Which Tool Offers the Highest Performance When Machining Fiber-Reinforced Composites?

 

The Leitz Diamond Router bits are included in the 2019 CNC Machining Year End Promotion. Learn more about the special pricing and offer details here. Contact the Leitz Customer Service Team direct at 616.431.4096 or email insidesales@leitz.org for more info.

When you combine machining and fiber-reinforced composite materials, such as carbon fiberboard and glass fiberboard, it can be difficult to achieve accurate and repeatable results. These materials present additional challenges to maximizing tool life and cut quality. Composite materials can wear down tools quickly. As tools become dull, they catch the fibers in the material, resulting in tears instead of clean cuts.

The Vienna University of Technology created the Fibercut Benchmark, a large-scale comparison of tooling performance, with the goal of determining which tool is most suitable for machine fiber-reinforced composite materials. The engineers from Vienna University of Technology evaluated the tools on the basis of fraying, delamination, and cracks and splits on the workpiece. In one hundred and twenty-four individual machining tests, they utilized three different workpiece materials: carbon fiberboard, glass fiberboard, and aramid fiberboard.  Eighty-six boring and cutting tools from sixteen different producers in total were tested. In the course of the Benchmark Study, each tool had to perform twelve processing tasks per test.

The tooling from Leitz out-performed the others machining these materials.

In individual tests with carbon fiberboard and glass fiberboard, Leitz submitted a diamond-tipped shank tool with an alternate twist. Andreas Kisselbach, Head of Research and Development at Leitz, explained, “Especially fiberglass being a very abrasive working material, tungsten carbide tools dull and quickly reach the end of their useful life.” In practice, diamond cutting materials are much more suitable when machining glass fiberboard.

Leitz solution with carbon fiber

Diamond tools typically outrun carbide tools by more than 20x and dramatically cut tooling and processing costs. Of course, special consideration must be given to proper application, operation, and service of diamond tools. The best tooling value can only be accomplished through precision service which increases the total service cycles and overall productivity of each tool. Precision tool service will also yield longer service life between sharpening or repair, resulting in fewer tool changes, less machine downtime and improved productivity.

Leitz diamond routers provide longer tool life, greatly improved service life, and high processing speeds to increase productivity and efficiency without compromising quality. Available in diameters as small as 3/8″, 2+2 and 3+3 wing design, and in various cutting lengths.

Leitz diamond tooling is maximized through experienced service technicians who use the finest grinding machinery, precision measuring and inspection equipment, dynamic balancing equipment, and the most current grinding know-how available to keep your cutting tools performing at optimal levels.

Achieve optimal results with Leitz diamond tooling solutions and realize the best return on your investment with expert support services from Leitz.

Contact Leitz at insidesales@leitz.org or (616) 431-4096, or fill out the form below, and we’ll get in touch.

Tool Up for 2020 with Special Pricing on Leitz Tooling Solutions

 

Special promotional pricing now through the end of the year.

Take advantage of special promotional pricing on premier Leitz Tooling Solutions for both solid wood processing and CNC machining now through the end of the year.

Solid Wood Processing Promotion

Stock-up on these high-quality, standard necessities for your millwork. Promotion includes:

BlackTron Saw Glue-line Ripsaw Blades

BlackTron coating resists build-up of resin and significantly improves tool life. Use for ripping solid hard woods for glue-line finish. Special pricing for Raiman and Mereen-Johnson machines.  Standard saws for other machines available upon request.

Corrugated Profile Cutterheads

Standard dimensions for HSK85W spindles available with 20° cutting angle for MDF and soft wood applications and 12° cutting angle for hard wood applications.

HS Knife Stock

Multiple grades of high-quality corrugated bar stock for easy, consistent grind quality

View full promotion details.

