Stainless materials - a challenge !
Difficult-to-machine metals are a broad field and depending on the material comprise a wide variety of machining difficulties. These go from long chips and tough/elastic behavior to poor heat conduction and extreme hardness. This is a special challenge for cutting tool users in general and tool suppliers and machine operators in particular. In spite (or simply because) of such properties, these metals are readily used in demanding industries, that is, everywhere where the material is exposed to extreme conditions. This is therefore about properties such as heat resistance, corrosion and acid resistance, biocompatibility, low weight but high degree of strength, good formability or even high degree of hardness.
Stainless steel (rustproof and acid-resistant steels): corrosion and acid-resistant, high degree of toughness, low thermal conductivity (depending on composition), good formability.
Titanium: high degree of stability at low density (hard like steel at approximately half the weight), corrosion and temperature-resistant, biocompatible, good tensile strength, high degree of toughness, low thermal conductivity.
Superalloys (HRSA = Heat Resistant Super Alloys): high degree of strength and hardness even at high temperatures; corrosion, acid and heat-resistant. Low thermal conductivity.
CrCo alloys: biocompatible, minor heat expansion (like ceramic); corrosion, acid and heat-resistant; high degree of hardness.
The Application Domains
- Automotive (fuel injection systems, engine components)
- Aerospace industry (engine parts)
- Watchmaking industry (watch bracelets, watch housing, watch plate)
- Energy (turbine components)
- Food industry (systems for beverage production or fruit and vegetable processing, dairy plants, fluid lines)
- Medical and dental industry (surgical instruments, implants)
- Mechanical engineering (valves)
- Chemical industry (valves, equipment)
- Pharmaceutical industry
- Paper and textile industry
- Electrical and electronic hardware