TungMeister Series Expansion: Exchangeable “Barrel” Milling Heads for 5-Axis Machine Applications

Iwaki, February 2021 — Tungaloy’s TungMeister series of exchangeable head end mills is now introducing VBO and VBN “barrel” style end milling cutter heads. The cutting edge features a large radius contour on the side of the cutter to efficiently finish or semi-finish 3D surfaces.

Ball-nose and toroidal end mills are traditionally used to finish or semi-finish mill 3D surfaces. However, to machine complex 3D features such as of die mold and aerospace components in 5-axis machines where a large-diameter tool will not fit, shops are forced to resort to small diameter tools and significantly decrease the distance between the passes (a stepover or stepdown) in order to keep the cusp height between the passes as small as possible for smooth surface finishes. This will result in a substantial increase in machining time when the surface is large.

“Barrel head” end mills — named after its cutting edge profile, the segment of a large diameter arc like the contour of a barrel — can substantially increase the stepovers or stepdowns to reduce the number of passes, while maintaining surface finishing quality without degradation of the cusp height. Increased speeds reduce wear progression and, therefore, improves tool life. Since the barrel cutter always cuts materials with its peripheral large arc cutting edges.

VBO and VBN style barrel end milling heads have been released. Designed to effectively machine intricate 3D profiles notably on die mold components, VBO style barrel milling head features two types of cutting edge profiles: VBO Short and VBO Long. VBO Short has the peripheral cutting edge radius that is the smaller of the two, making the end mill head suitable for efficient semi-roughing and semi-finishing of 3D surfaces of die mold components. VBO Long incorporates the bigger edge radius, ideal for finishing operations. VBN is engineered specifically for finishing of elaborate 3D profiles of impellers, blisks, and blades, while allowing the semi-finishing processes to be skipped for improved cycle time. The latest TungMeister’s barrel end milling heads are offered in extremely wear-resistant AH715 grade that provides predictable wear patterns in steel and high-temperature alloys. Total of nine heads are introduced to the series.

TungMeister is designed to minimize machine downtime. It requires no more than one minute for tool exchange. Setup time can significantly be reduced to as short as one tenth of the time it would typically take to replace solid carbide end mills for maximum productivity and cost effectiveness. With over 13,000 possible head-shank combinations available, TungMeister provides tooling flexibility that enables users to find a solution for almost every application.