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  • June 14, 2024
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How to Properly Select Carbide Shims

In the world of precision machining, choosing the right carbide shims is critical to obtaining excellent results, whether you’re an experienced machinist or new to the world of metalworking.


Carbide insert pads play a vital role in modern machining, offering superior performance and durability over traditional materials. By choosing the right carbide shims, you can optimize the results of your machining operations, ensure precise cuts, extend tool life and increase productivity.


The importance of carbide shims:

Carbide shims play an important role in precision machining. These small cutting tools are usually made of tungsten carbide material, which offers excellent hardness, wear resistance and heat resistance. The main purpose of Cemented Carbide Shims is to facilitate efficient cutting, forming and finishing of various materials in industrial applications, making Cemented Carbide Shims an indispensable tool in modern machining operations.


  • Improved durability: Carbide shims exhibit excellent durability and are able to withstand the heat generated by high temperatures. Their excellent hardness ensures longer tool life, reducing the frequency of tool changes and minimizing downtime.
  • Wear resistance:Due to their composition, carbide shims offer excellent resistance to wear. This characteristic is particularly important when machining challenging materials such as stainless steel, cast iron or special alloys, where wear resistance is essential to maintain cutting performance.
  • Excellent cutting performance:Carbide shims offer excellent cutting performance compared to conventional tools. Their sharp edges and precise geometry result in clean, accurate cuts with minimal material distortion. This feature is very advantageous for achieving tight tolerances and high quality surface finishes.
  • Versatility:Carbide spacers are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and geometric designs to accommodate different machining operations and materials. From turning and milling to drilling and grooving, there is a carbide spacer for every application, ensuring versatility and adaptability in different machining tasks.


Shims in the turning tool holder:

Shims in tool holders play a vital role in turning operations. Shims are thin, precision parts used to achieve proper tool height and alignment in the turning tool holder.


  • Tool Height Adjustment:Shims allow precise adjustment of tool height within the tool holder. This adjustment is critical to achieving the desired depth of cut and ensuring that the cutting edge is properly aligned with the workpiece. Accurate tool height alignment is the key to obtaining consistent and precise cuts.
  • Alignment and Stability: Shims help ensure that the cutting edge of the carbide insert is aligned with the workpiece for optimal contact and to minimize the risk of deflection or vibration during machining. Proper alignment improves cutting efficiency and surface quality while maximizing tool life.
  • Tolerance Compensation: Shims can be used to compensate for small variations in the dimensions of the tool holder or the shim itself. By placing shims, the machinist can achieve the desired level of accuracy and ensure that cutting forces are evenly distributed, preventing damage to the tool and thus extending tool life.


Selecting the proper shims for your turning tool holder is critical to achieving accurate and consistent machining results. When selecting shims, you need to consider the thickness of the material, the required tool height and alignment requirements. It is also important to ensure that the shims are compatible with the specific toolholder and carbide insert being used.


How do I select the correct size carbide shim?

  • Tool holder compatibility: Check your tool holder specifications and design to determine which shim size is compatible. Toolholder designs often consider specific shim sizes to ensure proper fit and stability.
  • Machining Requirements: Evaluate your machining requirements such as required depth of cut, feed rate and surface finish. Different shim sizes may be better suited for specific applications. Smaller shims are usually suitable for light cutting and fine machining, while larger shims are suitable for heavy duty machining.
  • Workpiece material: Consider the material you will be machining. Some materials, such as carbide or specialty metals, may require specific shim sizes to ensure efficient cutting and optimal tool life. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines or consult an expert to determine the appropriate shim size for a particular material.
  • Cutting forces: Analyze the cutting forces involved in the machining process. Higher cutting forces may require larger shims to handle the load and maintain stability. Conversely, lower cutting forces may benefit from smaller shims to optimize accuracy and reduce tool wear.


Advantages of Carbide Blade Coating:

Carbide inserts are often coated with a variety of materials to improve their performance and extend their tool life. These coatings provide additional benefits and protection during machining operations.


  • Extended Tool Life: Coatings on carbide shims significantly increase their wear resistance, reducing tool wear and extending tool life. The coating acts as a barrier between the shim and the workpiece, minimizing friction and preventing premature wear and degradation.
  • Enhanced cutting speeds: The low friction properties of the coating allow for increased cutting speeds without compromising the integrity of the gasket. Reduced friction reduces heat buildup, resulting in higher cutting speeds and improved overall machining efficiency.
  • Improved chip evacuation: The coating improves chip flow and chip evacuation during machining. By reducing the adhesion of chips to the gasket surface, coatings help prevent chip clogging and improve chip evacuation, resulting in smoother cutting and improved surface finish.
  • Chemical Resistance: Certain coatings are chemically resistant, which protects the gasket from corrosion by certain workpiece materials or cutting fluids. This resistance ensures the longevity of the shim, even in challenging machining environments.
  • Thermal stability: Coated carbide shims exhibit improved thermal stability, allowing them to withstand the high temperatures generated during machining. The coating helps dissipate heat, preventing gasket failure due to thermal stress and improving overall machinability.


Advantages of Cemented Carbide Shims in Precision Machining:

  • Extended tool life: Cemented carbide shims are known for their superior hardness and wear resistance. They are able to withstand high temperatures and abrasive forces, thereby extending tool life. This durability reduces the frequency of tool changes and increases productivity.
  • Enhanced cutting performance: Carbide spacers have sharp cutting edges and precise geometry to remove material efficiently and accurately. They provide excellent cutting performance, improve surface finish, reduce machining time and increase productivity.
  • Suitable for a wide range of materials:Cemented Carbide spacers exhibit versatility in machining a wide range of materials. Whether it’s ferrous metals, non-ferrous alloys or hardened steels, Cemented Carbide Shims are up to the challenge. Their hardness and toughness allow for consistent and reliable performance on a wide range of materials.
  • Increased productivity: Due to their excellent cutting performance and service life, carbide shims help increase productivity in machining operations. Fewer tool changes and longer cutting intervals result in improved productivity, increased throughput and cost savings.
  • Consistency and predictability: Carbide shims provide consistent and predictable performance, ensuring reliable results in repeat machining tasks. Their uniform geometry and controlled wear patterns enable machinists to maintain dimensional accuracy and consistently meet required tolerances.


Choosing the right carbide shims is critical to achieving precision and efficiency in machining operations, and you can confidently select the right carbide shims and gaskets to match your machining goals, resulting in increased efficiency, accuracy and productivity.

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