Helical Solutions LLC is introducing a new, two-flute, high-performance, nonserrated end mill for roughing in aluminum applications, and it has improved the design of three existing rough and finish aluminum-cutting tools. Each of the previously available tools has been a special-order product but now is standard and available from stock.
Designated the H35AL-2R and targeted mainly for aviation purposes, the new end mill allows for heavier material removal rates in roughing and pocketing applications because its generous flute configuration allows more room for chips. The company believes the H35AL-2R will enhance its reputation for producing one of the tightest cutting tolerances in the aluminum-cutting industry. The results of tight tolerances include significantly reduced chatter, fewer programming errors, and optimum tool performance.
The end mill features enhanced strength with a 35º helix angle and a choice of two corner radii for each cutter size from 1/8-in to 1.0-in diameter. The tool is available uncoated or with a zirconium-nitride coating that provides improved lubricity for maximum chip evacuation and resistance to abrasion for extended tool life. Crafted of certified premium submicron grain carbide, the H35AL-2R is available in stub and regular lengths.
In testing with tool-path optimizing software cutting 6061-T6 aluminum, the end mill achieved 1000 in/min, compared to 300 in/min for aluminum cutting tool designs previously available in the marketplace. The test conditions were 1.0-in depth of cut, 0.5-in width of cut, 12,000 rpm, and 0.0277-in chip load per tooth. This 100-in³ per-minute metal removal rate was achieved with a mere 10% load on a 20-hp vertical machining center. Over time, putting less stress on the machine results in longer machine life and longer tool life, Helical notes.
Three other Helical aluminum end mills have received redesigns for improved strength and compliance with aerospace industry specifications and now are available as standard. First is the H35AL-RN-2R, which is similar in design and function to the H35AL-2R. The difference is that this tool has a reduced neck diameter with a relatively short flute length, allowing for longer reach into deep pockets while maintaining maximum tool rigidity. Additionally, the tool now includes corner radii for corner strength.
For finishing applications, Helical revised the three-flute H35AL-3R with complete corner radii for improved strength. The H35AL-RN-3R, which also now has corner radii for improved strength, is the longer-reach version of the H35AL-3R.