Materials especially tailored for extreme conditions and environments, which are resistant to very high or very low temperatures, are becoming increasingly important in a variety of industrial fields. Such materials are difficult to cut. On the other hand also for machining of standard materials (structural steels, tool steels etc.) the improvement and increase of production process is expected due to cost reduction pressures.
One very important and critical field it’s the machinery in term of development of innovative cutting tool materials (and relative coatings) tailored for extreme conditions and environment, in particular innovative hard metals to machine “difficult to cut” materials in really “extreme conditions” in term of high pressures, high wear mechanism, strong corrosive or oxidizing environments.
In the manufacturing industry there is a need for higher machining speed, lower tool wear and reduction in the use of machining fluids to achieve an increase in productivity of cutting tools and machine tools in particular for “difficult to cut materials” used in “extreme conditions”.
Moreover difficult to cut materials such as special cast iron (ADI), Aerospace Titanium- or Sandwich materials, Inconel alloys and organic matrix composites (OMC) are more extensive used in different mechanical industrial fields. These require a greater use of specialised fluids and tools; both of which incur a high cost to the final product and also a series of environmental and health problems.
Also in other field of applications (like the wood industry) there is the need to develop innovative cutting tools to machine composite materials (like MDF) with different and more and more critical problems in term of machining efficiency. About the coating of cutting tools to machine “difficult to cut materials” different surface engineering solutions have been proposed as the demand for these products has grown rapidly, especially in the EU, USA and Japan.