Understanding the unique material properties and how that could lead to tool life being an issue, Prosper-Tech reached out to their longtime tooling provider-turned friend to learn more about the best approach for machining this "tricky" material.
Why is Inconel difficult to machine?
Inconel is difficult to machine due to its material and physical properties. In turn, these properties make it popular for space and aerospace applications. This high nickel super alloy has resilience to corrosion and oxidation at high temperatures as well as a high-temperature coefficient of strength. In other words, it is challenging to machine as the material does not get softer as temperature rises such as when working with stainless steel. A machinist needs to take this into account when selecting tooling, feeds and speeds. It’s also critical to regularly inspect tooling for wear to ensure quality of parts produced as the material properties causes tools to wear disproportionally.
Prosper-Tech has gathered tips and tricks for improving the reliability and efficiency for precision machining of Inconel turned parts.
1. Select the right tooling
2. Select the right feed and speeds
3. Inspect tooling regularly
4. Understand material variability in Inconel lots
5. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the machining community for help