Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD) is an incredibly durable material used to tip end mills through a process of sintering – fusing tiny grains of PCD to the tool tip under great heat and pressure. This sintering process fuses these particles together with a tungsten carbide core, producing an insanely durable tip. PCD is one of the hardest materials used to tip end mills in the world, and PCD-tipped end mills are suitable for a range of applications.

So what can PCD end mills be used to machine? Take a look as our quick rundown below:

Machining Standard Range of Metals

PCD end mills are superior to metal end mills, such as high-speed steel (HSS). Though HSS is very durable, it will still begin to warp and damage under the intense temperatures and pressures required for industrial machining. PCD on the other hand will not, meaning it can be used to in machining the whole standard range of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

Machining Heat-Resistant Superalloys

Heat-resistant superalloys (HRSA) are ridiculously tough metal alloys, renowned for their ability to withstand immense heat. These are sometimes referred to as high-performance alloys, or simply superalloys. As you may imagine, HRSA are wildly difficult to machine due to their durability. In fact, the cutting force required for HRSA is over 4,000 N/Sq.m, while it’s only 2,500 N/Sq.m for steel. Only tool tips with a higher durability can be able to properly shape and machine these superalloys. The sintering process helps PCD milling cutters be resistant to chipping or forming burrs under these immense pressures.

Machining Foams and Soft Materials

Foams, rubbers, and other soft materials might sound easy to machine, but these soft materials come with a different difficulty than hard, durable metals. Foams and soft materials are prone to splitting, splintering, cracking, ripping, or any other form of damage while being machined. This means that a razor sharp and clean edge is required to machine foams exactly as they’re meant to be without ripping off additional materials or causing damage to the end product. PCD end mills can be used for almost any CNC machining application, from the hardest metals to the softest foams!