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Machining Dura-Bar: Top Tips

Top Tips for Machining Dura-Bar

piston_pump_machining_coolantCost savings generated by using Dura-Bar as a replacement for steel have been well documented. Dura-Bar's superior machinability and minimal need for deburring allow for decreased cycle times and more parts per hour. Using Dura-Bar also yields significant improvements in tool wear, chip control, and surface finishes. Dura-Bar weighs 8% less than steel and is quieter in operating parts due to its vibration damping quality.

The excellent machinability of Dura-Bar stems from the graphite contained in its microstructure. Graphite enhances machining by acting as a natural chip-breaker. It reduces friction on the insert and dissipates heat, thereby extending tool life. Graphite also improves overall wear resistance in the final application.

Dura-Bar Metal Services customers that have experienced the most significant cost and time savings have implemented a few simple changes to their Dura-Bar machining operations:

1. Use the Correct Inserts - A common mistake is to substitute inserts not specifically designed for the cutting of Dura-Bar, or designed specifically for steel. Any general purpose grade isn't going to perform. Standard coated carbide inserts developed for cast iron are best. Also, for the best results when drilling, use carbide tooling. The proper coating is critical for optimal performance. To obtain further details on inserts and their coatings, contact your Dura-Bar Metal Services Account Manager.

2. Skip the Chip Breaker - When machining Dura-Bar you will get good results with or without a chip breaker. A complex chip breaker design is not required due to the free-machining properties of the material.

3. Use the Right Coolant - Based on Dura-Bar's experience, the best results are achieved with either a water soluble or semi-synthetic coolant at a 4-6% level of concentration. This is because water draws out more heat, and the 4-6% concentration adds both lubricity for friction reduction and additional corrosion/rust protection.

4. Run it Faster - The dense, fine-grained microstructure of Dura-Bar makes it especially clean and consistent, allowing for faster machining speeds. The absence of sand and carbides typically found in castings for example, allows the use of higher surface footage (sfm) with confidence, and without sacrificing your current feed rates.

All of the above recommendations are based on a sound and rigid setup. For more detailed machining information or a specific application, contact your Dura-Bar Metal Services Account Manager today.