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Milling Cutters
Metal Removal
Cutting-Tool Materials
Metal Removal Methods
Machinability of Metals
and Operations
Single Point Machining
Turning Tools and Operations
Turning Methods and Machines
Grooving and Threading
12.1 Introduction
The two basic cutting tool types used in the metal working industry are of the
Shaping and Planing
single point and multi-point design, although they may differ in appearance and
in their methods of application. Fundamentally, they are similar in that the
Hole Making Processes
action of metal cutting is the same regardless of the type of operation. By
Drills and Drilling Operations
grouping a number of single point tools in a circular holder, the familiar milling
Drilling Methods and Machines
cutter is created.
Boring Operations and Machines
Milling is a process of generating machined surfaces by progressively remov-
Reaming and Tapping
ing a predetermined amount of material or stock from the workpiece witch is
advanced at a relatively slow rate of movement or feed to a milling cutter rotating
Multi Point Machining
at a comparatively high speed. The characteristic feature of the milling process is
Milling Cutters and Operations
that each milling cutter tooth removes its share of the stock in the form of small
Milling Methods and Machines
individual chips. A typical face milling operation is shown in Figure 12.1.
Broaches and Broaching
Saws and Sawing

Abrasive Processes
Grinding Wheels and Operations
Grinding Methods and Machines
Lapping and Honing

George Schneider, Jr. CMfgE

Professor Emeritus
Engineering Technology
Lawrence Technological University FIGURE 12.1: A typical milling operation; the on-edge insert design is being used.
Former Chairman (Courtesy Ingersoll Cutting Tool Co.)
Detroit Chapter ONE
Society of Manufacturing Engineers 12.2 Types of Milling Cutters
Former President The variety of milling cutters available for all types of milling machines helps
International Excutive Board
Society of Carbide & Tool Engineers
make milling a very versatile machining process. Cutters are made in a large
range of sizes and of several different cutting tool materials. Milling cutters are
Lawrence Tech.-
made from High Speed Steel (HSS), others are carbide tipped and many are
Prentice Hall-
replaceable or indexable inserts. The three basic milling operations are shown in
Figure 12.2. Peripheral and end milling cutters will be discussed below. Face Chapter 12/Tooling & Production 1

Chap. 12: Milling Cutters & Operations
is increased to about 45
Milling degrees.
cutter Spindle Side Milling Cutter:
Spindle Shank The side milling cutter
End mill has a cutting edge on the
sides as well as on the
periphery. This allows the
cutter to mill slots (Fig.
Half-Side Milling Cut-
(a) (b) (c) ter: This tool is the same
as the one previously de-
FIGURE 12.2: The three basic milling operations: (a) milling, (b) face milling, (c) end milling scribed except that cutting
edges are provided on a
A high speed steel (HSS) shell single side. It is used for
end milling cutter is shown in Fig- milling shoulders. Two cutters of this
ure 12.3 and other common HSS type are often mounted on a single
cutters are shown in Figure 12.4 arbor for straddle milling.
and briefly described below: Stagger-tooth Side Mill: This cut-
ter is the same as the side milling
12.2.1 Periphery Milling cutter except that the teeth are stag-
Cutters gered so that every other tooth cuts on
Periphery milling cutters are usu- a given side of the slot. This allows
ally arbor mounted to perform deep, heavy-duty cuts to be taken
various operations. (12.4a).
Light Duty Plain Mill: This Angle Cutters: On angle cutters,
cutter is a general purpose cutter the peripheral cutting edges lie on a
for peripheral milling operations. cone rather than on a cylinder. A
Narrow cutters have straight teeth, single or double angle may be provided
while wide ones have helical teeth (Fig. 12.4d and Fig. 12.4e).
FIGURE 12.3: High-speed steel (HSS) shell (Fig. 12.4c). Shell End Mill: The shell end mill
end milling cutter. (Courtesy Morse Cutting Heavy Duty Plain Mill: A has peripheral cutting edges plus face
Tools) heavy duty plain mill is similar to cutting edges on one end. It has a hole
the light duty mill except that it is through it for a bolt to secure it to the
milling cutters are usually indexable used for higher rates of metal removal. spindle (Fig. 12.3).
and will be discussed later in this To aid it in this function, the teeth are Form Mill: A form mill is a periph-
chapter. more widely spaced and the helix angle eral cutter whose edge is shaped to
produce a special configuration on the
surface. One example of his class of
tool is the gear tooth cutter. The exact
contour of the cutting edge of a form
mill is reproduced on the surface of the
workpiece (Fig.12.4f, Fig.12.4g, and

