FAQs about the use of CBN tools

Updated: Jul 2

CBN tool is a kind of super-hard tool in the modern tooling industry. It has a wide range of applications in the field of difficult-to-machine materials, such as high-speed cutting and precision machining for gray cast iron, wear-resistant cast iron, hardened steel, high manganese steel, etc.

If you are used to traditional tools such as carbide tools and ceramic tools, you will possibly meet various problems when you use CBN tools at the beginning. In this article, ToolingBox summarizes some FAQs in the use of CBN tools, hoping to help you.

1. Q: What is a CBN tool?

A: CBN tool is a kind of super hard tool synthesized by artificial method of CBN powder and a small amount of binder under high temperature and high pressure. It has the hardness second only to diamond, extremely high thermal stability and chemical stability. It has a wide range of applications in hard and difficult-to-machine materials. Such as turning gray cast iron, high chromium cast iron, wear-resistant cast iron, hardened steel, high-speed steel and other materials.


2. Q: Are CBN inserts the same as PCBN inserts?

A: Yes, they are same. They all refer to cubic boron nitride tools, but they are called differently. They are also called CBN blades/cutters/knives, PCBN turning blades/knives, cubic boron nitride blades, etc., which all are the same product.


3. Q: How many classifications do CBN tools usually have?

A: Usually we divide CBN tools into three categories: Solid CBN inserts, Brazed Solid CBN inserts and tipped CBN inserts.


4. Q: what’s the difference between brazed solid CBN inserts and tipped CBN inserts?

A: The CBN materials of brazed Solid CBN inserts are same as solid CBN's, which is one of CBN tools synthesized by artificial method of CBN powder and a small amount of binder under high temperature and high pressure.

Tipped CBN insert also is one of CBN tools, which are tipped with the tips or layers made by PCBN composite sheet materials( referring to the below picture).

5. Q: Do I need to add cutting fluid during the turning with CBN tools?

A: It is generally not recommended to add cutting fluid or coolant, which will affect the tool life of CBN tools, especially when using solid CBN inserts. For brazed or tipped CBN inserts with holes in the middle, if cutting fluid must be added, try to use oily cutting fluid, or use air cooling.


6. Q: Can CBN tools machining aluminum alloy parts?

A: No, because the hardness of aluminum alloy parts is low, it is not suitable to use CBN tools and will accelerate the wear of CBN tools. PCD tools are recommended to machine aluminum alloy workpieces.


7. Q: What’s the difference between CBN Inserts and PCD Inserts?

A: Both are super hard tools, and the main difference is in the machining materials and application fields. CBN tools are mainly used to machining ferrous metal materials, such as cast iron, hard steel and other high hardness materials and ordinary gray iron cast iron; PCD tools are mainly used to machining non-ferrous metals and non-metallic materials, such as aluminum, copper, stone, wood, glass and other materials.


8. Q: Do CBN tools need to be changed under what condition?

Answer: This should be determined according to the machining conditions. For example, the most general tool change condition in continuous cutting is cutting edges worn, while the general tool change conditions in interrupted cutting include the inserts’ chipping, peeling, chipping, cracks, etc.


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