High-quality, solid carbide end mills can be used in a variety of CNC machining applications while shaping and cutting a material, including but not limited to profiling, contouring, counterboring, slotting, and drilling.
Solid carbide is a choice material, especially over high-speed steel (HSS), which, though it often has a more attractive price point, is not capable of the same cutting speeds as solid carbide tools. Carbide end mills are also harder and have a longer operational life.
But solid carbide end mills, since they are often used at higher speeds, are subject to numerous intense mechanical and thermal stresses. As a result, manufacturers often provide them with some sort of protective coatings, such as TiAlN. Before you invest in TiAlN coated end mills, here’s what you should know.
What Is a TiAlN Coating?
TiAlN Coated end mills are so-called because they are treated with a special mixture of elements which together are known as Titanium Aluminum Nitride.
TiAlN, or titanium aluminum nitride, consists of the elements titanium and aluminum with the addition of nitrogen. This coating is frequently applied to carbide and steel cutting tools via a physical vapor deposition process wherein the coating material is vaporized and transported through a vacuum to the substrate (the cutting tools) on which it condenses, forming a very hard, very resilient coating a few micrometers deep (typically between 1-4 μm).
TiAlN coatings are applied to cutting tools because they offer significantly higher resistance to high heat and oxidation, in many cases extending the service life of the tool by several times.
TiAlN coatings lower the coefficients of friction on the cutting surfaces to which they are applied, are suitable for hard materials (like solid carbide cutting tools), have a very high hardness rating themselves, and are practical for very high cutting speeds.
As a result, TiAlN coatings are often preferred for treating end mills and other carbide cutting tools that will be used in high-speed cutting applications such as milling, contouring, or profiling.
Are There Other Protective Coatings?
While TiAlN coatings are often considered a superior choice for carbide cutting tools, they are not the only coating option on the market. There are also:
● TiN (Titanium Nitride): TiN coatings are not as hard as TiAlN coatings and do not lower the coefficient of friction as effectively. Despite having a typically thicker coating, they do not as efficiently extend cutting tool life.
● TiCN (Titanium Carbo-Nitride): TiCN coatings are similar to TiN coatings but with additional carbon, which makes them harder and extends tool life.
● AlTiN (Aluminum Titanium Nitride): AlTiN and TiAlN contain the same elements, but an AlTiN coating contains a higher percentage of aluminum. They both create a very hard, smooth cutting surface that is highly resistant to wear, heat, and oxidation.
Where Can You Get TiAlN Coated End Mills?
If you’re looking for TiAlN coated end mills for your high-speed CNC machining work, look no further than Online Carbide (OnlineCarbide.com). They carry a wide range of high-quality carbide cutting tools including TiAlN coated end mills in their inventory. They offer great prices and they’d be glad to help – call them at 630-238-1424 or contact them at Sales@OnlineCarbide.com.