Powder Metallurgy: What Is It and The Major Advantages It Offers

With the development of sophisticated materials, heavy-duty applications, and specialized components, the manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, and other critical industries require more resilient tools. Powder metallurgy (PM) has answered the call, and Regal has harnessed the power of this technology to make our customers more productive and profitable.

How it Works

Unlike traditional cutting tools, which are cut, shaved, and shaped from blank ingots, powder-metal tools are built from fine metallic particles, imbuing them with several advantages. Powdering allows taps, mills, drills, and other metalworking tools to be formed from thoroughly blended materials to create the desired tool characteristics.
The powder metallurgy process creates particles with significant surface area and carbide structure. The powder medium gives toolmakers the freedom to precisely balance the alloy content to achieve specific results. Because the particle balance is strictly controlled, the tool maintains structural integrity and consistency throughout the manufacturing process, and makes it easier to grind, score, and cut to smoother finishes.

The Power of Powder

The homogeneous powder blend gives the tools a stable chemical makeup, so they can achieve markedly stronger cutting edges, resulting in longer life. The additional hardness and sharpness achieved through PM also provides operators the flexibility to choose feeds and speeds that maximize productivity without worrying about tools breaking or wearing out prematurely. The extreme heat (sintering) and pressurization that bonds the particles during the PM toolmaking process adds hardness, ductility, strength, and resistance to heat, corrosion, abrasions, and more. Alloying steel to other metals –tantalum, molybdenum, cobalt, vanadium, tungsten, etc. – gives the tools the traits best suited for the desired applications, from aluminum and other soft metals to hard, exotic compounds such as titanium, nickel, Inconel, Hastelloy, Waspaloy, and other super alloys.
In many cases, powder-metal tools can be used at greater production rates and for longer periods during a manufacturing run than carbide. This capability is magnified in their suitability for milling and both conventional and synchronous tapping machines. Their smoother edges, made possible by PM tools’ amenability to grinding processes, creates more precise cutting edges.

Regal’s SuperTuf Line

While PM taps and mills are superior to carbide in many applications, not all PM tools are created equal. Regal manufactures taps and other tools from  a variety of particle high-speed steels to achieve precise, application-specific solutions for the toughest materials.

We have achieved our goal of designing and manufacturing a line of high-performance milling solutions that both overcomes the vibrations inherent in many older spindles and is cost-effective enough for any shop. Constructed of Regal’s innovative PMX ultrafine micro-particle metal, our Super Tuf-V variable helix end mills incorporate ideal flute shapes and cutting faces to masterfully absorb the stress of spindle vibration and resist the heat generated by taking heavy cuts. SuperTuf mills can run at double the feed rate of carbide mills, producing more inches cut per hour, even running at 80 percent of the carbides’ speeds. Even better, Regal Cutting Tool’s particle metal end mills sell for about half the cost of a comparable size and length carbide tool.
Similarly, Regal’s proprietary PM process has developed the right combination of substrate alloys and our expert engineering has created efficient flute and point designs to make our SuperTuf taps the right choice for any job, whether you’re working with carbon steel, stainless, nickel or titanium alloys.
Regal Cutting Tools is a leading innovator of cutting and threading tools. Whatever your material or application, our SuperTuf line of powder metallurgy taps and end mills will provide superior workmanship at a reasonable cost. View Regal’s full offering of SuperTuf Taps and SuperTuf End Mills to see which solutions will best suit your needs.
Regal is also currently offering buy one get one free on their new SuperTuf MF-DA Metflo Forming Taps! Click here to learn more about this exciting new offer valid until March 31, 2017.