Cutting tools for CFRP processing outperform tungsten carbide

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  • Potential to support the aerospace industry’s adoption of CFRP
  • Three-dimensional (3D) cutting geometry possible

Element Six, a leading supplier of synthetic diamond supermaterials and member of the De Beers Group of Companies, announced the launch of its new Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD) product range Aero-Dianamics which achieves a three times improvement in productivity and reduced cost per finished part in the processing of composite materials, including carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP), compared to today’s tungsten carbide tooling systems.

Cutting tools outperform tungsten carbide

Aero-Dianamics performance advantages have been validated in independent tests by two of Europe’s leading Aerospace precision machining research institutions, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in partnership with Boeing, at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom and the Institute of Production Management and Technology (IPMT) at Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Germany. Testing has shown that Element Six’s Aero-Dianamics range significantly outperforms tungsten carbide, and has the potential to support the global aerospace industry’s adoption of CFRP.

Finished end mill and drills produced with Element Six’s new Aero-Dianamics polycrystalline diamond, showing the industry’s first three flute helical geometries – never possible before (source: Element Six)

Finished end mill and drills produced with Element Six’s new Aero-Dianamics polycrystalline diamond, showing the industry’s first three flute helical geometries – never possible before (source: Element Six)

Three-dimensional (3D) cutting geometry possible

For the first time, the Aero-DianamicsTM range allows a three-dimensional (3D) cutting geometry to be achieved, in a PCD mill or drill, representing a revolutionary step change in tool design. The Aero-Dianamics product portfolio consists of five production-ready PCD round tool blanks, which when built into tooling systems, increase the ability of manufacturers to mill and drill CFRP faster, more cleanly, at lower temperatures and with lower tool forces. Consequently, CFRP airframe components can be produced more efficiently and rapidly, decreasing lead-times for the delivery of finished components for assembly.

The Aero-Dianamics polycrystalline diamond portfolio, engineered to provide tool manufacturers the ability to develop next-generation composite tooling solutions for the aerospace industry (source: Element Six)

The Aero-Dianamics polycrystalline diamond portfolio, designed to provide tool manufacturers the ability to develop next-generation composite tooling solutions for the aerospace industry (source: Element Six)

“Element Six’s Aero-DianamicsTM PCD components allowed SECO Tools to develop the industry’s first PCD three-flute helical geometry drill for composite drilling – CX1”, said Par Nordberg, Product Manager – Drilling at SECO Tools, a leading manufacturer of high performance metal cutting tools. “This revolutionary drilling tool enables new level of productivity and tool life, simply not possible with traditional PCD”, added David Pearson
Business Development Manager – Aerospace, at SECO Tools.



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