12.2.2 End Milling Cutters

(a) (b) (c) (d)
End mills can be used on vertical and
horizontal milling machines for a vari-
ety of facing, slotting, and profiling
operations. Solid end mills are made
from high speed steel or sintered car-
bide. Other types, such as shell end
mills and fly cutters, consist of cutting
tools that are bolted or otherwise fas-
tened to adapters.
Solid End Mills: Solid end mills
(e) (f) (g) (h) have two, three, four, or more flutes
and cutting edges on the end and the
FIGURE 12.4: Common HSS milling cutters: (a) staggered-tooth cutter, (b) side periphery. Two flute end mills can be
milling cutter, (c) plain milling cutter, (d) single-angle milling cutter, (e) double- fed directly along their longitudinal
angle milling cutter, (f) convex milling cutter, (g) concave milling cutter, (h) corner axis into solid material because the
rounded milling cutter.
cutting faces on the end meet. Three

2 Tooling & Production/Chapter 12

Chap. 12: Milling Cutters & Operations

ter Tooth
ded Tooth face
Secondary clearance
Ou Radial
eter Gash angle rake angle
Root diam
Primary clearance

Fillet Land Peripheral

Flute cutting edge Relief

FIGURE 12.7: Milling cutter configuration: (a) plain milling cutter

nomenclature; (b) plain milling cutter tooth geometry.

and four fluted cutters with one orientation of the tooth face, and the
end cutting edge that extends past relief to prevent rubbing on the land.
the center of the cutter can also be The terms defined below and illus-
fed directly into solid material. trated in Figures 12.7a and 12.7b are
FIGURE 12.5a: Various single- and double- Solid end mills are double or important and fundamental to milling
ended HSS end mills. (Courtesy The Weldon single ended, with straight or ta- cutter configuration.
Tool Co.) pered shanks. The end mill can be Outside Diameter: The outside di-
of the stub type, with short cut- ameter of a milling cutter is the diam-
ting flutes, or of the extra long eter of a circle passing through the
type for reaching into deep cavi- peripheral cutting edges. It is the
ties. On end mills designed for dimension used in conjunction with the
effective cutting of aluminum, spindle speed to find the cutting speed
the helix angle is increased for (SFPM).
improved shearing action and Root Diameter: This diameter is
chip removal, and the flutes may measured on a circle passing through
be polished. Various single and the bottom of the fillets of the teeth.
double-ended end mills are Tooth: The tooth is the part of the
shown in Figure 12.5a. Various cutter starting at the body and ending
tapered end mills are shown in with the peripheral cutting edge. Re-
Figure 12.5b. placeable teeth are also called inserts.
Special End Mills: Ball end Tooth Face: The tooth face is the
mills (Fig. 12.6a) are available surface of the tooth between the fillet
in diameters ranging from 1/32 and the cutting edge, where the chip
to 2 1/2 inches in single and slides during its formation.
double ended types. Single pur- Land: The area behind the cutting
FIGURE 12.5b: Various tapered HSS end mills.
(Courtesy The Weldon Tool Co.) pose end mills such as Woodruff edge on the tooth that is relieved to
key-seat cutters, corner rounding avoid interference is called the land.
cutters, and dovetail cutters Flute: The flute is the space pro-
(Fig.12.6b) are used vided for chip flow between the teeth.
on both vertical and Gash Angle: The gash angle is
FIGURE 12.6: (a) Ball-nose end-milling cutters are horizontal milling measured between the tooth face and
available in diameter ranging from 1/32 to 2 machines. They are the back of the tooth immediately
inches. (Courtesy The Weldon Tool Co.) (b) HSS usually made of high ahead.
dovetail cutters can be used on both vertical and speed steel and may Fillet: The fillet is the radius at the
horizontal milling machines. (Courtesy Morse have straight or ta- bottom of the flute, provided to allow
Cutting Tools) pered shanks. chip flow and chip curling.
The terms defined above apply pri-
12.3 Milling marily to milling cutters, particularly
Cutter to plain milling cutters. In defining
Nomenclature the configuration of the teeth on the
As far as metal cutter, the following terms are impor-
cutting action is tant.
concerned, the per- Peripheral Cutting Edge: The cut-
tinent angles on ting edge aligned principally in the
the tooth are those direction of the cutter axis is called the
that define the con- peripheral cutting edge. In peripheral
figuration of the milling, it is this edge that removes the
(a) (b) cutting edge, the metal. Chapter 12/Tooling & Production 3

