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Breakthrough Technology: Minimum Quantity Cryogenics Machining Dramatically Increases Removal Rates and Tool Life on Difficult-to-Machine Materials

MAG will demonstrate its breakthrough Minimum Quantity Cryogenics (MQC) machining technology and explain its capabilities and advantages in a Learning Lab at the company's booth during the IMTS show in Chicago, September 10-15, 2012.

A Cryogenic CYCLO CUT® Hi-Feed milling cutter designed for Minimum Quantity Cryogenics machining discharges liquid nitrogen through cutter inserts.



MQC will be demonstrated on a new MAG 5-axis HMC 1600, as well as on a customer’s VMC that has been retrofitted, utilizing various difficult-to-machine metal and composite workpieces. Recently approved by the U.S. government for roughing titanium components for the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter, the revolutionary technology is now available as an option on new MAG machines or in retrofit kits for existing MAG machines.

Unique in the industry, multi-patented MQC technology facilitates increased process speeds, lower cutting forces, longer tool life, and reduced heat. It is also eco-friendly, yielding dry chips without releasing coolant mist or greenhouse gases. MQC delivers liquid nitrogen at -321°F (-196°C) through the spindle, directly to the tool tip and cutting zone. According to Michael Judge, MAG Vice President of Cryogenic Business Development, the key to MQC's effectiveness is plumbing liquid nitrogen through the insert to create a heat-sink effect, rather than traditional chip zone cooling with wet coolants. "Cryogenic machining has never been done this efficiently before, with liquid nitrogen passed through the spindle and through the insert," he explained. "Through-tool cooling provides the most efficient heat transfer model and consumes the least amount of liquid nitrogen, with flow rates as low as 0.08 liters per minute per cutting edge."

George Georgiou, MAG Cryogenics Engineering & Product Manager, adds that MQC tests have achieved a 60 percent increase in speed while milling CGI with carbide, and up to four times using PCD (Polycrystalline Diamond) tooling. "With the addition of Minimum Quantity Lubrication, we tripled speeds with carbide,” he said. “We have focused on higher material removal rates, while keeping tool life equal to what would be achieved with conventional wet coolants. Results indicate this technology dramatically improves the lifecycle cost for cutting difficult-to-machine materials by reducing the required number of machines and associated plant infrastructure, or possibly increasing tool life beyond anything thought possible today. Cryogenic machining becomes even more competitive when you consider it's a 'green' technology. There is no coolant mist collection, filtration, wet chips, contaminated workpieces or disposal cost, and certainly less energy consumption without all the pumps, fans and drives that go into handling coolant."

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