DUO-LOCK modular end mills fit a wide variety of tool holders and adapters, including the KM4X platform
Back in 2014, Kennametal announced a technology partnership with Haimer® for the development of a modular cutting tooling system. Since that time, the company has been busy developing, testing, and building inventory of DUO-LOCK™, which promised even then to be “the most rigid and most precise interface in the marketplace.”
Today it’s even better. According to Thilo Mueller, manager of solid carbide end milling at Kennametal, DUO-LOCK is the only modular endmill solution able to compete at solid carbide levels, and outperforms its nearest modular competitor by more than two to one. That means full-width slotting at depths up to 1 x cutter diameter, and side milling up to 50 percent radial engagement at 1.5 x the diameter deep, even in stainless steel, titanium, and other high-temp aerospace alloys.
Mueller says he’s excited about the tool’s robust machining qualities, but is equally enthusiastic about its broad initial product offering. “We have over 400 line items coming in the first wave, with many more coming early next year,” he says. “These include the most popular size end mills in both inch and metric, as well as a broad array of adapters, integral shank holders, and extensions.”
Many of those extensions are equipped with HAIMER’s Safe-Lock™ technology, a secure clamping mechanism that eliminates concerns over tool pullout and creep in high-performance milling applications. HSK, CAT, BT, and comparable spindle tapers are also available.
One of the things that makes DUO-LOCK unique is its intelligent thread design. Using FEA-based design tools, Kennametal has optimized the connection to eliminate any possibility of tool failure even at elevated loads. The result, says Mueller, is that DUO-LOCK handles 25 percent more torque than its closest competitor, permitting higher feedrates and axial depths of cut, especially in long reach conditions.
The cutting geometry is likewise unique, and uses an upgraded HARVI front end with an asymmetrical flute design. This breaks up cutting harmonics, reduces chatter, and provides 20 percent or greater chip load per tooth compared to the solid carbide versions. The HARVI II 5 flute cutters also received an upgrade: a variable helix known for its full slotting capabilities in titanium. The eccentric relief behind the cutting edge with HARVI III is also a proven performer in titanium and other heat resistant alloys, and is sure to satisfy the needs of customers looking for larger modular versions as well. Multiple carbide grades are also available, including Kennametal’s proprietary Beyond grades KCSM15 and KCPM15, making DUO-LOCK a go-to solution for everything from heavy roughing to semi-finishing. “Because of the very small amount of tool runout, some of our customers are even seeing success in fine finishing applications,” says Mueller.
Assembly is easy: clean the DUO-LOCK insert and coupling, thread it by hand onto the adapter (use gloves, the edges are sharp!), and torque it down. That’s it. Since DUO-LOCK operates at far higher cutting parameters than its competition, the torque values are likewise much greater, an indicator to customers familiar with such tooling that DUO-LOCK is a different species within the modular machining world. DUO-LOCK’s double-cone locating surface provides Z-axis coupling repeatability of 10 μm (.0004 in.) or better, and tool to tool repeatability in the 50μm (.002 in.) range, eliminating the need for offline presetting or tool touch-off in the machine. And the additional contact surface at the base of the tool assures radial runout at the coupling below 5 μm (.0002 in.), improving run out at the cutting edge tremendously, similar to the 2nd contact area enjoyed by KM™ or KM4X™ customers. And when the cutter’s dull, simply load it into a Kennametal Blue Box and ship it to one of the company’s reconditioning facilities around the world.
The result is a rigid, highly accurate tooling solution that offers greatly reduced setup time and simplified tool changeover, cutting performance equal to solid carbide, and the stiffness to remove more metal in less time than competing modular systems. “We are understandably proud of the DUO-LOCK design,” says Mueller. “It’s an ideal solution for a wide variety of applications.”
If you’re ready to replace your solid carbide endmills with a competitively priced alternative, reduce setup time and improve accuracy, and remove large amounts of metal very, very quickly, hold on tight: Kennametal’s taking chipmaking to the next level. Variable helix angles, unequal flute spacing, and the strongest mounting available in a modular end mill make the DUO-LOCK a top performer in any shop
At the forefront of advanced materials innovation for more than 75 years, Kennametal Inc. is a global industrial technology leader delivering productivity to customers through materials science, tooling and wear-resistant solutions. Customers across aerospace, earthworks, energy, general engineering and transportation turn to Kennametal to help them manufacture with precision and efficiency. Every day nearly 12,000 employees are helping customers in more than 60 countries stay competitive. Kennametal generated more than $2.6 billion in revenues in fiscal 2015. Learn more at www.kennametal.com
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