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WNT has developed Micro Mini cutters, strong tools suitable for manufacture on a scale between conventional machining and nanotechnology, for creating modern miniature devices such as mobile phones.

Technology companies’ desire to squeeze more and more technology into smaller and smaller packages is placing demands on manufacturers to achieve new levels of detail and tolerances on components and mould tools.

While creating the cutting geometry on cutters ranging from 0.2mm to 2mm poses its own problems for cutting tool manufacturers, the biggest issue surrounds that of cutter stability.

The ability for cutters this small to withstand the side forces generated during the cutting process is paramount.

For this reason, WNT invested heavily in research and development in order to create a tool design with high stability.

Typically, micro tools have been strengthened by grinding a taper immediately behind the flutes to create a shank diameter considerably larger than the cutting diameter.

The problem here is that rather this can weaken the tool, as the stress point where the angle and the flutes meet is increased.

To overcome this WNT resorted to extensive Finite Element Analysis (FEM), and the research showed (using a 0.8mm diameter cutter as an example) that having a minor diameter of 0.4mm was the optimum, with anything above this having a negative effect on the deformation experienced by the cutter.

WNT’s solution to this issue was to create a large diameter radius, rather than a taper to get from the cutter diameter to the shank diameter.

This reduced the stress levels on the cutter with a decrease from 3.63MPa to 2.44MPa when compared to traditional manufactured cutters of the same diameter.

The use of a large radius, instead of a taper, also has the benefit of increasing what is known as the aspect ratio, which is a factor of l3 (useable length):d1 (cutter diameter).

WNT’s Micro Mini tools are available in each size with two tool lengths and three aspect ratios, these being 2.2:1, 5:1 and 10:1.

According to WNT, depth of cut and feed rate per tooth are vitally important when using Micro Mini cutting/surface speed, and the key to successful use of these tools is achieving the correct chip thickness.

If the minimum chip thickness is not achieved the cutter will, in effect, be pushing or ploughing the material rather than cutting it.

This in turn leads to an increase in cutting forces and eventually to failure of the tool.

With guaranteed delivery before 10:30, six days a week, for any cutting tools ordered before 18:30 the previous working day (12:30 Saturday), combined with industry-leading technical and customer support, WNT (UK) is the first-choice cutting-tool supplier for the SME engineering manufacturing sector.

The in-depth technical expertise of WNT (UK)'s external and internal technical sales team, who are all apprentice trained with extensive machining experience, provides a valuable tool for its customers. Their role is to deliver major cost savings and productivity gains to WNT (UK)'s customers. Whoever you speak to at WNT (UK) their goal is the same: award-winning customer service.

Behind the people element of WNT (UK) is its Total Tooling concept, which marries optimal service levels with unbeatable product quality a combination that makes a valuable contribution to improving the productivity of its customers. This is backed up by SERVICE², which is the energetic core of the business that moves everything: providing the right tool at the right time for the right application. This includes its Toolomat tool vending system, WNT (UK)'s cost-effective method of providing 24-hour access to tools, seven days a week.

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