Ceramic Inserts Can Boost Turning Productivity

By Eric Spencer, Founder, machiningdoctor.com

Carbide inserts are the most commonly used solution for many turning applications because they offer good performance at a reasonable price. However, ceramic inserts are worth considering as an alternative in some turning applications.

Ceramic is an advanced cutting material that, relative to carbide, is harder and enables machining at higher cutting speeds, but is suitable for only specific applications and workpiece materials.

Although ceramic inserts cost about two to three times more per cutting edge when compared to carbide inserts, the benefits are substantial in some applications and provide cost savings by reducing cycle times.

Advantages and Types

Made from aluminum oxide (Al2O3) or silicon nitride (Si3N4), ceramic inserts provide an advantage over regular carbide inserts. While a typical carbide grade has a hardness of 1,300-1,800 HV, ceramic grades have a hardness of about 2,100-2,500 HV (about 40% harder). Ceramic also has chemical stability in high temperatures as well as…(READ ON productionmachining.com)

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