CNC Machining Promotion

Tooling is the determinant between limiting or optimizing your machine’s efficiency, which directly impacts your return on the significant investment you made in your machine. Promotion includes:

Diamond Router Bits

DiaMaster PRO Router Cutters

Extended performance and efficient sizing and nesting cuts in panel products and abrasive materials.

DiaMaster EdgeExpert

Extreme alternate shear angle for long tool life and best possible finish when machining delicate laminates, foils, and veneers.

leitz, thermogrip, tooling, woodworking tools

ThermoGrip® Tool-Holding System

Maintain the perfect tool centerline to provide excellent cut quality while yielding upwards of 25% longer tool life and allowing significantly higher processing speeds.

View full promotion details.

For more information and to order contact the Leitz team at 616.431.4096, email insidesales@leitz.org or fill out the form below.

Tooling Spotlight: Bevel Cutterheads

 

In our tooling spotlight, we break down what you need to know about our most effective tooling solutions. This MVP is the Leitz variable angle bevel cutters.

The Tool:

Leitz variable angle bevel cutters represent the next generation of flexible high-performance tooling solutions.  Featuring field-replaceable PCD tips or shear-set radial inserts, Leitz variable angle bevel cutters provide infinite angular cutting possibilities in natural woods and highly abrasive manmade materials.

What makes it better:

The Leitz bevel cutterhead system offers individual advantages for every potential application and thus helps to achieve a clear production and quality superiority. The system is not only flexible and sustainable but also improves production efficiency.

When to use it:

Leitz variable angle bevel cutters offer unmatched flexibility. Suitable for various materials from solid wood to wood-derived materials and plastics. They can be used on machines for manual feed, throughfeed machines, and CNC machining centers.

Turnblade knife system – Traditional standard straight-knife version for use in all applications.

HeliCut knife system – 4-sided, radius face inserts, shear-set with compression, provide particularly good cutting quality and excellent value in solid woods.

WhisperCut knife system – Replaceable (sharpen-able) shear-set PCD tips with compression provide excellent performance in abrasive materials.

 

The results:

Adjustable variable angle bevel cutters consolidate the need for various cutters set to exact angles.

Replaceable PCD or micro-grain inserts provide an economic solution for processing all material while maintaining exact tool tolerances.

Precisely adjustable cut angles ensure minimum machine downtime and first-piece perfection.

Up to a 40% time saving through newly designed adjustment mechanism.

Add this MVP to your line-up:

Download our Bevel Cutters brochure.

Contact Leitz at insidesales@leitz.org or (616) 431-4096, or fill out the form below, and we’ll get in touch.

What You Need to Know for a Successful Transition to CNC-Based Manufacturing

 

Take advantage of special promotional pricing on premier Leitz Tooling Solutions for both solid wood processing and CNC machining now through the end of the year. Contact the Leitz Customer Service Team direct at 616.431.4096 or email insidesales@leitz.org for more info.


Manufacturers commonly buy CNCs because these flexible machines promise to replace several manual machines and dramatically improve the capabilities and efficiency of the production shop. This transition is, of course, very achievable, but because of inaccurate tooling and application choices, many buyers are missing out on fully optimizing their CNC machine performance.

When key machining principals such as proper part fixturing, achieving ideal cutting velocity and chip load are overlooked it can significantly affect process efficiency and ROI. Developing strong relationships with your router supplier and qualified tooling experts will prevent catastrophic errors and expedite the integration and optimization of this critical machine technology.

Utilizing existing hand routers and shaper tools

Many first-time CNC buyers will continue to use their inexpensive carbide-tipped tools on their new high-tech machine. These brazed carbide tools may “work,” but are generally not rigid, precise, balanced or durable enough to provide ideal CNC performance. Brazed carbide tools are, by necessity, much softer and less wear resistant than solid carbide or carbide insert tools. Tools designed around the CNC’s operational specifications and your output will yield more efficient and higher quality results.

