Modern, high strength materials take even superhard cutting materials to the limit – and that is why high-performance coatings are so important. They provide “staying power” and significantly boost performance in many industrial applications. It is therefore only logical that this principle is now also increasingly being applied in die and mould making. LMT KIENINGER'S die and mould making experts recently laid the foundations for that by setting up their own coating centre.
Effectively, all the precisions tools used in die and mould making have to work under “maximum load”. Extreme temperatures occur during the machining of die or injection moulds from hardened steel or spheroidal graphite iron alloys. At the same time the cutting processes take a relatively long time. In addition to this, special demands are placed on blades when indexable insert tools are used. The different cutting speeds at the cutting insert vary considerably: from zero at the centre (in the case of spherical tools) to the maximum cutting speed at the outer edge.
New coating expertise
“Of course, we know precisely what these different challenges and conditions are,” explains Christian Krieg, development engineer at LMT Kieninger, the competence centre for die and mould making within the LMT Group. “We now want to exploit this know-how in a targeted way – in the development of tool coatings that are specially tailored to die and mould making.” The Lahr-based specialists already took the first step in that direction in June last year when they began to set up their own coating centre. Working in collaboration with coating experts from LMT Fette and Platit, various modules were put into operation – in addition to the coating machine itself, a cleaning and blasting system as well as quality control equipment. “Within nine months we have successfully set up a competence centre for the coating of carbide indexable inserts,” says Krieg.
Advantages within the LMT Group
The opportunities this has opened up within the LMT Group are already clearly demonstrated by the first new coating that was specially developed for die and mould making: Nanomold Gold (more information on Nanomold Gold is available here). Not only is the close cooperation within the LMT Group a major advantage here; the standardization of technical equipment within LMT also has a similarly positive effect. The fact that LMT Fette in Schwarzenbek has two identical coating centres means, for example, that new developments can also be tested there. “As a result, there are a series of synergies between the different coating centres within LMT. In the future we will be in a position to develop new surface solutions for indexable inserts very quickly and precisely. Our customers will be able to profit from tailormade solutions that will ultimately significantly enhance the efficiency of the manufacturing process for moulds.”