Chap. 12: Milling Cutters & Operations

(a) (b)
FIGURE 12.8: A variety of indexable FIGURE 12.10: (a) Face milling cutter with wedge clamped indexable inserts.
milling cutters. (Courtesy Ingersoll (Courtesy Iscar Metals, Inc.) (b) Face milling cutters with indexable inserts and
Cutting Tool Co.) wedge clamped milling cartridges. (Courtesy Greenleaf Corp.)

Face Cutting Edge: The face cut- axis. is used to support the insert, the wedge
ting edge is the metal removing edge Axial Rake Angle: The axial rake must absorb all of the force generated
aligned primarily in a radial direction. angle is measured between the periph- during the cut. This is why wedge
In side milling and face milling, this eral cutting edge and the axis of the clamping on the cutting face of the
edge actually forms the new surface, cutter, when looking radially at the insert is preferred, since this method
although the peripheral cutting edge point of intersection. transfers the loads generated by the cut
may still be removing most of the Blade Setting Angle: When a slot through the insert and into the cutter
metal. It corresponds to the end cut- is provided in the cutter body for a body. Both of the wedges clamping
ting edge on single point tools. blade, the angle between the base of the methods are shown in Figure 12.9.
Relief Angle: This angle is mea- slot and the cutter axis is called the The wedge clamp system however,
sured between the land and a tangent blade setting angle. has two distinct disadvantages. First,
to the cutting edge at the periphery. the wedge covers almost half of the
Clearance Angle: The clearance 12.4 Indexable Milling Cutters insert cutting face, thus obstructing
angle is provided to make room for The three basic types of milling opera- normal chip flow while producing pre-
chips, thus forming the flute. Nor- tions were introduced earlier. Figure mature cutter body wear, and secondly,
mally two clearance angles are pro- 12.8 shows a variety of indexable mill- high clamping forces causing clamp-
vided to maintain the strength of the ing cutters used in all three of the basic ing element and cutter body deforma-
tooth and still provide sufficient chip types of milling operations (Fig. 12.2). tion can and often will result. The
space. There are a variety of clamping sys- excessive clamping forces can cause
Radial Rake Angle: The radial tems for indexable inserts in milling enough cutter body distortion that in
rake angle is the angle between the cutter bodies. The examples shown some cases when loading inserts into a
tooth face and a cutter radius, mea- cover the most popular methods now in milling body, the last insert slot will
sured in a plane normal to the cutter use: have narrowed to a point where the last
insert will not fit into the body. When
12.4.1 Wedge this occurs, several of the other inserts
Clamping already loaded in the milling cutter are
Milling inserts have removed an reset. Wedge clamping
been clamped using can be used to clamp individual inserts
wedges for many years (Fig. 12.10a) or indexable and replace-
in the cutting tool in- able milling cutter cartridges as shown
dustry. This principle in Figure 25.10b.
is generally applied in
one of the following 12.4.2 Screw Clamping
ways: either the wedge This method of clamping is used in
is designed and ori- conjunction with an insert that has a
ented to support the in- pressed countersink or counterbore. A
Clamping Support and torque screw is often used to eccentri-
sert as it is clamped, or
wedge cally mount and force the insert
wedge the wedge clamps on
the cutting face of the against the insert pocket walls. This
FIGURE 12.9: Two methods of wedge clamping indexable insert, forcing the insert clamping action is a result of either
milling cutter inserts. against the milling offsetting the centerline of the screw
body. When the wedge toward the back walls of the insert

4 Tooling & Production/Chapter 12

Chap. 12: Milling Cutters & Operations

Lead angle or corner angle or

peripheral cutting edge angle Axial rake Axial rake
Insert 2-45 angle (positive) Lead angle angle (negative)
Chamfer 2-4
or radius Chamfer 45

