Following seven years of intensive research and development, Duralor® has perfected cubic boron nitride (CBN) composite coatings for metal cutting tools and is now marketing those coatings as TuffTek® to tool makers. This technology can significantly help the global effort to increase production efficiency while preserving energy, increasing output and reducing costs. The first commercial contract for sales of TuffTek is with a major automobile manufacturer.
CBN has long been available as something material, albeit at high cost, but the successful application of it as a coating had not been realized despite several previous multi-million dollar development attempts by tool companies. Users can now get the operation and longevity advantages of CBN at significantly lower price.
This is a significant breakthrough in the machine tool sector. For the very first time, all manufacturers have an affordable and processor control choice for cutting hard stuff,” said Jim Adams, P.E., a cutting tool applications expert and president of A-Tech Services, Inc. in Rochester Hills, Mich.
Cubic boron nitride (CBN) is the second toughest substance after synthetic diamond and is synthesised from hexagonal boron nitride under conditions similar to those used to make synthetic diamond from graphite. The desirable characteristics of an abrasive include abrasion resistance, strength, high hardness, and thermal and chemical resistance, and an ability to maintain cutting edges that are sharp . These features transcend the values of traditional abrasive blasting materials, for example aluminum oxide and silicon carbide. Particularly, the properties of high thermal stability and chemical resistance make it appropriate for machining ferrous materials, an area where synthetic diamond abrasives aren’t normally employed.
In side by side comparison for the machining of hardened steel, TuffTek-coated tools outperformed traditional coatings by 300 percent or more. For instance, in turning A2 steel (58 HRC) shafts, TuffTek tools yielded nine finished shafts per tool while traditional titanium aluminium nitride coated tools typically afforded three. Additionally, TuffTek provided a 50 percent decrease in time needed to machine each rotating shaft thereby reducing job costs.