Cutting titanium with Minimum Quantity Lubricant (MQL)
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  1. #1
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    Default Cutting titanium with Minimum Quantity Lubricant (MQL)

    Good morning Everyone:
    I posted in a recent thread, about how reluctant I've become to re-fill the coolant tank on my VMC, now that I've moved into a much smaller shop than my previous digs.
    So I went on the net and found Unist, a company who makes a MQL system you can put onto your machine with a magnet to hold it on, so you no longer have to deal with the skanky, smelly mess of water based flood coolants.
    Yesterday was the first time I ran a titanium (Ti6Al4V) part using the system.
    I crapped my panties a bit and clutched the big Class D fire extinguisher close to my chest before I pushed the green button.
    Obviously I was freaked about lighting the mill on fire.
    I'd been reading on the internet about how you CANNOT mill titanium without massive flood coolant and how it will all be a BIG FUCKUP if you try.

    Well, it ran like a bunny; no problems at all.
    I stopped midway and felt the part...totally cool to the touch.
    That was using a thrasher cutter too...I was too cheap to put in a new one until the old one was truly dead.

    Granted I was using high feed milling (adaptive roughing with HSMWorks) so a big DOC (0.400) and a tiny stepover (0.0075") but it whistled along at 80 IPM and 3600 RPM, no burps no farts no nothing!
    This is with a bog standard 5/16 4 flute TiAlN Garr endmill with a 0.020" bullnose in a vintage 2001 Haas Minimill.

    I don't know how hard I could have pushed it but my fixturing is pretty wimpy (three 8:32 screws with 0.075" engagement holding a part spigoted into a fixture plate by 0.075" and sticking up about an inch), so I chickened out about making it work harder. (it's a high value part and I'd hate to lose one through Speed Greed)

    This is an unexpected surprise...I didn't think it would go so well.

    Just thought I'd let everyone know.

    Also any comments others might have, I'd love to hear!

    Here's a picture (yes it's part of another another freaky sex toy).
    It's just roughed at this stage but the inside is already finish milled.
    Came out very nice...better than I was used to seeing with Blaser.

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails dscn4930.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by implmex View Post
    Here's a picture (yes it's part of another another freaky sex toy).
    Hope your going to de-burr that well if that fits were im guessing it does! Spose you must have charged well for that + extra for strapping said individual down to "probe" them with your CMM to make the model? I have only ever done pretty tame body piercing bits in comparison to that. I don't think a lot of people realize the market place there is though for the high end of these kinda items.

    Glad it worked out, my only concern, you get that titanium alight, that air blast is going to sure keep it so! When your onto something with a new cutter would be curious how you think cutter life compares to flood. I have never ran MQL back to back with flood to see which is best, i just long ago decided this would be a no flood coolant shop since i moved here. Hence these days most tooling is coated carbide and MQL as needed.

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    Adam, I do quite a bit of Alt body jewelry, tattoo gun frames and such. I haven't a clue what you are talking about....unless it's what only my imagination would figure. In that case it's really unnecessary, like using an Axe to butter your bread.

    R

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    I've had some pretty serious meltdowns in titanium, as in a 2x6 endmill burning all the way down to almost a ball mill. Bright red blob of a cutter, sparks and molten shit flying. Never had a part catch fire.

    It's very hard to get a solid piece of titanium to go off. Chips on the other hand- very easy to ignite. We had a guy running a face mill on some Ti blocks, the sparks were flying off the face mill and right into the 55 gallon barrel of chips behind the machine. That was exciting- a quick thinking sweeper ran over and kicked the barrel over and scattered it all over the floor so it didn't get out of hand.

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    I have a Unist MQL system on my router the chips are dry but the parts are oily and a pain to clean dawn dish soap works but my VMC has water based coolant and the same parts are easily blown off with air and no need to degrease the parts. I prefer the coolant over the MQL and I have both.

