GWS Coatings 101 – FX3: Strong, Stable, Durable
In our last post in this series, we introduced you to AlTiN, a great general purpose coating with a high aluminum content, which is used for machining steel, titanium alloys, Inconel, stainless, and cast iron in both wet and dry environments. In this article, we’re going to kick it up a notch with a coating that has all the advantages of AlTiN, but performs at an even higher level. Meet our FX3 coating.
FX3 is a coating based on AlCrN (aluminum, chromium, nitride) combined with titanium. Coatings are deposited with 3 sections freely programmed in one batch. FX3 is applied to our tools using the high performance physical vapor deposition (PVD) unit right on our shop floor. Keeping the process in-house give us total control on quality and turnaround.
This super-strong coating has been engineered to give an optimum balance between the toughness of the core layer and the abrasion resistance of the top nano-layer. The addition of titanium reduces adhesive wear and chipping compared to conventional AlCrN coatings. It increases the micro-hardness up to 3500Hv and stops the crack propagation through the coating.
FX3 is highly suited to machining tool steels; 303, 304 and 316L stainless steel; and Ti-6Al4V or other titanium alloys. These materials have a tendency to generate excessive heat at the contact area. This results in long continuous chips that can weld on to the tool edge, giving you a poor finish and scrapped parts. And you can just imagine what that kind of heat does to tool life. All materials that fall into the “gummy” category require a coating like FX3 for increased thermal resistance and extended tool utilization. Our customers use it for wet and MQL (minimum quantity lubrication) applications to achieve longer tool life and increased thermal stability. And because it is does not rely on heat to activate the coating, like AlTiN, its performance in wet milling applications noticeably better.
The ability of the cutting edge to shear the work material with as little residual friction as possible after initial contact is critical in producing an end mill that will satisfy the tool life and metal removal demands of today’s manufacturers. That’s why FX3 coatings are available on all of our PYSTL series end mills. And since at GWS Tool Group, Custom Comes Standard, we can always add FX3 to a custom tool designed specifically to your needs.
Check out out tool coatings page to see if FX3 or any of our other coating options can help you achieve better results. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask how we can help you today!
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