Seco Tools: Drill or Mill

Seco Tools ( has upped the speed for its new drilling grade and boosted the capabilities of high speed milling with two new tools.

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Seco Tools ( has upped the speed for its new drilling grade and boosted the capabilities of high speed milling with two new tools.

The Duratomic process that it has developed for its cutting tools is now being deployed on the company's low-friction coated Performax drill body, as well as on its SD542/SD772 indexable drills and Seco Capto drills. Essentially, the Duratomic process works, as the name implies, at the atomic level. Aluminum oxide (Al2O3) is arranged based on the specific applications and workpieces to be machined by the specific tools. Consequently, the tools so processed show improved coating toughness and wear resistance. So for the drilling of steel and cast iron, they've developed Grade DP2000, which shows reduced heat transference and improved wear resistance, which contribute to low thermal conductivity. Consequences of this include long, predictable tool life as well as chemical stability. Specifically, during field tests of the material, they've achieved a 30% increase in productivity and longer tool life. An improvement of up to 100% was achieved in certain applications. While results will vary with the application and the setup, evidently the coating makes a considerable difference. This works hand in hand with the Performax drill body as it is designed to provide high bending and torsional rigidity, as well as excellent chip evacuation, which is key to holemaking operations.

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As for the milling, there's the new Jabro JHF180 MEGA-64, a new addition to the company's lineup in its High Feed Milling program. This new tool is a solid carbide endmill that is targeted at machining hardened steels, those in the 48 to 62 HRc range, which means that the tool has specific applicability for mold and die applications.

So what's the improvement? According to Seco Testing, compared with standard carbide endmills the JHF180 MEGA-64 has shown tool life improvements on the order of 400%. In addition to which, the company has developed a high-feed milling strategy that's based on transferring cutting forces from the radial direction to the axial direction. The consequence of this is that there are reduced vibrations, which means that there's more stable machining. What they're doing is using small depths of cut and high table feeds. This means that the chips generated a thin, and they work to (1) carry heat away for the cutting edge, which helps thermal stability, and (2) reduce cutting forces. While the heat reduction contributes to the increase in overall tool life, the machining approach provides a high metal removal rate compared to conventional practices such that they can realize a speed improvement on the order of 200 to 300% compared with traditional milling. The endmill can be used for applications including face milling, slotting, ramping, helical interpolation, ramping, and Z-level machining.

The JHF180 features a 0.9° tapered neck that reduces tool deflection, facilitates deep-cavity milling, and improves surface finish. Because of both the flute cavity design and an angle on the back of the tooth guide, chips are ejected away from the cutting edge. The tool is available in diameters from 2 mm to 16 mm, and reach options range from 2x to 7x diameter. There are 3-, 4- and 5-flute styles. The tool has a wear-resistant AlTiN coating and an 8% carbide substrate. Because of the tools capability, it is recommended that clamping is done via shirk-fit, hydraulic, or precision collet chucks.