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Turning Inserts

Indexable turning inserts are removable tips with multiple cutting edges used in turning applications. They can be rotated (or indexed) so that when one of the cutting edges wears down, another cutting edge can be used without affecting the overall quality of the insert.… Learn More

An important consideration when selecting indexable inserts is the cutter material, also known as the substrate. Various substrates bring specific characteristics to the tool; carbide, for example, allows the tool to resist abrasion and run at high cutting temperatures.

Also consider the finish or coating. To strengthen or add wear resistance to the substrate, many inserts are finished using processes such as Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) or Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD), which adhere coatings such as titanium aluminum nitride (TiAlN).

The pairing of the substrate and finish is referred to as the manufacturer grade. The grade determines how effectively the insert can machine specific materials in a range of operating conditions. Grades are often proprietary compositions determined by a particular manufacturer.

Another factor is insert style, designated by a series of letters and/or numbers. The first letter indicates the insert's shape, the second the clearance angle (positive or negative), the third the tolerance class, and the fourth the type. Style designations are often specific to individual manufacturers.

Each turning insert has a chipbreaker that allows the insert to break off and evacuate chips most efficiently in specific applications, such as roughing or finishing, and in operating conditions related to the machine and workpiece material. Chipbreaker geometries are designated by two or three letters at the end of the insert style, such as MF or QM.

Also consider the shape of the insert, selected based on the type of turning operation and the workpiece material. In general, larger point angles offer more strength and can be more economical, but may be less versatile than smaller point angles.

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