Design and manufacturing of cutting tools
The core activities include designing solid cutting tools, cutting tools with exchangeable cutting inserts and special (custom-made) tools. State-of-the-art software is used for this purpose: e.g. for the computation of flute shapes and shapes of grinding wheels, for stress analysis, and for simulations of cutting processes and fluid flows.
Microgeometry preparation and surface polishing
Today, no high-productivity cutting tool can be made without cutting edge preparation. This is why our department devotes great attention to it, analysing the relevant processes and their effects on cutting tool durability and the machined surface quality. Polishing the flute surface has proven to be a necessary step in improving the utility properties of a tool. Polishing can also be used on general shapes where roughness (Ra) of less than 0.02 μm can be achieved.
Measurement of areal roughness and cutting edge microgeometry
In many cases, profile roughness is inadequate for evaluating surface conditions as it cannot provide a comprehensive characterization. Our laboratory has been exploring the evaluation of surface parameters on a long-term basis. We can measure and evaluate areal roughness which takes into account 3D parameters on the surface. We also evaluate the tool microgeometry, predominantly the cutting edge radius, the K factor and the roughness of the tool face and flank in the area which will be exposed to wear.
Construction of prototype parts and support structures
We design and fabricate metal parts using a DMLS-based additive manufacturing technology. In order for the printing process to achieve the required quality, the part must be carried by a support structure. In many cases, both internal and external support structures must be provided and shaped to prevent the part’s distortion, excessive internal stresses and undesired surface roughness.