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Nickel base corrosion and temperature resistant alloys are classified as moderate to difficult when machining, however these alloys can be machined using conventional production methods at satisfactory rates. During the machining processes these alloys work harden rapidly, generate high heat during cutting, weld to the cutting tool surface and offer high resistance to metal removal because of their high shear strengths. Following are key points that should be considered during machining operations. The actual operating parameters are to serve only as a guide and are not to be taken as absolute values.

Capacity – All nickel alloys can be face-turned and bored on practically any machine. Factors such as speed, feed, depth-of-cut and tooling will be the determining factors that allow you to utilize machinery available for the job. Drilling large holes and tapping require sturdy machinery with plenty of power.

Tooling – Due to the nature of the alloys being worked, tools will tend to dull fairly quick and the need to change tooling or re-sharpen tools will be frequent. Although expensive, C grade inserts should be used whenever possible.

Lubrication/Coolants – Lubricants/coolants are desirable. Good results can be obtained using water-miscible vegetable oil based fluids in CNC equipment and engine lathes. However, tapping and heavy drilling (large diameter or deep-hole drilling) requires a heavy duty, light viscosity petroleum cutting oil. Other facilities may use different lubricants based on trial and error. What works for one shop may not work for another.

Drilling – When using insert drills in CNC machines use the same speeds (SFM) for facing, turning and boring for the specific alloy. Feed rates should be .002” per revolution. When twist drill bits are used, cobalt drills are preferred but high speed steel (HSS) drills will also work as long as you keep the speed slow and steady. Solid carbide drills work well in some applications.

Machining Data

Nickel 200/201, Alloy 400, Alloy 600, Alloy 800H/HT

Suggested starting rates:

Facing, Turning & Boring

Speed

50-1050

SFM Depth-of-cut

0.12”

Feed for Roughing

0.012” - 0.016”

Feed for Finishing

0.010” - 0.012”

Drilling

Speed

20-35 SFM per drill diameter

1/16” Dia. of hole

1200-2000 RPM

1/8” Dia. of hole

611-1069 RPM

3/16” Dia. of hole

408-715 RPM

1/4” Dia. of hole

305-535 RPM

7/16” Dia. of hole

173-303 RPM

1/2” Dia. of hole

152-267 RPM

9/16” Dia. of hole

136-238 RPM

Feed: 0.006” – 0.010” per revolution

Machining Data

Alloy B2 & B3

Suggested starting rates:

Facing, Turning & Boring

Speed

80-150 SFM

Depth of cut

0.25”

Feed for Roughing

0.006” - 0.008”

Feed for Finishing

0.010” - 0.012”

Drilling

Speed

8-14 SFM per drill diameter

1/16” Dia. of hole

490-800 RPM

1/8” Dia. of hole

240-420 RPM

3/16” Dia. of hole

160-285 RPM

1/4” Dia. of hole

120-213 RPM

7/16” Dia. of hole

69-120 RPM

1/2” Dia. of hole

61-106 RPM

9/16” Dia. of hole

54-95 RPM

Feed: 0.004” – 0.010” per revolution

Machining Data

Alloy C-276, Alloy C-22, Alloy K-500

Suggested starting rates:

Facing, Turning & Boring

Speed

140-200 SFM

Depth of cut

0.25”

Feed for Roughing

0.006” - 0.008”

Feed for Finishing

0.010” - 0.012”

Drilling

Speed

8-14 SFM per drill diameter

1/16” Dia. of hole

730-1200 RPM

1/8” Dia. of hole

365-611 RPM

3/16” Dia. of hole

245-408 RPM

1/4” Dia. of hole

183-305 RPM

7/16” Dia. of hole

104-173 RPM

1/2” Dia. of hole

91-152 RPM

9/16” Dia. of hole

81-136 RPM

Feed: 0.004” – 0.010” per revolution

*The data and information contained in this website has been taken from open literature and is believed to be reliable. The information contained is intended to be used as a guide. Mega Mex does not make any warranty or assume any legal liability for its accuracy, completeness or usefulness.