Face or end Axial relief angle Axial relief angle

cutting edge Effective diameter Effective diameter
Insert Side View Side View
Peripheral or Peripheral
radial relief angle relief angle
Wedge lock Wedge lock

FIGURE 12.11: Screw clamping method for

indexable inserts.

pocket, or by drilling and tapping the causes

mounting hole at a slight angle, an unde- Radial rake Radial rake
angle (positive)
thereby bending the screw to attain the sirable angle (positive)
Bottom View Bottom View
same type of clamping action. retight-
The Screw clamping method for ening ef- FIGURE 12.13: Positive-rake and negative-rake face milling cutter
indexable inserts is shown in Figure fect, in- nomenclature.
12.11. creasing
Screw clamping is excellent for the torque required to unlock the insert cutter geometries are shown in Figure
small diameter end mills where space screw. The screw clamping method can 12.13.
is at a premium. It also provides an be used on indexable ball milling cut- Double Negative Geometry: A
open unhampered path for chips to ters (Fig. 12.12a) or on indexable in- double negative milling cutter uses
flow free of wedges or any other ob- sert slotting and face milling cutters as only negative inserts held in a negative
structive hardware. Screw clamping shown in Figure 12.12b. pocket. This provides cutting edge
produces lower clamping forces than strength for roughing and severe inter-
those attained with the wedge clamp- 12.5 Milling Cutter rupted cuts. When choosing a cutter
ing system. However, when the cutting Geometry geometry it is important to remember
edge temperature rises significantly, There are three industry standard mill- that a negative insert tends to push the
the insert frequently expands and ing cutter geometries: double negative, cutter away, exerting considerable
double positive, and positive/negative. force against the workpiece. This
Each cutter geometry type has certain could be a problem when machining
advantages and disadvantages that flimsy or lightly held workpieces, or
must be considered when selecting the when using light machines. However,
right milling cutter for the job. Posi- this tendency to push the work down,
tive rake and negative rake milling or push the cutter away from the
workpiece may be benefi-
cial in some cases because
the force tends to load
the system, which often re-
duces chatter.
Double Positive Geom-
etry: Double positive cut-
ters use positive inserts
held in positive pockets.
This is to provide the
proper clearance for cut-
ting. Double positive cut-
ter geometry provides for
low force cutting, but the
inserts contact the
workpiece at their weakest
point, the cutting edge. In
(a) (b) positive rake milling, the
cutting forces tend to lift the
FIGURE 12.12: (a) Indexable-insert ball-nosed milling cutters using the screw clamping method. workpiece or pull the cutter
(Courtesy Ingersoll Cutting Tool Co.) (b) Slotting cutters and face milling with screw-on-type into the work. The greatest
indexable inserts. (Courtesy Duramet Corp.) advantage of double posi- Chapter 12/Tooling & Production 5

