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Home >> Technical FAQs >> why cbn inserts has the the upper hand than ceramic or tungsten carbide inserts


Why cbn insert has the upper hand than ceramic or tungsten carbide inserts?

Here it is appropriate that you know well about the advantages of a CBN insert which is also known as PCBN or polycrystalline cubic boron nitride. This is a man-made material that is known to be second to diamond in terms of hardness. 

This material is a boring and cutting tool that is highly recommended for hard turning and that is because of several technical reasons:

Among its greatest advantages is the ability to produce a better surface finish compared to other inserts. This is mainly because of its hardness. CBN is known for its hardness of about 4500 HV. CBN cutting tool is also capable to machine hard steel that comes with a hardness of Rc45 and above. It may also be used for cobalt- and nickel-based alloys that are of high temperature.

It also reduces machining time as hard turning itself takes away the grinding operation to complete this part. CBN on the other hand makes sure of higher cutting depths, speed and feed rates for those difficult materials. This makes it very beneficial for any machine shop around. A CBN cutting tool can have a cutting speed of 250 to 400 ft/min when used on hardened steels and 5000 ft/min on pearlitic cast iron.

The use of CBN inserts is also environment friendly since it eliminates the need for a coolant. The cutting process can be done dry. pcbn inserts can withstand ultra-high cutting temperatures, and that means no coolant will be used. When the material heats up during the turning process, it becomes much softer and easier to machine. This too reduces furthermore the cutting time.

The CBN also comes with the appropriate dimensions that make it stable. This factor is crucial for mass production of such cut difficult materials. It is also due to this characteristic that scrapped parts are minimized in number. 

Given the various characteristics that are unique to CBN which have been listed above, there are generally two major advantages of it compared to ceramics and carbide tools. The first one is that comes with better impact resistance as compared to ceramic tools. Secondly, it is known to have higher wear resistance than the carbide tools.

These two characteristics lead to an increase in the production speed and reduced machining costs involved. It also means that CBN comes with multiple applications such as cast iron, hardened steel, Inconel 718 NI-based alloy etc.

CBN can do the following that ceramic or tungsten carbide may not be able to accomplish:
It can produce excellent surface finish that is not comparable to the ground finish of the carbide or ceramic tools.
It allows for turning of extremely difficult material that needed to be ground.
It has extended consistent tool life that is not possible with ceramic and carbide tools.
The roughing and finishing processes can be completed in a single operation.
Metal removal rate is also expected to be higher than that of the ground finish.
The use of CBN may not completely remove the process of grinding, but in many applications this process is eliminated through its use.
The use of CBN tools is economical as it ensures faster cutting speeds and metal removal procedure.
Because it entails quite low tool wear, there is higher chance for machining to have very close tolerance.

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