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Home >> Technical FAQs >> pcbn inserts for hard turning


PCBN Inserts for Hard Turning

As the production rate in the manufacturing industry is snowballing each day, the demand of high quality and durable manufacturing tools is getting high; because the replacements and repairs not only affect the production, they are not economically feasible too.

The application of PCBN and CBN in multitude of machining applications has amplified in recent times. The reason is that the PCBN is the hardest known material second only to (synthetic) diamond.

The strength, thermal stability, resistance to deformation and wearing at high temperature and chemical nobility make it an ideal material for making tools, which have high precision applications such as turning. This article explores the application of pcbn inserts and solid cbn inserts hard turning.

What is Hard Turning?
Turning is a term used in manufacturing industry to refer a process in which a (non-rotating) cutting tool moves linearly as the material being cut rotates against it. Hard turning is the turning of steel whose hardness is greater than 45HRC.
The hard turning process is considered as a better alternative to the conventional grinding process due to the possibility of operating in a single step that provides a surface finish as compared to the super finishing achieved in grinding process. Moreover, the hard turning process is more efficient than other conventional methods. It consumes five times lesser energy and is cost effective and environmental friendly process.

Application of PCBN in Hard Turning
The hard turning requires machining tools of very high quality and precision. The tools used in hard turning are usually the inserts manufactured from Synthetic Diamond (PCD), polycrystalline cubic boron nitride (PCBN).
The CBN being the second hardest material is an ideal material for manufacturing solid cbn inserts which are used extensively in hard turning. To get more strength and durability, CBN is passed through a process called sintering (a process in which a material gets more compact and stiff due to the application of heat and pressure) to get PCBN.

Due to suitable properties, almost two third of its applications are related to turning processes. However, it is pertinent to note that the pcbn inserts are ideal for turning only hardened steel and that too in moderate speed range. The soft steels when turned through pcbn inserts or solid cbn inserts, make it hard to retain the sharpness of the inserts for long time as the soft iron is accumulated on the edges.

The best thing about pcbn inserts and solid cbn inserts is that both sides of an insert are usable. When one side of the insert is worn out, it can be turned over and used again.

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