Tooling for Alucobond

 From buildingindustry.org

Alucobond is a type of sandwich panel which was first introduced in 1969 and is now widely used in the residential and commercial construction industries. This ACM, (aluminum composite material) consists of two sheets of smooth 0.02” aluminum, thermobonded to a polyethylene core. The result is a light composite material that offers many benefits including perfect flatness, rigidity, weatherproofing, impact resistance and also features vibration dampening characteristics. These characteristics make this product truly unique and popular and it’s available in a wide variety of colors and textures.

 While standard tooling may be utilized,  you may find it a bit challenging.   We offer specific tooling for machining this unique product. For sawing, we offer a line of saw blades specifically engineered for quality results in terms of finish quality and extended tool life. These saw blades are designed for use on horizontal, vertical and most table saws and are available in sizes ranging from 250 mm up to 550 mm.

Positive Rake Angle Saw Blade

Positive Rake Angle Saw Blade

For folding applications, a “V-grooving” cutter head is available in two variations, 90 and 135 degree. This specialty cutter head is designed to be used on CNC aggregates, panel, vertical or table saws.  For CNC routing applications, a 90 and 135 degree profile router bit is also available for folding applications. These tools are specifically engineered to be used on Alucobond or similar products and will produce excellent results.

V-groove Router Bit

V-groove Router Bit

V-grooving Cutter Head

V-grooving Cutter Head

For additional information or questions,  contact Team GDP|GUHDO and we are happy to help you select the right tool for your specific application.

What is Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD) Tooling?

PCD Saw Blade

PCD Saw Blade

In the right application, using PCD tooling can reduce your tooling cost significantly.  PCD (Polycrystalline Diamond) has been used in the wood/composites industry for over 35 years due to its abrasion resistant properties and hardness.  This synthetic cutting edge material was pioneered by General Electric’s Specialty Materials Division.  PCD is composed of diamond particles that are sintered with a metallic binder at extreme temperatures and pressures,  creating the hardest and one of the most abrasion resistant materials used in cutting tools. Tooling that utilizes this specialized material is now used in a wide range of machining applications including sawing, routing, drilling and profiling to maximize tool life and reduce production cost.  Ideal material applications include cutting chipboard, MDF, particle board, HDF,  and many composite materials including solid surface, fiberglass and phenolic.

PCD tooling

PCD Tooling in HSK 63F Collet Chucks

Like tungsten carbide, PCD is available in multiple quality grades. Most machine applications are supplied with standard quality grades with varying grain size. More demanding applications may be supplied with coarser grain or a “polished” tip.  Polished PCD helps prevent material buildup on the cutting surface (face) which improves tool performance due to less heat generating in the cut.  If you are considering using diamond tooling or if you have any questions concerning the feasibility of using polycrystalline diamond tooling, you can count on GUHDO to provide the guidance and knowledge to solve your most difficult machining applications, click here to contact us now.  In addition to delivery state-of-the-art PCD tools, we also sharpen PCD in-house at our facility in Marietta, GA.

PCD Radius Cutter

PCD Radius Cutter

Tooling for Cutting Composites

The use of composite materials has been on the rise for years due to their unique characteristics including reductions in weight and increased flexibility.  By definition a composite is a combination of two other materials used to create a unique material that is superior to either input material (a super-material?).  The performance increase makes composites more difficult to machine,  however, selecting the proper tool for the application is paramount to optimizing tool performance.  Each composite type comes a unique set of cutting challenges due to the materials structure which, unlike metal or wood,  is composed of layers of fibers and resins bonded together with intense heat and/or pressure.

ceramic fibersDue to structural differences, composites will behave differently based on the materials used in the creation of the composite, so when cutting a new material it’s important to do a test cut on scrap material.   Cutting composites requires getting through the different layers of various material types by chipping, ripping or shredding.  Common composites include carbon fiber or fiberglass layered and bonded by polymer resins such as epoxy and polyurethane. Each of these layers react differently when cut and the heat generated by the cutting tool can cause de-lamination or worse if not machined properly, leading to excessive tool wear and a change in tool geometry.

