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Breakthrough in powder steel milling

Many talk about it. But only the fewest have succeeded in developing satisfactory methods of milling powdered steel, which so far has resulted in both expensive and difficult production of such samples.

Due to a number of wear-related advantages and great strength in, for example, inlet gates, powder steel is a very good alternative to the more traditional steel types.

"That is why we wanted to find a more efficient and profitable way of milling this steel. Although in recent years technologies for optimised machining in hardened steel have been developed, the results have so far not been convincing," says Kristian Jessen Hansen, Hjerno’s Tool Shop Manager.

He elaborates that milling in powder steel generates hard wear to the cutting tools, making it difficult to keep manufacturing time, and thus economy, at a reasonable level.

Improvement of more than 100 percent
However, after several months of patient testing, Hjerno does now have a new, in-house developed method that reduces the wear on the cutting tools – while ensuring a nice finish on the finished sample.

The process has, among other things, involved tests of a range of cutting tools from different suppliers – including OSG – as well as an optimisation of the milling strategies in Hjerno’s own CAD/CAM system.

"The result has been improvements of more than 100 percent compared to the results we have achieved in the past in the machining of hardened powder steel. We have been able before to produce finished samples with a nice finish, but it has been too expensive in cutting tools," explains Kristian Jessen Hansen.

However, the machining costs have been significantly reduced with the new method, he adds. And, what is more, qua using standard tools, not expensive special tools.

More projects on the way
The method is already in use in two ongoing projects where there is a need for tools with the long durability that hardened powder steel can provide, Kristian Jessen Hansen tells.

"We will certainly more than previously be able to offer tools made of powder steel. The price has always been a challenge but now we can reduce it because with this method we can reduce the costs for cutting tools. "

The picture shows two employees from Hjerno alongside employees from one of our suppliers of cutting tools, OSG.