vc

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 2, 2021
Location
Minnesota
YG alupower 3 flute 37 degree helix diamond coated carbide endmills are where the money is at.
Use WD-40 mist if you cant run flood
even standing there with a spray can of WD-40 will be way better than running dry
 








 
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