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5 Metalworking Trends You Should Know

Metalworking Trends: Innovations across a wide range of industries and sectors drive advances in metalworking. From the development of new tools and advanced materials to the emerging approaches of additive manufacturing, high speed machining and multi-task equipment, here are five metalworking trends to follow throughout the 2020s.

Aerospace Tooling

The aerospace milling industry pushes material integrity and quality standards to the limit. Demand for metal tools or parts used in the production or design of planes and rockets also drives forward the field of material science.

Composite tool development is a leading area of innovation linked to the aerospace industry, where heat-up rates, thermal conductivity and weight are relevant factors. Metal tooling firms have the equipment, expertise and raw materials to make hard tools for high-performance applications.

Cost Effective & Disposable Drills

Another trend in metalworking that is a little closer to earth is cost-effective drills that are designed to be disposable. A solid carbide GO drill for diameter 0.0394”-0.7874” (1–20mm) and 8 X D drilling capability features a marginless design to minimize friction and heat.

In the GO Drill design, through-coolant is available down to 0.0394 (1mm). A TiN top layer serves as a wear indicator. When it is time to replace this drill, it can be a more cost-effective solution than maintaining older drill systems.

Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing and metal extrusion like the extruded offerings seen here https://fastmetals.com/pages/pipe-stock are changing prototyping and the production of some finished components..

In standard three-dimensional printing, a thermoplastic filament is heated while being extruded through a nozzle and cools after it is laid down. This process can produce almost anything, especially when metals are used.

Directed energy deposition, in which a laser, electron beam or plasma arc is used to melt metal filaments is a trending method that allows metal to be deposited along four or five axes. Powder bed fusion is another noteworthy additive manufacturing method in which layers of metal powder are melted and fuse to underlying layers.

High Speed Machining

Another metalworking trend is high speed machining, which combines high spindle speeds and feed rates with lighter milling passes. This method achieves a high rate of metal removal while reducing cycle time, productivity and tool life.

While this approach to machining dates back to the 1920s, advances in automation and robotics are poised to make machining even less labor-intensive. Increasing output while maintaining the highest standards for precision is possible with specialized high speed equipment, but advances in equipment for multi-task and universal machining are also emerging trends.

Multi-Task Equipment

Twin-mill or twin turret equipment capable of performing more than one task is becoming more common. Budgetary concerns are the main barrier to more widespread adoption of multi-task and HSM equipment. Stakeholders can plan ahead to deploy this technology to stay competitive in the near future.

These trends are likely to prevail in the metalworking industry in the 2020s and beyond. As stakeholders in machining related fields plan equipment investments, staying apprised of developing trends can guide investments in next-generation equipment and the implementation of systems to optimize productivity.

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