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View Full Version : How carbide inserts are made



lazlo
07-23-2009, 01:13 PM
We've had a lot of discussion lately about carbide (and cermet) inserts, I thought some might like this excellent video from Sandvik showing how they make carbide inserts in their main factory in Gimo, Sweden.

There were several questions about ground versus molded inserts, you can watch them grind the inserts at 2:07 into the video:

http://www.youtube.com/v/al0xryL1vjI&hl=en&fs=1&

mwechtal
07-23-2009, 01:45 PM
The video points out something. I don't know how many realize this, but Carbide is a ceramic. So, when we talk about ceramic vs. carbide inserts, it should really be carbide vs. other ceramics.

lazlo
07-23-2009, 02:17 PM
Carbide inserts are tungsten carbide sintered with a cobalt binder.

A Cermet is a composite of metal and ceramic, and as someone here pointed out, there are pure ceramic inserts too.

Carbide inserts and Cermets are both sintered, so the difference may be academic, but carbide inserts are definitely tougher and harder than cermets.

Peter.
07-23-2009, 03:36 PM
I just watched a bunch of their other videos that appear along the bottom. I was both impressed and depressed at the same time :)

hornluv
07-23-2009, 09:00 PM
A lot of the processes the showed strike me as pretty darn slow as mass production goes. There's a lot of moving things around by hand or with those nifty, albeit incredibly slow, little robot guys, and then they've got those robots that grab four or five of them (one at a time) and move them over to a tray. I can see that taking hours to fill up one of those drums. For that matter, why invest thousands of dollars in that little press to mold one at a time when it probably wouldn't have cost much more to make it mold 10 or 20 or more at a time. Take some lessons from how they make crayons or macaroni. QC a concern? Look at how the postal service sorts mail. No wonder inserts cost so much.

mwechtal
07-23-2009, 10:21 PM
A lot of the processes the showed strike me as pretty darn slow as mass production goes. There's a lot of moving things around by hand or with those nifty, albeit incredibly slow, little robot guys, and then they've got those robots that grab four or five of them (one at a time) and move them over to a tray. I can see that taking hours to fill up one of those drums. For that matter, why invest thousands of dollars in that little press to mold one at a time when it probably wouldn't have cost much more to make it mold 10 or 20 or more at a time. Take some lessons from how they make crayons or macaroni. QC a concern? Look at how the postal service sorts mail. No wonder inserts cost so much.
I wonder though if they were showing a "specials" line so that the operations would be more clear than on the high production line? From the high tech ceramics production I've seen, the press is pressing dry powder into those shapes, at extremely high pressures. They are very fragile until they're fired.

Speaking of high tech ceramics, anyone know if there are any zirconia inserts made? I worked a bit with zirconia dies for hot drawing steel rod. That was the toughest material I've ever met. I diamond sawed a "flint" out of it for a friend of mine to use in a flintlock. It made a real shower of sparks, but it was tearing up the frizzen. It was still working 10 years, and hundreds of shots later. Real flint lasts maybe 10 shots if you're lucky.

dp
07-23-2009, 10:46 PM
I'd have sworn they were made from titanium, gold, and diamond dust. Maybe they just price them like they were.

wierdscience
07-23-2009, 11:41 PM
A lot of the processes the showed strike me as pretty darn slow as mass production goes. There's a lot of moving things around by hand or with those nifty, albeit incredibly slow, little robot guys, and then they've got those robots that grab four or five of them (one at a time) and move them over to a tray. I can see that taking hours to fill up one of those drums. For that matter, why invest thousands of dollars in that little press to mold one at a time when it probably wouldn't have cost much more to make it mold 10 or 20 or more at a time. Take some lessons from how they make crayons or macaroni. QC a concern? Look at how the postal service sorts mail. No wonder inserts cost so much.

Even at the pace they are moving at,production is probably in the 10,000's per day easily.Those big trigon inserts they were making are in the $40-50 each range,they looked to be 3/4 IC.The cutoff inserts are the same ones I use from Kennametal and those set me back $18 ea.

Robots slow or otherwise are still cheaper than humans,especially in Sweden.

Something tells me they are making a profit.