How Does the Helix Angle of the End Mill Affect the Processing Performance?

How does the helix angle of the end mill affect the processing performance?

First, let’s look at the role played by the helix angle of the end mill.

What’s the affection of the helix angle?

The larger the helix angle of the end mill, the longer the contact line between the workpiece and the cutting edge, and the smaller the load applied to the cutting edge per unit length, which is beneficial to the life of the tool.

On the other hand, as the helix angle increases, the axial component of the cutting resistance also increases, making the tool easy to fall off the tool holder. Therefore, when machining with a tool with a large helix angle, a strong and rigid tool holder is required. A helix angle of 0 degrees is called a straight edge, and its contact line is the shortest.

How to select the helix angle?

The low thermal conductivity of stainless steel, the cutting of difficult-to-cut materials that have a large impact on the tool tip, and the use of end mills with large helix angles are beneficial to the life of the tool. As the hardness of the material being cut with high hardness increases, the cutting resistance will increase. An end mill with a large helix angle is beneficial to tool life.

On the other hand, choosing a tool with a large helix angle is likely to increase the cutting resistance. The right-helix tool acts on the tool to resist downward cutting, making the tool easy to fall off. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt a countermeasure with a high-rigidity tool holder.

Even if the rigidity of the tool is ensured and the rigidity of the workpiece is low, such as thin plate processing, an end mill with a small helix angle is sometimes used.

How to select the number of flutes?

The number of flutes is selected by the cutting method of the end mill. For example, the cutting of grooves with the same cutting width and the same diameter requires a large-capacity chip flute. Usually, a two-edge tool is used, and for side cutting with a small cutting width, a multi-flute end mill with priority on tool rigidity is selected.

With the increase of the number of edges, the rigidity and machining efficiency (tool life) can be improved, but at the same time, the discharge of cutting will be weakened. However, the appropriate choice of cutting conditions can overcome the weakness of chip removal, and multi-flute is the direction of future development.

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