April 2, 2019

Choosing a Turning Insert on MachiningCloud

When searching for the correct turning insert on MachiningCloud, a number of considerations come into play. Turning inserts are a single point tool used to machine rotational parts by removing excess material. Common turning operations that use turning inserts include O.D. (outer diameter) and I.D. (inner diameter) turning, grooving, and profiling. Typically employed in lathes and other turning machines, the insert is seated and clamped to a holder which is then mounted near the lathe’s turret. The insert and holder remain stationary while the workpiece rotates about a turning axis, removing a given amount of material in order to create the desired part. As a turning insert’s edge wears out from cutting operations, the insert can be rotated and reset onto the holder.

The selection of a turning insert is determined by the desired feed rate, cutting speed, workpiece material, cutting geometry and more. With so many shapes, dimensions and parameters to choose from, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) established a coded identification system for choosing the proper turning insert according to your job needs.

The ANSI turning insert coding system uses a series of numbers and letters to describe the shape, dimension and performance parameters of each insert available from tooling manufacturers. The order of product data is as follows: Shape (1), Clearance (2), Tolerance (3), Type (4), Size (5), Thickness (6), Corner Radius (7), Edge (8), Hand (9), and Facet Size (10). Each number would then have a series of letters to denote the type of characteristic. An example of a turning insert’s characteristics will typically be charted like the example below, although variations of this table are possible depending on the turning insert’s inherent product features. Some use all 10 characteristics while others may not. A typical insert chart resembles this:

1. Shape – The shape classification helps determine the turning insert’s edge profile. Rounded turning inserts offer greater edge strength while sharper, more diamond shaped edges offer finer cutting features. In the chart above, the example insert is classified as “C”, a diamond shape with an 80° edge angle. Feed rates, cutting forces, vibration and other factors are also considered when selecting a turning insert shape.

2. Clearance – In the chart above, the clearance angle of the turning insert is classified as “N”, denoted as 0°. The greater the clearance angle, the less likely the walls of the insert will rub up against the part during rotation.

3. Tolerance – A tolerance of “M” describes the turning point as having a thickness of + 0.002” to + 0.010” as well as an inscribed circle (I.C.) of +0.005.

4. Type – In this classification, turning inserts offer nomenclature to describe the insert’s overall design, including fixing holes, countersinks and other special features.

5. Size – The size of the turning insert is based off a numeric value that denotes the length of the insert’s cutting edge. Different shaped inserts offer varying length and width dimensions, ultimately determining the cutting edge length.

6. Thickness – The thickness of the insert, from bottom of the insert to the top of the cutting edge.

7. Corner (Nose Radius) – The corner of a turning insert features an assigned number from 1-16, with 0 being a sharp, smaller corner and 16 being a larger, more rounded ¼” size. Smaller corners are used for shallow cutting depths, feature weaker cutting edges, but yield reduced vibration. Larger corners are able to handle increased feed rates, deeper cuts, and increased radial pressures against the workpiece.

8. Edge – Cutting edges are typically classified as sharp, round, chamfered and both rounded and chamfered.

9. Cutting Direction – Cutting direction is denoted by the letters R, L, N for right, left and neutral. This denotes the cutting corner’s direction of travel.

10. Facet Size – Also known as “chip breaker”, this is only referenced in the chart if there is a value for corner radius (7).

Note that turning insert characteristics 1-7 are the values most commonly referenced by machinists while 8, 9, & 10 are not as emphasized. Ultimately, turning insert manufacturers may use some or all of these characteristics depending on the cutting product’s features.

Insert Materials
Inserts are available in an array of material types with carbide, ceramic, cermet and diamond for various cutting applications. They can also contain various titanium carbides, titanium nitrides, aluminum oxides, and even polycrystalline diamonds. In addition, turning inserts are offered either coated or uncoated for additional protection that helps increase material removal rates and reduces wear.

Turning Inserts on MachiningCloud
With so many permutations of turning inserts available from numerous cutting tool brands, MachiningCloud can help you find the right insert for the job using its advanced catalog filters. Search multiple brands across a single platform and achieve peace of mind with accurate, up-to-date product data taken directly from manufacturers.

1. In MachiningCloud Home, choose a default manufacturer catalog by selecting the active brand logo in the top right corner. In this example, we’ll choose Kennametal.

2. From the Kennametal catalog options, select Turning.

3. Now select the type of turning operation that you wish to perform. We’ll choose O.D. and I.D. Turning.

4. Select High Performance Inserts

5. Continue to use the pictured catalog selections to find the type of insert that you wish to employ. Alternatively, use MachiningCloud’s search filters to narrow down all available possibilities.

With MachiningCloud’s search filters, you can narrow down the turning insert choices according to the ANSI coding system explained above. From insert thickness to insert shape, each filter selection will quickly sort through all of the tooling possibilities currently available from Kennametal’s turning insert product catalog.












6. MachiningCloud offers instant access to the most up-to-date tooling catalogs from popular brands, allowing you to save time and fast track CAM programming workflows. Quickly find the turning insert you need for your job, download 3D assembly models, and export your preferred turning insert files and data to virtually any CAM application.

Finding Tooling Inserts According to Your Application Needs
MachiningCloud offers concise, accurate and up-to-date tooling data on over one million parts and 3D models. By using search filters, you can find turning inserts that match your job requirements. More importantly, quickly build turning insert tooling assemblies, review product availability, and efficiently improve tooling research workflows across the entire shop floor.

Download MachiningCloud and learn how to get started accessing rich product data from leading cutting tool brands.

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