Posted as a supplement to "Variations on a theme," a feature article published in the June 2015 issue of Cutting Tool Engineering, this video shows Millstar’s indexable-insert milling tools machining aluminum. Tried-and-true aluminum alloys continue to do the job for multiple applications, and toolmakers have enhanced their offerings to more effectively machine a metal that’s generally considered easy to cut. One such offering is a new line of indexable-insert cutters for milling aluminum from Millstar, Orion Township, Mich. Vice President Ron Field said one industry the cutting tools are targeting is moldmaking, which has seen an increase in the production of 6061 and 7075 aluminum plastic-injection molds. An aluminum mold won’t last as long as a steel one, but it’s easier and cheaper to machine and offers better heat conductivity for water lines, so the molded parts cool quickly and cycle times can be reduced.
Related Glossary Terms
Substances having metallic properties and being composed of two or more chemical elements of which at least one is a metal.
- aluminum alloys
Aluminum containing specified quantities of alloying elements added to obtain the necessary mechanical and physical properties. Aluminum alloys are divided into two categories: wrought compositions and casting compositions. Some compositions may contain up to 10 alloying elements, but only one or two are the main alloying elements, such as copper, manganese, silicon, magnesium, zinc or tin.
- gang cutting ( milling)
gang cutting ( milling)
Machining with several cutters mounted on a single arbor, generally for simultaneous cutting.
Machining operation in which metal or other material is removed by applying power to a rotating cutter. In vertical milling, the cutting tool is mounted vertically on the spindle. In horizontal milling, the cutting tool is mounted horizontally, either directly on the spindle or on an arbor. Horizontal milling is further broken down into conventional milling, where the cutter rotates opposite the direction of feed, or “up” into the workpiece; and climb milling, where the cutter rotates in the direction of feed, or “down” into the workpiece. Milling operations include plane or surface milling, endmilling, facemilling, angle milling, form milling and profiling.