Electroplated (E.P.) tools are produced by a special process that secures grains of abrasive - in our case DIAMOND / CBN (cubic boron nitride) into a metal surface.
With this procedure, the abrasive grains remain partially exposed, a fact which permits high metal removal rates, constant tool profile, long tool life and low operating costs.
Diamond is the hardest element on the Mohs scale, and can thus be used to machine all highly abrasive materials for which ordinary tools in HSS or Tungsten Carbide either cannot be employed or are not advantageous. Consequently, diamonds can be used to cut hard metals, ceramics, composites, glass reinforced plastics and other fiber-filled products, carbon fiber, abrasive materials in general, stones and marbles.
Cubic boron nitride or CBN is used to machine ferrous metals, for which diamond cannot be used because of its physical and chemical incompatibility at high machining temperatures. Its hardness is only slightly lower than diamond and its properties are similar. It can used to machine high speed steels, special cast irons and carburizing steels.
The grain size of the abrasive used on a tool is an important consideration: large grains permit high removal rates, while fine grains provide high quality surface finishes.
Grain size are classified in accordance with FEPA standards.
Though E.P. tools can also be used dry, employing cutting fluids will generally prolong tool life, and in some cases will make it possible to achieve better machining results.
For diamond tools, it is advisable to use a water-base cutting fluid with rust – inhibiting emulsifier additives. With CBN tools, sulfurized and chlorinated neat oils should be used instead of water-based fluids.
As E.P. tools are used on a wide range of different materials, machining parameters will also very accordingly. For information purposes, however, a table of indicative machining speeds is enclosed. Remember that operator experience will be the best guide to the parameters that should be used for the actual machining conditions involved.