Endmill for 630 (Al + Ni) bronze -- coated, or bare?
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  1. #1
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    Default Endmill for 630 (Al + Ni) bronze -- coated, or bare?

    Hi guys,

    What do you like to use on 630 bronze? 630 is 10% Al, 5% Ni, 3% Fe, balance Cu.

    Bare? AlTiN? TiCN? ZrN?

    Thanks, and regards.

    Mike

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    I'm not an expert at bronze, but anything with alumimnu, & nickle in it is going to be tough(er) and abrasive. I would definitely use a coating. In my experience, aluminum bronze can be wicked abrasive on even carbide tooling. (Especially turning.) Any coating would be better than none. Given the choice, I'd *probably* prefer a TiCn coating, but AlTin will be easier to find, and I'm no coating specialist. I would also prefer more steel/HSM tools vs. dedicated non-ferrous styles. That stuff is abrasive & tough, so you want some protection via edge-prep on the tool, and steel/HSM tools will give you that.

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    Just did some. Used a lakeshore carbide 1/2" 5-flute variable for stainless (ALTIN coated). Utilized HSM toolpaths but did keep things low and slow (1100 RPM /12 ipm) and it seemed to work fine.

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    Ali-Bronze sucks... Toss some nickel in there and it sucks even more..

    It is ABRASIVE.. very very ABRASIVE.. It EATS everything.. Just wears it away..

    It likes HIGH POSITIVE geometry, aluminum style.. A honed edge on an insert cutter designed
    for steel... Might as well just hit it with a hammer and tie it to your truck and rip it out of
    the vise/fixture...

    For HSS, you are looking at mild steel and under speeds**(story to follow).. Carbide, with aluminum
    geometry, sharp endmills, you can get crazy...BUT it will still wear it away eventually.. I honestly
    don't know if there is coating/geometry combo out there that would be the cats ass.. I had the best luck
    with uncoated Hanita Varimills. (J&L ozone back in the day, before MSC destroyed them).

    Shit sucks...

    ** Ali-nickel-bronze castings... Low tolerance, hole had a big tolerance but fell into zone
    where there wasn't a good drill to use, so had to ream it... Just kept runnin' 'em.. Not
    checking a damn thing because it was for a F'n Trailer (customers words "who cares, its going
    on a F'n trailer")..

    Anyways.. Turns out that the drill became nicely tapered, as did the reamer.. The reamer was cutting
    over .020" under the drill size at the end of the run...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobw View Post
    Ali-Bronze sucks... Toss some nickel in there and it sucks even more..

    It is ABRASIVE.. very very ABRASIVE.. It EATS everything.. Just wears it away..

    It likes HIGH POSITIVE geometry, aluminum style.. A honed edge on an insert cutter designed
    for steel... Might as well just hit it with a hammer and tie it to your truck and rip it out of
    the vise/fixture...

    For HSS, you are looking at mild steel and under speeds**(story to follow).. Carbide, with aluminum
    geometry, sharp endmills, you can get crazy...BUT it will still wear it away eventually.. I honestly
    don't know if there is coating/geometry combo out there that would be the cats ass.. I had the best luck
    with uncoated Hanita Varimills. (J&L ozone back in the day, before MSC destroyed them).

    Shit sucks...

    ** Ali-nickel-bronze castings... Low tolerance, hole had a big tolerance but fell into zone
    where there wasn't a good drill to use, so had to ream it... Just kept runnin' 'em.. Not
    checking a damn thing because it was for a F'n Trailer (customers words "who cares, its going
    on a F'n trailer")..

    Anyways.. Turns out that the drill became nicely tapered, as did the reamer.. The reamer was cutting
    over .020" under the drill size at the end of the run...
    I second regular uncoated tools for Aluminum. Something cheap as you'll be using lots of them.

    (Sort of relevant) Turning similar bronze a Walter DNMG WPP30S had a shitty cutting edge after one part. Swapped to a Korloy DNGP aluminum insert and you could barely tell it had been used after 10 pieces.

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    I'm a little shocked by the recommendations to use sharp, aluminum coated tools for that stuff, but I'm happy to defer to those with more experience cutting it. (My aluminum bronze experience was all with Ampco 18 & 21 - and it was torturous...) FWIW the Niagara A340, A245 & A345 tools are aluminum/non-ferrous geometries, and are available uncoated or with a TiCN coating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jashley73 View Post
    I'm a little shocked by the recommendations to use sharp, aluminum coated tools for that stuff, but I'm happy to defer to those with more experience cutting it. (My aluminum bronze experience was all with Ampco 18 & 21 - and it was torturous...) FWIW the Niagara A340, A245 & A345 tools are aluminum/non-ferrous geometries, and are available uncoated or with a TiCN coating.

    SHARP SHARP SHARP SHARP SHARP... That really is a funny looking word when you type it out five times..

    But SHARP SHARP SHARP...

    Another story...

    Tapping some Ali-Bronze.. I don't recall the alloy, weather it had Ni in it or not, doesn't matter, it ALL SUCKS.

    Started the tap in the machine and then finish on the bench(in the bench VISE)..

    3/4-16... 3 foot cheater bar to get her to spin.. Touch those teeth up with a cut off wheel on a dremel tool
    and you could literally drive that tap half way into the first part by hand.. BY HAND, I mean, no wrench, no
    tools, literally just spinning the tap by hand.. If the tool is SHARP it cuts SOOOOOOO EASY!! But it EATS tools
    and by the end of the second part of tapping, right back to the 3 foot long cheater bar.. Touch her up with the
    Dremel and get back at her...

    Nasty stuff..

    Zip a deburr tool around some ali-bronze.... Its like scraping your fingernails down a chalk board, but
    100X worse...

    Like ManualEd said above, turning, polished and ground up-sharps..

    It is absolutely amazing, and unseen (to me) in any other material.. But that tool has to be SHARP SHARP SHARP..
    The slightest bit of dull, or running a honed or molded edge and the tool pressure goes through the fricken roof..
    And it is SOOOOO ABRASIVE.

    The shit sucks...

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    I've machined so many miles of this garbage it's an ongoing marathon. When I started it, I always assumed the toughest most long lasting coating would be best---wrong. What happened was I was going through tooling a lot and one day ran out, and needed to wait until next day for more, so I just started going through all the old inserts (turning app) and taking them over to the diamond wheel and dressing the corners by hand, I did't care it's not going in a space ship today. Whalla, better insert life, experimented with different radii and found very sharp corners worked better. BUT as Bob pointed out with the tap story, you gotta keep them dressed and sharp. So I spent about 3 hours just dressing corners on a bag of these beat ass old inserts to finish the job. That was about 8 years ago, guess how we do the job now? (with a little more attention to detail and accuracy of course)

    Robert my ±2

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    There's not much iron in that alloy. Anybody tried a laser chip-breaker PCD insert on these?

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    Sounds like people are saying you need the geometry and coating we use on our regrinds. Razor sharp and silicon nitride coated.


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