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  • June 14, 2024
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What are Metal Ceramic Inserts and Carbide Insert?

Metal ceramic inserts are excellent tools for turning mirror surfaces. Now, let’s discuss what metal ceramic hard alloy materials are.


Literally understood, it’s a combination of metal and ceramic materials. According to the American ASTM committee’s definition, it’s a heterogeneous composite material composed of metal or alloy and one or more ceramic phases, where the latter occupies about 15% to 85% by volume.


Metal carbide powders (such as WC, TiC, etc.) and binders (Co, Ni, etc.) are mixed and pressed into shape, then sintered.



Characteristics of Metal Ceramics

High hardness: Titanium-based metal ceramics have higher hardness than WC-based Carbide Insert. They are suitable for machining various metal materials such as cast iron, malleable iron, ductile iron, carbon steel, alloy steel, and titanium alloy.


Excellent wear resistance and resistance to notching: The wear rate is extremely low when high-speed cutting steel materials.


High heat resistance: Tools made from these materials can still cut at temperatures between 1100-1300°C. Cutting speeds can be 200-400 m/min, higher than WC-based Carbide Insert.


High oxidation resistance: TiO2 formed from TiC oxidation acts as a lubricant, reducing oxidation by about 10% compared to WC-based Carbide Insert.


Good chemical stability: During cutting, a thin film of Mo2O3, nickel molybdate, and TiO2 forms on the tool-chip contact surface. At 700-900°C, adhesion is unlikely, enhancing surface quality.


These characteristics make them suitable for dry cutting, aiding cost savings.


Choosing metal ceramic inserts

In machining, when designing processes, it’s important to choose between hard alloy blades and metal-ceramic blades.


Metal ceramics aren’t suitable for rough machining. Large chips cause significant changes in shear action and cutting resistance, leading to poor dimensions and tool breakage.


In deep cutting, large chip curls intensify scratching wear behind the tool, damaging metal ceramic inserts. This is especially prevalent in difficult-to-machine materials (like nickel-based, iron-based, and cobalt-based superalloys).


Hence, metal ceramic tools are less suitable for such materials. For this reason, coated hard alloy tools are better for difficult-to-machine and rough machining.


A comparison of the tool life and chip removal in turning carbon steel shows that due to greater chip removal in high-speed cutting, metal ceramic tools are more economical. Like CVD-coated hard alloy tools, metal ceramic tools are also economically viable for high-speed cutting.

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