Diamond tipped (PCD) tools are often most effective in cutting composites as it’s important for the tool to cut with minimal force applied to the material. Composites will “eat” through solid carbide tools in many cases, so while the sticker shock of PCD may detour some people the cost per linear foot machined will be drastically decreased when compared with solid carbide.

With drilling composites, splintering can be an issue, so using PCD tools is especially important as a dull bit will lead to layers being pushed aside vs being cut.   This leads to de-lamination or “blow-out” on the exit side of the material.  With a new material it’s best to test the characteristics prior to machining any large project as the observable properties will be important in finding the right RPM/feed rate to optimize cut quality.

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Carbon Composite/ Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Example

The example carbon fiber tools used:

1 Diamond-Dowel Drill

2 DIATEC-4 Diamond Router Cutter

3 DIATEC Diamond Cutter w/ Alternate Shear Angle

4 DIATEC-4-Quattor Diamond Router Cutter

 For more information on application specific composite tooling contact us today so we can discuss your exact needs.

The Continuing Evolution of Diamond (PCD) Cutting Tools

surface and panelAs published in Q2 2014 issue of “Surface and Panel” magazine:

The Continuing Evolution of Diamond (PCD) Cutting Tools:

In the summer of 1982, when the International Woodworking Fair (IWF) made its debut show in Atlanta, GA, the first polycrystalline diamond tools for wood/composite material were introduced in the U.S. The promise they brought ….to run up to one million feet of material without a single tool change, seemed inconceivable and no one could fathom that any cutting tool could continuously run the equivalent of 7+ marathons (over 180 miles) cutting abrasive particleboard without wearing out on the first 10 miles!

High-tech panel production equipment coupled with competition among cutting tool manufacturers has earned a handsome dividend for panel processorsgiga cutter, allowing manufacturing costs to stabilize. As diamond tooling evolves, developments include extreme axial shear angle cutters that achieve a satin smooth finish resulting from a cutting action that is closer to shaving or peeling, rather than cutting. While these cutters are ideal for peripheral cuts, they aren’t the solution for parting cuts due to the larger cutting diameter necessitated by the extreme axial shear and resulting yield inefficiencies.

Hogging/panel sizing cutters continue to advance with interesting designs that incorporate dust flow and chip extraction features along with lighter overall tool weight (to reduce injury risk during tool changes) and tooth geometries that are matched to specific application for best finish.

The continuing advancement of newer composite panel materials, whether lightweight honeycomb panels with aluminum skin, wood composite panels with highly abrasive laminate surface, fire rated MDF, carbon fiber reinforced plastics, phenolics or other PCD Hoggerspecialty materials, each seem to present their own set of unique challenges to efficiently cut, profile and optimize tool life while obtaining a quality surface finish. These challenges keep design and implementation of new cutting tool engineering ideas at the forefront and this trend will continue.

Diamond-tipped saw blades deliver great savings during the many months they run without garnering even a moment of attention until they become dull! PCD saw blades do best and perform the longest in homogeneous materials, such as solid surface material, wallboard, hardboard, cement fiber board, MDF and similar materials.

FourcutDiamond router bits have progressed as well. Chip load is the most important factor in seeing positive performance, so, the once popular disposable diamond router bit, that has definite feed speed limitations, has taken back seat to newer designs. It is important to review expectations for output, finish and performance when determining the tool specifications. The choice of single, two or three flute, straight or shear, segmented, staggered, insert or solid PCD tip, diamond grade (coarse or fine), polished or not should all play a part in the decision for best results.

Drill bitsPCD2V, both through-hole (V-Point) and dowel style, are another relative newcomer in the array of diamond tools offered. While they do not run the marathons that their hogger, saw blade and routing counterparts are known for, they still offer a stately price/performance ratio that should not be underestimated or overlooked.

To summarize, panel processors not using diamond tooling in their production, are overlooking a tremendous opportunity to improve their bottom line! Letting the initial cost of diamond tooling intimidate…is ignoring the fact that in most cases, PCD provides the lowest cost per linear foot machined!

Written by Karin Deutschler, President of GUHDO USA Inc. Karin has been selling diamond tooling since its introduction in the U.S. in 1982.

 GUHDO now offer select precision tooling online or you can also check out our full catalog here!