Chap. 12: Milling Cutters & Operations
tive milling is free cutting. Less force
sections of the Lead
is exerted against the workpiece, so
part. angle
less power is required. This can be The lead angle
especially helpful with machining ma-
also determines
terials that tend to work harden.
the thickness of
Positive / Negative Geometry: the chip. The
Positive/negative cutter geometry com-
greater the lead
bines positive inserts held in negative
angle for the same
pockets. This provides a positive axial feed rate or chip
rake and a negative radial rake and as
load per tooth, the
with double positive inserts, this pro-
thinner the chip FIGURE 12.14: Drawing of a positive lead angle on an
vides the proper clearance for cutting. becomes. As in indexable-insert face milling cutter.
In the case of positive/negative cutters,
single point tool-
the workpiece is contacted away from lead angle cutters is especially benefi-
ing, the depth of cut is distributed over
the cutting edge in the radial direction a longer surface of contact. Therefore, cial when machining materials with
and on the cutting edge in the axial scaly or work hardened surfaces. With
lead angle cutters are recommended
direction. The positive/negative cutter a large lead angle, the surface is spread
when maximum material removal is
can be considered a low force cutter the objective. Thinning the chip al- over a larger area of the cutting edge.
because it uses a free cutting positive This reduces the detrimental effect on
lows the feed rate to be increased or
insert. On the other hand, the positive/ the inserts, extending tool life. Large
negative cutter provides contact away Lead angles can range from zero to lead angles will also reduce burring
from the cutting edge in the radial and breakout at the workpiece edge.
85 degrees. The most common lead
direction, the feed direction of a face The most obvious limitation on lead
angles available on standard cutters are
mill. 0, 15, 30 and 45 degrees. Lead angles angle cutters is part configuration. If a
In positive/negative milling, some of square shoulder must be machined on a
larger than 45 degrees are usually con-
the advantages of both positive and part, a zero degree lead angle is re-
sidered special, and are used for very
negative milling are available. Posi- shallow cuts for fine finishing, or for quired. It is impossible to produce a
tive/negative milling combines the free zero degree lead angle milling cutter
cutting very hard work materials.
cutting or shearing away of the chip of with square inserts because of the need
Milling cutters with large lead
a positive cutter with some of the edge angles also have greater heat dissipat- to provide face clearance. Often a near
strength of a negative cutter. square shoulder is permissible. In this
ing capacity. Extremely high tempera-
Lead Angle: The lead angle (Fig. case a three degree lead angle cutter
tures are generated at the insert cutting
12.14) is the angle between the insert edge while the insert is in the cut. may be used.
and the axis of the cutter. Several
Carbide, as well as other tool materi-
factors must be considered to deter-
als, often softens when heated, and
12.5.1 Milling Insert Corner
mine which lead angle is best for a when a cutting edge is softened it will Geometry
specific operation. First, the lead angle Indexable insert shape and size were
wear away more easily. However, if
must be small enough to cover the discussed in Chapter 2. Selecting the
more of the tool can be employed in the
depth of cut. The greater the lead cut, as in the case of larger lead angles, proper corner geometry is probably the
angle, the less the depth of cut that can most complex element of insert selec-
the tools heat dissipating capacity will
be taken for a given size insert. In tion. A wide variety of corner styles
be improved which, in turn, improves
addition, the part being machined may tool life. In addition, as lead angle is are available. The corner style chosen
require a small lead angle in order to will have a major effect on surface
increased, axial force is increased and
clear a portion or form a certain shape finish and insert cost. Figure 12.15a
radial force is reduced, an important
on the part. As the lead angle in- factor in controlling chatter. shows various sizes and shapes of
creases, the forces change toward the indexable milling
T h e
direction of the workpiece. This could cutter inserts.
use of
cause deflections when machining thin l a r g e Cutter Nose Radius: An
insert with a nose ra-
dius is generally less
expensive than a
Chipflow Chipflow similar insert with
direction direction any other corner ge-
A ometry. A nose ra-
dius is also the stron-
Workpiece Workpiece
gest possible corner
geometry because it
(b) has no sharp corners
where two flats come
(a) (b)
together, as in the
FIGURE 12.15: (a) Various sizes and shapes of indexable milling cutter inserts. (Courtesy American case of a chamfered
National Carbide Co.) (b) indexable milling cutter insert chip flow directions are shown. corner. For these two

6 Tooling & Production/Chapter 12

Chap. 12: Milling Cutters & Operations

Cutter Cutter

Angular-land Parallel-land
chamber chamber

Workpiece Workpiece

(a) (b) (c)

FIGURE 12.16: (a) indexable milling cutter inserts with angular-land chamfer and parallel-land chamfer. (b and c) Two
precision ground indexable milling cutter inserts. (Courtesy Iscar Metals, Inc.)

