Case: Drilling a curved hole is hard – printing it isn't
The Seco Tools coolant clamp attaches to the cutting edge of industrial turning heads. Coolant flows through the clamp, cooling the cutting edge and controlling the waste chips produced.
Additive manufacturing (AM) enables an improved design for easier insert indexing and handling, which reduces down-time and boosts productivity. These benefits were put to the test in the case with the Seco Tools coolant clamp, whose curved internal channels are impossible to drill – but no match to print. Printing the clamp and thereby allowing for the coolant channels to become an integrated part of the component improved high-pressure coolant flow to the cutting edge.
“The Seco Tools coolant clamp is a great example of how you can utilize the design freedom that comes with additive manufacturing”, says André Larsson, R&D Technician at Sandvik Additive Manufacturing. “When you can focus on optimizing productivity without being constrained by applicational limitations, the potential to maximize customer value skyrockets”.
When you can focus on optimizing productivity without being constrained by applicational limitations, the potential to maximize customer value skyrockets
Printed in Osprey® 18Ni300 maraging steel – which is atomized and carefully tailored for additive manufacturing in-house at Sandvik – the finished component also benefits from the characteristics of this well-renowned tool steel. “This alloy is a great fit for tooling components such as the Seco coolant clamp, where durability is of the essence”, says Dr. Paul Davies, Technical Solutions Manager at Sandvik Additive Manufacturing. “Osprey® 18Ni300 maraging steel is particularly suitable for laser based additive manufacturing, as it doesn’t rely on carbon to increase its hardness, and is optimized to reduce porosity and non-metallic inclusions. This makes it ideal in order to obtain an component that isn’t just reliable and strong – but also showcases the desired, polished performance”.
Additive manufacturing also allowed for multiple jet hole sizes to be integrated. The optimized coolant flow that can be attained as a result, improves the life of the tool while providing a higher level of chip control – also contributing to productivity improvements.
By printing the Seco Tools logo as part of the component, the otherwise cosmetic feature turned into a support structure. “The support structure is a vital part of designing your additive component, but it’s not uncommon for the optimization of it to be overlooked. It needs to provide sufficient support, without requiring too much post-processing time”, André Larsson explains. With expertise across the AM value chain, Sandvik’s additive operations are based on the “Plan it – Print it – Perfect it” approach, aiming to highlight that printing is just one of the seven steps you need to master in order to succeed with the industrialization of AM.
“We decided to incorporate the company logo as part of the support structure in the Seco Tools coolant clamp. By doing so, we could reduce the amount of support needed – meaning we were able to print it faster and reduce the post-processing time with 80%. Definitely a win-win situation!”, André Larsson concludes.
Productivity-increasing cooling clamps for JET GL-turning heads
Per Viklund, Jonas Thuresson and Andreas Larsson
Osprey® 18Ni300 maraging steel
Additive manufacturing technology
Powder Bed Fusion Laser
Tumbling and blast finishing
The additively manufactured coolant clamp is now an integrated part of the Seco JET GL Turning Heads, as well as of the vast majority of Seco Tools’ entire Jetstream Tooling® program – where the precise performance enable significantly improved results. The clamp advantages are countless, from the reduced down-time and improved productivity brought forth by quick and easy insert indexing, to the possibility of applying the high-pressure coolant straight to the cutting edge – improving tool life and chip control alike.
We see many more opportunities with the unique AM technology for other parts of our product program
"We see many more opportunities with the unique AM technology for other parts of our product program," says Jonas Thuresson, Senior R&D Engineer – Turning Products, Seco Tools.