As the aerospace, automotive, power generation, and other manufacturing industries continue to develop even more robust metals, cutting tool manufacturers must evolve as well with high-performance tooling to tackle these materials.
The KBH10 is one such tool; an uncoated turning insert that offers exceptional wear resistance and very low cutting forces. As a result, many customers are now enjoying double the tool life together with improved part quality.
The KBH10 is a new breed of polycrystalline cubic boron nitride (PcBN) hard turning insert designed specifically for the challenges of today’s demanding marketplace.
Helmut Gremer, senior engineer for global machining technology, says the new insert complements Kennametal’s existing PcBN grades KBH20 and KB5630 by providing the extreme wear resistance needed to successfully turn hardened metals up to 65Rc, particularly where very fine surface finishes are required.
“We’ve seen that many manufacturers are decreasing the allowable tolerances on bearing journals, rings and pistons, gear hubs, and so on,” he says.
“For example, dimensional tolerances of 4μm or less are increasingly common, as are surface requirements better than Ra 0.4μm. This new grade closes the gap for these and other customers that need superior tool life when finishing such parts.”
The KBH10 substrate is completely new, and its PcBN composition is designed for up to 20-percent higher cutting speeds while providing equivalent or in some cases far greater tool life.
Because KBH10 is available in several different geometries and edge preparations, it’s quickly becoming the go-to insert for a wide cross section of manufacturers and their turning applications.
“KBH10 is ideally suited for fine-finishing operations yet is tough enough to handle light interruptions or varying depth of cut operations,” says Gremer.
“And because cutting pressure and therefore heat is reduced, crater and flank wear are likewise reduced, extending tool life. There’s also a lower occurrence of the white layer that plagues many hard part machining operations."
This last part is accomplished through KBH10’s unique edge preparation. Rather than the traditional waterfall or radiused hone applied to virtually all PcBN cutting tools, Kennametal has developed a special shape that is both sharper and freer cutting than competing solutions yet still tough enough to withstand the rigors of hard turning.