Solid carbide router options

Solid carbide tools are also available in a range of hardness and durability levels that cannot be differentiated by eye. Carbide is essentially tungsten particles held together with a cobalt binder. Softer, less expensive routers are formed with 10% cobalt glue; harder more durable carbides generally have 3% cobalt concentration and may also include trace elements which resist thermal or mechanical dulling.

CNC operators may inadvertently settle for “softer/less durable” solid carbide tools because they’ve broken harder versions. Understanding why these higher quality tools broke (vibration, part movement, improper chip load, etc.) and addressing the issue will help you extend tool service-life and lower annualized tooling expenses.

Coated carbide tooling

Carbide coating options that improve surface lubricity, heat deflection, or increased cutting-edge hardness offer the next level of enhanced performance. These coatings are relatively inexpensive and generally provide much greater value to the user. Depending on how the tool must be sharpened, these coatings can sometimes provide extended performance over multiple service cycles.

Diamond tooling

Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD) routing tools can provide the lowest tooling cost per unit of production, but the higher initial tool cost and risk of damage can be intimidating. We recommend transitioning to diamond tools only after you are comfortable with the operation of your CNC and are enjoying problem-free routing with solid carbide tools. We also recommend forming a partnership with a PCD tooling supplier who can guide you through the proper utilization and care of these delicate yet durable tools. The baseline cost comparison for PCD vs. solid carbide routing tools is generally less than 7:1, but the average performance comparison should exceed 15:1. Used correctly, PCD tooling will dramatically reduce tooling inventory and required tool changes, while maximizing machine uptime and process efficiency.

Tool holding

Tool holding generally drives most CNC processing issues. Machine tooling start-up kits generally include basic collet chucks in one of three common collet versions (ER32, ER40 or SYOZ25/RDO35). Collets provide dimensional flexibility, allowing an operator to hold cutting tools with 1/8” to 1” diameter shanks in the same chuck body. Collets are, however, the first weak-link in an otherwise very rigid and precise machining process. The multi-directional torque applied to the collet when tightening or releasing tools can push the tools out of concentricity, and slight rotation or slipping of the tool will create internal damage which compounds tool run-out. Even the premium SYOZ25 collet system, which due to its 52mm grip length and 2.5-degree taper is the most precise option, can induce tool eccentricity and allow tool deflection. Collet systems also require significant maintenance and wear out over time, but issues which lead to poor tool performance are not always easy to visualize.

Eliminating collets

There are several collet-free chucking options available, but the easiest and most effective is Leitz ThermoGrip heat-shrink chucking system. ThermoGrip uses the thermo-mechanical properties of steel to grip tool shanks under tremendous pressure, effectively yielding a one-piece chuck and tool. Leitz ThermoGrip CNC chucking system provides the most rigid and precise CNC tool holding possible, optimizing cut quality, throughput and safety, while conservatively yielding $15,000 in annualized savings per machine shift. ThermoGrip ensures perfect tool concentricity under working loads, resulting in greater than 25% increase in tool life and at least 10% improvement in machine throughput at optimal finish quality.leitz, thermogrip, tooling, woodworking tools

We challenge customers to test their existing top running router bit style with the ThermoGrip. Once installed, their operator will immediately report:

  • Much quieter cutting
  • Outstanding cut quality
  • The ability to increase feed speed, without degrading the quality
  • Significantly longer tool life

 

Ultimately, this test is eye-opening for most customers, and a major step in optimizing the efficiency of their routing processes.

In conclusion

In order to optimize your CNC-based manufacturing process, you must be aware of available cutting tool related technologies and understand how to properly implement and utilize the technology. Tooling is the single machine accessory which can either limit or optimize your manufacturing efficiency and success. Having a knowledgeable tooling partner, with a worldwide perspective, will greatly enhance your ability to continuously improve your internal processes and keep your company at the forefront of the industry. How can Leitz help you?

Talk to your Leitz Representative about a partnership for continuous improvement. Fill out the form below or call us at 800.253.6070.