reasons alone, a nose radius insert can be applied. Depending both on the normally will be produced regardless
should be the first choice for any appli- chamfer angle and the lead angle of the of the insert face runout. Parallel-land
cation where it can be used. cutter body in which the insert is used, inserts also make excellent roughing
Inserts with nose radii can offer tool the land of the chamfer will be either and general purpose inserts for posi-
life improvement when they are used parallel or angular (tilted) to the direc- tive/negative and double positive cut-
in 0 to 15 degree lead angle cutters, as tion of feed, as shown in Figure ters. When a parallel land chamfer
shown in Figure 12.15b. When a 12.16a. insert is used for roughing, the land
chamfer is used, as in the left drawing, Inserts that are applied with the width should be as small as possible to
the section of the chip formed above chamfer angular to the direction of reduce friction.
and below point A, will converge at feed normally have only a single cham- Sweep Wipers: Sweep wipers are
point A, generating a large amount of fer. These inserts are generally not as unique in both appearance and applica-
heat at that point, which will promote strong and the cost is usually higher tion. These inserts have only one or
faster than normal tool wear. When a than inserts that have a large nose two very long wiping lands. A single
radius insert is used, as shown in the radius. Angular-land chamfer inserts sweep wiper is used in a cutter body
right drawing, the chip is still com- are frequently used for general purpose filled with other inserts (usually rough-
pressed, but the heat is spread more machining with double negative cut- ing inserts) and is set approximately
evenly along the cutting edge, result- ters. 0.003 to 0.005 inches higher than the
ing in longer tool life. Inserts designed to be used with the other inserts, so that the sweep wiper
The major disadvantage of an insert chamfer parallel to the direction of alone forms the finished surface.
with a nose radius is that the surface feed may have a single chamfer, a The finish obtained with a sweep
finish it produces is generally not as single chamfer and corner break, a wiper is even better than the excellent
good as other common corner geom- double chamfer, or a double chamfer finish attained with a parallel land
etries. For this reason, inserts with and corner break. The larger lands are chamfer insert. In addition, since the
nose radii are generally limited to referred to as primary facets and the edge of the sweep wiper insert is excep-
roughing applications and applications smaller lands as secondary facets. The tionally long, a greater advance per
where a sweep wiper insert is used for cost of chamfers, in relation to other revolution may be used. The sweep
the surface. A sweep wiper is an insert types of corner geometries, depends wiper also offers the same easy set-up
with a very wide flat edge or a very upon the number of facets. A single as the parallel-land insert.
large radiused edge that appears to be facet insert is the least expensive, Sweep wiper inserts are available
flat. There is usually only one wiper while multiple facet inserts cost more with both flat and crowned wiping
blade used in a cutter and this blade because of the additional grinding ex- surfaces. The crowned cutting edge is
gets its name from its sweeping action pense. Figure 12.16b shows two preci- ground to a very large radius, usually
that blends the workpiece surface to a sion ground indexable milling cutter from three to ten inches. The crowned
very smooth finish. inserts. A face milling cutter with six cutting edges eliminate the possibility
Inserts with nose radii are not avail- square precision ground indexable of saw-tooth profiles being produced
able on many double positive and posi- milling cutter inserts was shown in on the machined surface because the
tive/negative cutters because the clear- Figure 12.10a. land is not exactly parallel to the direc-
ance required under the nose radius is The greatest advantage of using in- tion of feed, a condition normally
different from that needed under the serts with the land parallel to the direc- caused by spindle tilt. On the other
edge. This clearance difference would tion of feed is that, when used cor- hand, sweep wipers with flat cutting
require expensive grinding procedures rectly, they generate an excellent sur- edges produce a somewhat better finish
that would more than offset the other face finish. When the land width is if the land is perfectly aligned with the
advantages of nose radius inserts. greater than the advance per revolu- direction of feed.
Chamfer: There are two basic ways tion, one insert forms the surface. This
in which inserts with a corner chamfer means that an excellent surface finish Chapter 12/Tooling & Production 7

