The Cutting Tool Technologies that are Changing the Industry
We have discussed some of the most impactful factors affecting the cutting tools industry, but aside from the macroeconomic, political and global influences on the industry, there are enormous technological advancements being made at the heart of the industry. Cutting tool technologies have often been essential to, if not defined by, the progress of the industry as a whole. Regardless of the external elements influencing the industry, these latest advancements signify the innovation and intrepidity that has truly served as the driving force of success within the industry. While there has been and continues to be tremendous progress in terms of digital manufacturing and automation, the breakthroughs in alloys, coatings and compositions serve as a potent reminder of the strength and core of cutting tool technologies.
With continued advancements in the speed and precision of cutting tools, it’s impossible to ignore the value and impact of high-temperature alloys. This includes a shift from traditionally machined high-alloy steels to stainless steels, as well as a shift in applications that use stainless steel alloys to nickel-based high temperature alloys. In addition to this shift, there is also a growing incorporation of Inconel 718 Plus (over Inconel 718) in vital aerospace applications, as the need for improvements in high-temperature alloys continues to be vital to the advancement of the aerospace industry.
The advancements in alloys produces a particular problem, as these alloys can prove to be difficult to machine. Fortunately, progress in coating technologies are allowing for improved cutting tool wear and part production. Especially when concerning aerospace or medical components, upgrades to coating technologies are the most practical way to extend the life of certain cutting tools. From DLC (diamond-like coatings) to pre- and post-coating treatments, these new cutting tool technologies are allowing for the use of coatings across a broader spectrum of cutting tools. As with alloys, a constant focus in the evolution of coatings is in their ability to handle high temperatures. What is important is that as cutting tools continue to evolve, the coating technologies develop in parallel as well.
With the continuing prevalence of 3D printing, the incorporation of specific compositions will become vital in meeting the theoretical possibilities of 3D-printed materials. One such advancement is occurring with powder compositions that allow for high-quality production of materials at a lower volume. Additionally, these advancements in compositions are integral to the production of parts with geometries and designs that are only possible through 3D printing. Innovative carbide compositions and structures are also integral in regards to meeting the needs of current and future machining applications. Developing ways to produce strong and resilient materials that are lighter and geometrically specific is an important point of progress in the evolution of compositions.
At Davalyn Corporation, we are excited about the incredible innovations and advancements occurring within the cutting tools industry. The evolution of cutting tool technologies promises to allow for even greater growth and discovery across a broad spectrum of industries, including medical devices and aerospace. At the heart of all manufacturing is the cutting tools industry, and we are dedicated to doing our part to grow the industry responsible for driving innovation. Our experience and resources allow us to provide cutting tool industry leaders with the talented professionals they need to stay at the edge of innovation.
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