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Uses and Machining Applications of Carbide Insert

Carbide cutting tool inserts, also known simply as carbide inserts, are the cutting edges used in lathes and CNC machines in industrial and manufacturing environments. They are an essential part of many manufacturing processes. Carbide inserts are hard enough to machine metal at extremely high speeds during long production cycles, and they are used to form a wide range of parts, from precision fasteners to automotive components. Inserts are made in a nearly limitless range of shapes and sizes to provide different shearing, drilling and cutting effects on workpieces. Depending on their shape, carbide cutting tools perform very specific machining tasks to manufacture a limitless range of tools, molds and parts.
 
Cutting Tools & Indexable Inserts
 
Unlike the cutting tools used in consumer applications, industrial cutting tools used for manufacturing most often use indexable, or interchangeable cutting tips. Rather than using a single solid cutting tool made entirely from carbide, indexable cutting tool holders hold carbide inserts at the tip, where the tool makes contact with the workpiece. Most carbide inserts are indexable, which means they can be flipped or rotated to obtain a fresh cutting edge, allowing inserts to be used 4 to 16 times longer. Indexable carbide inserts cut down on the amount of costly carbide materials necessary to machine workpieces, but they also make the process of maintaining sharp cutting tool edges easier. Carbide inserts are quickly flipped or changed out for fresh blades, significantly cutting back on production downtimes.
 
Types of Carbide Insert Cutting
 
Drilling & Boring - Drilling and boring are essentially the same processes, although boring is typically associated with creating holes with larger diameters. These processes are typically performed by spade-shaped carbide drill inserts to create holes with precision diameter and depth.
 
Threading - Threading is the process of creating the spiral shape of a screw body or threaded hole. Carbide inserts used for threading are typically triangle shaped, with a notch in one side of each tip. Precision threading is used to make fasteners, screws and a wide range of consumer products.
 
Grooving - Grooving is the process of cutting canals into materials for mechanical or decorative purposes. A metal workpiece which is being made into an automotive component, for example, may have grooves designed to be fitted with o-rings for tight sealing.
 
Milling - Milling is the most common form of machining; is refers to the general process of removing unwanted material from a workpiece. Most often, milling is used to create asymmetrical features such as holes, slots, pockets and 3D contours.
 
Planing - In machining and metalworking applications, planing refers to removing material from a larger workpiece along a single plane. Planing creates horizontal, vertical or inclined flat surfaces into workpieces which are too large for other types of shaping. Unlike other kinds of machining, in planing, it is usually the carbide cutting tool which moves, rather than the workpiece.
 
Turning - Turning is a machining process which creates symmetrical rotational parts on a turning machine or lathe. Features created by turning includes holes, grooves, threads and tapers; these can be created on contoured surfaces with the help of multiple point carbide insert cutting tools. Turning is typically used to create small quantities of components for prototyping or custom work.