Technical trends in metal-cutting tools: Ongoing innovation in one of PM’s key markets

April 14, 2021

Tools for the machining of metals have, in one form or another, been around since humankind first made metallic objects. By the early stages of the industrial era, most tooling was made from some form of hardened steel, and the basic types of tools – turning, milling, and drilling, each with various sub-categories, became clearly delineated by their different geometries.

The single major advance, which changed almost everything for the tooling world, was the 1926 invention of hardmetal, also known as cemented carbide, or just ‘carbide’. Over the next several decades, a torrent of innovations occurred which increased the performance and/or application range of hardmetal tooling, or else provided alternatives within some applications – even better performance.

Cutting tools for applications in metal processing represent one of the primary markets for the Powder Metallurgy industry. Here, PM technology makes it possible to produce cutting tools with complex geometries to near-net shape, a feat not possible using conventional manufacturing methods.

Despite the basic technologies of metal-cutting tools having existed for several decades, tool manufacturers continue to introduce new products which can provide substantial benefits.

In the Spring 2021 issue of Powder Metallurgy Review (Vol. 10 No. 1), Bernard North, North Technical Management, LLC, overviews developments in materials, design and software that are driving innovation in this important sector of PM.

This article, along with the full magazine, is available to read in full online using the embedded browser above or to download as a pdf.

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As well as an extensive Powder Metallurgy industry news section, this 116-page issue includes the following exclusive articles and reports:

  • Technical trends in metal-cutting tools: An overview of ongoing innovation in one of PM’s key markets
  • Fatigue data for PM steels: How the world’s largest PM part producer is facing the challenges of data generation and organisation
  • Reducing CO2 emissions in the PM industry: A lifecycle analysis of servo-electric versus hydraulic powder presses
  • Nickel-free steel powders: Paving the way for sustainable Powder Metallurgy
  • Euro PM2020: PM functional materials in energy management and magnetic applications
  • More information

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Powder Metallurgy: The original net-shape production process

Powder Metallurgy components are relied upon by a wide variety of manufacturing industries, from automotive to power tools, household appliances, chemical engineering, filtration and more.

The main reason for the technology’s success is its cost-effectiveness at producing high volumes of net-shape components, combined with its ability to allow the manufacture of products that, because of the production processes, simply cannot be manufactured by other methods.

To discover more about how the technology has revolutionised component production, browse our Introduction to Powder Metallurgy.

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