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    That may mean you're running too rich a mist. Have you tried cutting the flow down?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    That may mean you're running too rich a mist. Have you tried cutting the flow down?
    Remember it’s called minimum quantity lubrication

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzert View Post
    Remember it’s called minimum quantity lubrication
    Yeah. And the flow rate is still adjustable, and it's possible to have it siphoning/pumping/whatevering too much. Hence my question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    That may mean you're running too rich a mist. Have you tried cutting the flow down?
    That is possible but I adjusted it per their instructions using some cardboard I have the pattern of spray they recommend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gundog View Post
    That is possible but I adjusted it per their instructions using some cardboard I have the pattern of spray they recommend.
    If you have the chance, try a leaner setting and see how it does. The other thing I know about MQL is that it doesn't like "losing contact" with the cutter, as in being masked by a part feature if you only have one nozzle. Better setups have two or more to ensure the cutter is always getting some some spray/lube on it.

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    Milland I was tagging on to what you said not informing you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzert View Post
    Milland I was tagging on to what you said not informing you.
    Oops, sorry if my response was curt (or Kurt). And it was. It's the Internet after all, rule #1 is to always take offense at whatever anyone types at or near you...

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    I will say the MQL has allowed me to cut some aluminum alloys I could not cut on my bed mill that has a koolmist system. I was cutting some 6063 extrusion and on the bed mill 3" of cut and the bit snapped completely gummed up. Using the same chip load on the router but using the MQL I could make the parts with no problem using the router with MQL both machines have 2 nozzles.

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    Veering slightly OT has anyone had much luck with cold air guns?

    IME they use so much of the incoming air cooling that what remains to be chilled is about useless.

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    I caught some titanium on fire once. 5/8" nitride coated drill, I tried to make one part too may with. It was the last part on an order. It went out on it's own. Been machining since 1979, only had 4 shop fires between self employment and working for the man. Other than the titanium fire, some clown was using a trash can full of paper to catch grinding dust from a pedestal grinder, then panicked and ran away when it caught fire. I emptied a mop bucket on it to put it out. I had a Chinese motor on a horizontal band saw catch fire and the belt went up also, had to use an extinguisher on that one. Then there was the rag on the welding table. Is that a normal amount of fires? That is like only one every 10 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gundog View Post
    I will say the MQL has allowed me to cut some aluminum alloys I could not cut on my bed mill that has a koolmist system. I was cutting some 6063 extrusion and on the bed mill 3" of cut and the bit snapped completely gummed up. Using the same chip load on the router but using the MQL I could make the parts with no problem using the router with MQL both machines have 2 nozzles.
    What is a "bit"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by litlerob1 View Post
    What is a "bit"?
    That sharp little spinny part that keeps breaking because you're still learning F360

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    Maybe we should try Endmills????

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    Can I still hold that in my drill chuck?

    Seriously though, has no one else tried cold air guns?

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    Quote Originally Posted by litlerob1 View Post
    Adam, I do quite a bit of Alt body jewelry, tattoo gun frames and such. I haven't a clue what you are talking about....unless it's what only my imagination would figure. In that case it's really unnecessary, like using an Axe to butter your bread.

    R
    Oh boy, that is not really Jewellery per say, That said, jewellery probably does go through that slot! really not sure i can spell it out in public on here either. Its definitely kinda not work safe if you have any hang ups. If we say there's another opposite half and they go around something and get locked up by ones Master - Mistress should probably cover it! If your still unsure at that point, your lucky, don't be too keen to lose that innocence! (if tatoo gun frames are your idea of a 10, this things like a million) i only have the knowledge i do on this because of a couple of very strange customers, who are actually really nice people. They pay a lot to get stainless items like this modified. But kinda earn there living be paid to be very not so nice Mistresses.

    And yeah precision measurement and accurate customer "fit" is probably why there having it custom milled in titanium too. Because the wearer probably will be wearing it for a while! Nuff said?

    As to MQL, rule of thumb i was taught and have found plenty is just enough to make a piece of std weight office paper get a translucent spot after a good 30 seconds in front of nozzle. I do find for harder materials i don't need much at all but some of the gummy aluminum's really do need a bit more than that. The veg based oil i use with my MQL is easily cleaned up with methelated spirits though.

    On high run parts over spray on vice jaws and such does build up but its no biggy to just wipe off, its really only if it sits for several days does it get gummy.


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