New tool for improved machining of titanium alloys for aerospace applications

January 26, 2011

Titanium alloys are increasingly used in the aerospace industry, although machining them is far from easy. Carbide specialist CERATIZIT S.A., headquarted in Luxembourg, recently announced the development of a milling tool specifically adapted for the machining of titanium. MaxiMill 211-20 increases both process security and productivity allowing 30% higher cutting speeds and up to 200% longer tool life.

When developing new aircraft, light construction with new materials plays a central role. Titanium is increasingly being used for the production of supporting structural components. When machining an exotic material such as titanium, operators and tool makers both face great technological challenges.


The geometry of MaxiMill 211-20 reduces heat

development and improves chip formation.

The ‘notch’ provides additional stability when

plunging (Courtesy CERATIZIT)

Titanium alloys are light, they are ductile, corrosion and heat resistant; however, their poor machinability represents a notable disadvantage. This is mainly due to the extremely low heat conductivity of titanium alloys. The heat produced during the cutting process is therefore not evacuated with the swarf, but the major part of the heat is concentrated inside the tool or the cutting edge.

As an expert in the field of titanium machining, CERATIZIT, with its long-standing experience with exotic materials as well as in-depth know-how in the development of application technology, has become a specialist in the machining of demanding materials.

Cooperation between leading aerospace companies and carbide expert CERATIZIT

Together with a worldwide leading company in the aerospace industry, CERATIZIT has developed a tool which is extremely well-suited for the specific milling tasks and requirements of the aerospace industry. The goal of this cooperation was to reduce manufacturing costs for complex and highly resistant components in titanium. The performance of the tools was to be improved and process security optimised.


The new MaxiMill 211-20 was developed by CERATIZIT

together with a worldwide leading company in the

aerospace industry and adapted to the requirements

of titanium machining.(Courtesy CERATIZIT)

The result of this cooperation was MaxiMill 211-20, an extension of the basic program of the successful MaxiMill 211 product line from CERATIZIT. The new tooling solution now allows operators in the aerospace industry to manufacture their titanium components assuring high productivity and considerably lower production costs.

Large, stable inserts ensure secure plunging operations and milling without problems up to a depth of cut of 19 mm. All tools are provided with coolant holes. The coating of HyperCoat grade CTC5240 for titanium guarantees excellent heat resistance. The smooth surface ensures that the swarf is evacuated easily over the rake face. At the same time the extremely hard and very tough coating protects the tool against wear resistance and corrosion.

The inserts are specifically designed for long-chipping exotic materials such as titanium, super alloys and heat resistant steels. Their positive geometry reduces the cutting force and heat on the tool. MaxiMill 211-20 is mainly applied for rough machining, but may also be used for ramping and full-slot milling where it provides high metal removal rates.

30% higher cutting speeds and up to 200% longer tool life

In tests under hardest conditions the latest tool from CERATIZIT showed between 15 and 30% higher cutting speeds combined with a feed per tooth of up to 0.4 mm. The cutting speed on titanium with MaxiMill 211-20 is around 60 m/min, while the tool life was increased between 20 and 100%, sometimes even up to 200%.

MaxiMill 211-20 ensures cost saving through shorter machining times on the one hand, and on the other hand through maximum process security: gradual wear, calculable and consistent tool life, a low risk of breakage and the avoidance of reject parts caused by tool failure.

“In this way we have more than reached our development goal,” Peter Uttenthaler, Global Key Account Manager at CERATIZIT explains. “The aerospace industry is not the only one to benefit from MaxiMill 211-20’s performance profile. In fact, rough milling of difficult to machine materials at higher depths of cut represents one of the most demanding and most critical applications of all,” continues Uttenthaler. Industries such as power generation and turbine construction, oil and gas extraction or the chemical industry can also optimally apply MaxiMill 211-20 for a variety of milling applications of super alloys, heat resistant steels and titanium.


Also available from Inovar Communications:

Developments in tungsten carbide-cobalt cemented carbides

Powder injection moulding of cemented carbides (Hardmetals): a global industry with a bright future

Titanium powder injection moulding (Ti-PIM): A review of the current status of materials, processing, properties and applications

Titanium parts by powder injection moulding of TiH2-based feedstocks

Titanium and titanium alloy Powder Injection Moulding: Matching application requirements

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January 26, 2011

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