Long tool life and better surface quality in FRP machining

CiMMay21Products - HPTec
CiMMay21Products - HPTec

Because of their low weight and high load-bearing capacity, fibre-reinforced plastics (FRP) are being used in more and more applications.

HPTec from Ravensburg is a leading specialist of machining these high-performance materials. With a view to highest process reliability and component quality, the tool expert has developed the new micro cutters of the “HPTec Composite Tool Action”. An important component is the diamond coating based on CCDia AeroSpeed.

HPTec develops, produces and markets drilling and milling tools made of hard metal for machining a wide variety of materials, such as precious metals, steel, ceramics, CFRP and GFRP as well as non-ferrous metals.

The internationally operating medium-sized company has been building up its competence in micro tools for the PCB industry in a determined and user-oriented manner and has become a European market leader in this field.

For some years now, HPTec's customers have also increasingly included companies from the watch and jewelry industry, aerospace, medical and dental technology, automotive and the optical industry.

Innovative and specially adapted tool geometries, tightest manufacturing tolerances and 100% quality control along the entire manufacturing process ensure highest precision and efficient machining. In close cooperation with leading material and machine manufacturers as well as in research projects with external partners, HPTec's experts develop strategies and tools to optimise productivity and quality in its customers' manufacturing processes – including for the processing of fiber-reinforced plastics.

Composites such as CFRP and GFRP consist of several layers. The targeted combination of fibers, such as carbon or glass, with various resins or bonding agents, such as Kevlar, aramids or polyester, enables the construction of complex components with high strength and low weight. This inhomogeneous material structure with hard and highly abrasive fibers as well as a thermally sensitive matrix poses special challenges for machinists. Reliable process solutions are required that also meet the increasing demands on productivity.

The goal for HPTec was clearly defined when developing tools for trimming or contour milling thin-walled FRP workpieces: A smooth surface was to be achieved – without fiber residues, delamination or component damage, and with maximum cutting force reduction. The results are the new micro-milling cutters “HPTec Composite Tool Action” with diameters from 1 to 3 mm.

CemeCon matched the multilayer coating material exactly to the processing of composites and adapted it to the new tools in close cooperation with HPTec. With its extremely smooth and ultra-fine crystalline surface topography as well as excellent adhesion, CCDia AeroSpeed ensures very good chip flow and quickly conducts the frictional heat out of the contact zone. This significantly reduces thermal stress and avoids delamination. With a hardness of around 10,000 HV0.05, the coating is highly resistant to the high-strength and highly abrasive fibers, thus ensuring long tool life.




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