Selecting Productive and Cost-Effective Machining Solutions for Powder Metallury Materials
Machining is a tribological process which involves friction, lubrication and wear. It is important to understand the basic machining principles and link them to the actual machining of components. Powder metalallurgy (PM) components are commonly considered to be more difficult to machine compared to wrought steels due to their inherent porosity and differences in the material compositions required to achieve similar performance. Machinability enhancing additives are a commonly used solution to improve machining. However, to utilize the benefits provided by the additives for specific or multiple machining operations is a challenging subject due to the complexity of machining. Therefore, developing an effective laboratory testing procedure based on specific machining operations is critical to avoid failures in production trials when introducing a machining enhancer into the material. In this study, the basics of machining PM materials and the ways to improve machining are discussed. The effectiveness of recenttly developed machining enhancers is demonstrated for improving productivity and increasing tool life through application case studies.