Kennametal Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, has introduced a new turning grade for nickel, cobalt and iron-based superalloys used in aerospace and other high-temperature applications. The new grade, KCS10B, is said to feature a coating applied to an ultra-fine grain carbide substrate for superior layer adhesion.
According to the company, KCS10B delivers up to 50% greater tool life, more predictable processes and improved productivity when working with difficult-to-machine superalloys. It is capable of overcoming the most common challenges encountered in turning superalloys – cratering and depth-of-cut notching – which may lead to unexpected and even catastrophic tool failure.
KCS10B is available in the most popular turning insert shapes, sizes, and geometries. Robert Keilmann, Senior Global Product Manager for Turning, stated that KCS10B’s development was achieved using Kennametal’s proprietary High-Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (High-PIMS) technology.
Rather than the ‘light rain’ of droplets that falls on cutting tools during traditional PVD coating processes, High-PIMS generates a fine mist of AlTiN, building a series of “extremely thin, smooth, and wear-resistant layers,” Keilmann explained.
In addition, metals such as Inconel 718 and Stellite 31 are notorious for causing rapid wear and unpredictable tool life, and KCS10B is reportedly proven to reduce DOC notching and extend tool life from three minutes to upwards of five minutes in roughing operations.
Tool life in finishing operations is said to fare even better, with visible cratering and subsequent tool failure often delayed by a factor of two or three compared to competitive brands.
Positive and negative rake inserts are available, as well as various chip formers, edge preparations, and geometries, making KCS10B an effective solution for turning iron-based (S1), cobalt-based (S2), or nickel-based (S3) alloys.
“Aside from a smoother surface, the new coating process also allows us to create a much sharper edge,” added Keilmann. “Our advanced honing and edge-preparation process reduces the friction that leads to heat, which further improves tool life.”
“It also means less built-up edge, another common failure mode in superalloy materials. When coupled with the excellent dimensional accuracy that Kennametal turning inserts are known for, shops can now expect the increased performance, stability, and predictability needed to be successful with these challenging alloys.”