Chap. 12: Milling Cutters & Operations
12.6 Basic Milling Operations
Before any milling job is attempted,
several decisions must be made. In apr = apt = .006 apr = .024 apt = .006
addition to selecting the best means of
holding the work and the most appro-
priate cutters to be used, the cutting + +
speed and feed rate must be established
to provide good balance between rapid Feed Feed
metal removal and long tool life.
Proper determination of a cutting
speed and feed rate can be made only
when the following six factors are
FIGURE 12.17: Drawing of a milling cutter showing the difference between advance
known: per revolution (apr) and advance per tooth (apt).
Type of material to be machined
Rigidity of the set-up
Physical strength of the cutter Feed Rate: Once the cutting speed mine the actual feed rate of a milling
Cutting tool material is established for a particular cutter in IPM (inches per minute) us-
Power available at the spindle workpiece material, the appropriate ing one of the following formulas:
Type of finish desired feed rate must be selected. Feed rate is
Several of these factors affect cutting defined in metal cutting as the linear IPM = (IPT) (N) (RPM)
speed only, and some affect both cut- distance the tool moves at a constant or
ting speed and the feed rate. The tables rate relative to the workpiece in a IPM = (apt) (N) (RPM)
in reference handbooks provide ap- specified amount of time. Feed rate is
proximate figures that can be used as normally measured in units of inches where:
starting points. After the cutting speed per minute or IPM. In turning and IPM = inches per minute
is chosen, the spindle speed must be drilling operations the feed rate is ex- N = number of effective inserts
computed and the machine adjusted. pressed in IPR or inches per revolu- IPT = inches per tooth
Cutting Speed: Cutting speed is tion. apt = advance per tooth
defined as the distance in feet that is When establishing the feed rates for RPM = revolutions per minute
traveled by a point on the cutter pe- milling cutters, the goal is to attain the
riphery in one minute. Since a cutters fastest feed per insert possible, to For Example: When milling automo-
periphery is its circumference: achieve an optimum level of productiv- tive gray cast iron using a 4 inch
ity and tool life, consistent with effi- diameter face mill with 8 inserts at 400
Circumference = Pi d cient manufacturing practices. The SFPM and 30.5 IPM, what apr and apt
ultimate feed rate is a function of the would this be?
in case of a cutter, the cutting edge strength and the rigidity
circumference is: of the workpiece, machine and SFPM 400
RPM = .262 d = .262 4 = 382
fixturing. To calculate the appropriate
Cutter circumference = Pi/12 d feed rate for a specific milling applica- IPM 30.5
= .262 d tion, the RPM, number of effective apr = = = .080 in.
RPM 382
inserts (N) and feed per insert in inches
Since cutting speed is expressed in (IPT or apt) should be supplied. apr .080
apt = = = .010 in.
surface feet per minute (SFPM) The milling cutter shown in Figure N 8
12.17 on the left (one insert cutter) will
SFPM = Cutter circumference RPM advance .006 inches at the cutter Answer: = .080 in. apr
centerline every time it rotates one full = .010 in. apt
by substituting for the cutter circum- revolution. In this case, the cutter is
ference, the cutting speed can be ex- said to have a feed per insert or an IPT When milling a 300M steel landing
pressed as: (inches per tooth), apt (advance per gear with a 6 inch diameter 45 degree
tooth) and an apr (advance per revolu- lead face mill (containing 10 inserts)
SFPM = .262 d RPM tion) of .006 inches. The same style of at 380 SFPM and a .006 inch advance
cutter with 4 inserts is shown in the per tooth, what feed rate should be run
The concept of cutting speed right hand drawing. However, to in IPM?
(SFPM) was introduced in Chapter 4 maintain an equal load on each insert, SFPM 380
(Turning Tools and Operations) and the milling cutter will now advance RPM =.262 d = .262 6 = 242
explained again in Chapter 8 (Drills .024 inches at he centerline every time
and Drilling Operations). It has again it rotates one full revolution. The IPM=aptNRPM = .00610242=14.5
been reviewed here without giving ad- milling cutter on the right is said to
ditional examples. However, since have and IPT and apt of .006 inches, Answer: = 14.5 IPM
milling is a multi-point operation, feed but and apr (advance per revolution) of The following basic list of formulas
needs to be explained in more detail .024 inches (.006 inch for each insert). can be used to determine IPM, RPM,
than in previous chapters. These concepts are used to deter- apt, apr, or N depending on what

8 Tooling & Production/Chapter 12

Chap. 12: Milling Cutters & Operations
information is supplied for a specific
The average spindle horsepower re- of the entire operation. The two op-
milling application:
quired for machining metal workpieces tions in milling direction are described
is as follows: as either conventional or climb mill-
IPM = inches per minute
HP = Q k* ing. Conventional and climb milling
N = number of effective inserts
where: also affects chip formation and tool life
apr = inches of cutter advance HP = horsepower required at the as explained below. Figure 12.18
every revolution
machine spindle shows drawings of both conventional
apt = inches of cutter advance
Q = the metal removal rate in and climb milling.
for each effective insert cubic inches/minute Conventional Milling: The term
every revolution
k* = the unit power factor in often associated with this milling tech-
RPM = revolutions per minute
HP/cubic inch/minute nique is up-cut milling. The cutter
rotates against the direction of feed as
*k factors are available from refer- the workpiece advances toward it from
Find Given Using
ence books the side where the teeth are moving
upward. The separating forces pro-
IPM apr, RPM IPM = apr RPM
For example: What feed should be duced between cutter and workpiece
selected to mill a 2 inch wide by .25 oppose the motion of the work. The
IPM RPM, N, apt IPM =
inch depth of cut on aircraft aluminum, thickness of the chip at the beginning
apt N RPM
utilizing all the available horsepower of the cut is at a minimum, gradually
on a 20 HP machine using a 3 inch increasing in thickness to a maximum
apr IPM, RPM apr = IPM/RPM
diameter face mill? at the end of the cut.
Climb Milling: The term often
RPM IPM, apr RPM = IPM/apr
HP = Q k* associated with this milling technique
k* = .25 H.P./in.3/min. for aluminum is down-cut milling. The cutter ro-
tates in the direction of the feed and the
N apt
The maximum possible metal re- workpiece, therefore advances towards
moval rate (Q), for a 20 H.P. machine the cutter from the side where the teeth
N IPM, RPM, apt N = IPM
running an aluminum part is: are moving downward. As the cutter
RPM apt
teeth begin to cut, forces of consider-
HP 20
Q = = = 80 in3/min. able intensity are produced which favor
apt IPM, N, RPM apt = IPM k .25 the motion of the workpiece and tend
Answer: Q = 80 in.3/min. to pull the work under the cutter. The
chip is at a maximum thickness at the
Note: In the formulas shown above IPT
To remove 80 in3/min., what feed rate beginning of the cut, reducing to a
can be substituted for apt and IPR can
will be needed? minimum at the exit. Generally climb
be substituted for apr. milling is recommended wherever pos-
Q = (D.O.C.) (W.O.C.) IPM
sible. With climb milling a better
Horsepower Requirements: In Q 80
IPM= (D.O.C.)(W.O.C.) = .252 =160 finish is produced and longer cutter life
metal cutting, the horsepower con- is obtained. As each tooth enters the
sumed is directly proportional to the
Answer: = 160 IPM work, it immediately takes a cut and is
volume (Q) of material machined per
not dulled while building up pressure
unit of time (cubic inches / minute). to dig into the work.
Metals have distinct unit power factors 12.6.1 Direction of Milling Feed
The application of the milling tool in Advantages and Disadvantages: If
that indicate the average amount of
terms of its machining direction is the workpiece has a highly abrasive
horsepower required to remove one surface, conventional milling will usu-
cubic inch of material in a minute. critical to the performance and tool life
The power factor (k*) can be used
either to determine the machine size in Cutter Cutter
n n
terms of horsepower required to make




a specific machining pass or the feed

rate that can be attained once a depth
and width of cut are established on a
particular part feature. To determine
the metal removal rate (Q) use the

Q = D.O.C. W.O.C IPM Workpiece Workpiece

D.O.C. = depth of cut in inches Feed Feed
W.O.C. = width of cut in inches up-cut milling down-cut milling
IPM = feed rate, in inches/minute
FIGURE 12.18: Conventional or up-milling as compared to climb or down-milling. Chapter 12/Tooling & Production 9

Chap. 12: Milling Cutters & Operations
ally produce better cutter life since the for the cutter to climb up on the work, permit use of climb milling.
cutting edge engages the work below the milling machine arbor and arbor The downward pressure caused by
the abrasive surface. Conventional support must be rigid enough to over- climb milling has an inherent advan-
milling also protects the edge by chip- come this tendency. The feed must be tage in that it tends to hold the work
ping off the surface ahead of the cut- uniform and if the machine does not and fixture against the table, and the
ting edge. have a backlash eliminator drive, the table against the ways. In conventional
Limitations on the use of climb mill- table gibs should be tightened to pre- milling, the reverse is true and the
ing are mainly affected by the condi- vent the workpiece from being pulled workpiece tends to be lifted from the
tion of the machine and the rigidity into the cutter. Most present-day ma- table.
with which the work is clamped and chines are built rigidly enough. Older
supported. Since there is a tendency machines can usually be tightened to

10 Tooling & Production/Chapter 12